Research background and aims
I am a behavioural and evolutionary ecologist with a strong interest in genetics, mostly using wild bird and mammal populations as model systems. I study individual variation in social behaviour from an eco-evolutionary perspective, with a particular focus on aggression, mate choice, parental care, and cooperation and conflict within the family. In my research, I combine diverse methods, ranging from behavioural observations and field experiments to using individual-based long-term population and pedigree data for quantitative genetic analyses. Ultimately, my research aims at understanding the eco-evolutionary causes and consequences of individual variation in behaviour and reproductive success (fitness).
Vosbergen Blue Tit project
As part of my PhD studies at the University of Groningen, I initiated an individual-based population study on wild blue tits (Blaumeisen) breeding in nestboxes at the Vosbergen estate in the north of the Netherlands. This long-term study has been running since 2001 until to date (in collaboration with Jan Komdeur, University of Groningen) and it provides an important model system for part of my research. More recently (2018), I also established a study of nestbox-breeding blue tits and great tits (Kohlmeisen) in the Teutoburger Wald near Bielefeld University.
Present postdoctoral researchers
Present PhD students
If you'd be interested in joining our research (BSc, MSc, PhD or postdoc projects) please contact me.