My research focusses on the evolution of consistent individual differences (personalities) in relation to environmental variation, and how these differences affect social behaviour, movement, spatial distributions and population dynamics. In my studies I combine field observations, controlled experiments, as well as modelling techniques using a movement ecology approach. I have mainly studied these phenomena in birds, but will expand to studying invertebrates and fish as well.
If you are interested in a project or a collaboration with me, please feel free to send me an e-mail.
From 2016: University of Oxford (visiting academic)
From 2016: Tenure track scientist- Movement Ecology
2015-2016: PostDoc at NIOZ - METAWAD
2007-2009: Researcher at NIOZ; Designing an optimal sampling design (SIBES)
2003-2007: Teaching assistent in statistics courses at University of Amsterdam
2009-2015: PhD - Untying the knot: Mechanistically understanding the interactions between social foragers and their prey. NIOZ / University of Groningen (cum laude)
2007: MSc Ecology & Evolution, University of Amsterdam with a specialization in Animal Ecology (cum laude)
2006: BSc General Biology, University of Amsterdam
2015: Wadden Academy Prize for best PhD thesis in the academic years 2013/14 and 2014/15 (5 k€)
Do Red Knots use each other to find their hidden food?
The video below shows an experiment that we designed to answer this question. In the Experimental Shorebird Facility we constructed two patches and burried food in only one. We then released two Red Knots on each patch. We also released a focal bird in a central cage that was located in between the two patches. This bird was then allowed to watch the two groups of foraging birds on both sides. After 2 minutes the central cage was opened and the focal bird was allowed to exit to either side. The results show that in 75% of the trials Red Knots chose that side of the experimental arena where the food was buried. This show that Red Knots can use social information to be more efficient in finding their hidden food. You can find the scientific publication here.
Red knot foraging experiment
Here is a movie that shows the experimental setup for a foraging experiment on Red Knots (Calidris canutus islandica). The experiment was designed to study patch departure decisions for red knots foraging in a patchy food environment. Foragers should not stay in a patch too long and waste time searching for that last prey item while other food patches have more to offer. On the other hand, foragers should not depart a patch too soon and leave many prey items behind. Depending on the density and distribution of food, one can calculate the optimal departure decision that foragers should use that maximises intake rate. We want to find out how and if red knots make optimal foraging decisions.
The movie below shows two golden plovers that we tracked with our novel 'time-of-arrival' methodology. This movie is part of our publication in LIMOSA.