As a marine ecologist I am interested in the functioning and conservation of the underwater world. As a scuba diver I know how special the North Sea is, and as a scientist, I have a knowledge of how the system works and which enormous datasets and expertise we have available to answer questions.
At Wageningen Marine Research, I work as a project leader and researcher mainly on projects related to the conservation and restoration of biodiversity in the North Sea. I work on marine protected areas (Natura 2000, Marine Strategy Framework Directive), flat oysters restoration in the North Sea, and monitoring and automatic image recognition of the benthic fauna. Much of mywork is commissioned by the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality.
I am internationally active within the OSPAR working group POSH (Protection and conservation of species and habitats) and within NORA (Native Oyster Restoration Alliance). In recent years I have also focussed on protected areas in the oceans (outside the EEZ), marine spatial planning, invasive species, seals and more, and I joined different field trips in the North Sea, Wadden Sea and Saba Bank.