I am a fish ecologist and conservationist, specialized in river fish community and tropical shark research. I hold a BSc and MSc in Biology from Wageningen University in The Netherlands and for my masters I specialized in both marine biology and adaptation biology.
As PhD candidate I manage and coordinate fieldwork activities, data collection and analysis, report/paper writing, and I am involved in educational activities. In this large-scale project I study the functioning of restored floodplains in the Netherlands as nursery area for riverine fishes. I work on topics ranging from evaluating ecological efficacy of restored floodplains over time, studying food availability and gut contents of juvenile fish, to extensive modelling of optimal environmental characteristics of floodplains for larval and juvenile fish.
My ambition is to support, stimulate and create innovative projects that stimulates marine conservation. Much of my previous work focused on Caribbean shark conservation and community capacity building, as well as on studying fundamental aspects of fish recruitment and population dynamics and the role of the physical environment in this. Communication, dedication, persistence and patience are key aspects of my (working) life. My strengths lie in conducting fieldwork activities, project management and communicating with scientists and volunteers from various research fields, and in providing constructive solutions by balancing the interests of different stakeholders. I am always looking for ways to gain consensus and get people and organisations to work together effectively to promote conservation. I believe that for effective conservation of local ecosystems, especially in a marine environment, involvement and expertise of the local communities is essential and that their involvement should be facilitated as much as possible.
During my study I lived for several months on the small island of Saba in the Dutch Caribbean, assessing the relations between fish communities and spatial variation (habitat, depth, fisheries and location) on the Saba Bank. This was done with the video technique called stereo Baited Remote Underwater Video. After graduating, I worked as specialist in this technique at Wageningen Marine Research (WMR) and a taught laboratory education skills at Rijn IJssel College (further education). I then moved to Bonaire to work as project manager of the local shark conservation project ‘Save our Sharks’ at the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance. In this €5-million project, I was responsible for the implementation of the research, conservation and education objectives on the six islands in the Dutch Caribbean. I promoted and facilitated knowledge exchange, training, and cooperation between the six park management organisations to strengthen their shark conservation activities.
Twan Stoffers direct supervisor is Dr. Ir. Leo Nagelkerke
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