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 manager and researcher. I work mainly on projects related to conservation of biodiversity in the North Sea. They are about marine protected areas at sea (Natura 2000), the implementation of the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive, on indicators for measuring biodiversity, and much more. Much of my work is for the Ministry of Economic Affairs, but I'm also active internationally as a member of the ICES Working Group on Biodiversity and within the EU project BENTHIS. 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 and Wadden Sea.