Iris Boumans obtained her Bachelor degree of Animal Management with a specialisation in Laboratory animals at van Hall Instituut in 2004. Thereafter, she worked part-time as research assistant for Koningin Sophia Vereeniging tot Bescherming van Dieren (an animal protection organisation) (2004-2006), project coordinator for the Netherlands Centre Alternatives to Animal Use (NCA) within Utrecht University (2007-2013), course coordinator of the Laboratory Animal Science course in Amsterdam (AMC, 2004-2010) and quality officer for the Animal Research Institute AMC (2006-2010). Iris won the commission award ‘Alternatives for Animal Use’ in 2006, which was awarded for her contribution to development of the CD-ROM humane endpoints in laboratory animal experimentation as a refinement alternative to animal use.
In 2011, she started studying the MSc Animal Sciences from Wageningen University with a specialisation in Animal Production Systems and Adaptation Physiology, and graduated in 2013. She received the first prize of NZV (Dutch Zootechnical Association) thesis award for her thesis entitled 'Development strategies of pig farms in the province North Brabant'.
She proceeded as PhD student within the Animal Production Systems group of Wageningen University. Her PhD project was part of the IPOP theme 'Complex Adaptive Systems' and IPOP project 'Resilient Pork Production'. Her PhD study focussed on using agent-based modelling for understanding pig behaviour and related sustainability performance in novel farm designs. She received the award for the best oral presentation at the Benelux ISAE (International Society for Applied Ethology) in Sterksel in 2013 and the best oral presentation at the conference Measuring Behavior in Wageningen in 2014.
Since 2017 she is employed as researcher and teacher at the Animal Production Systems group, with a special interest on welfare of farm animals and sustainable animal production systems. Her research focusses on behavioural rhyhtms and individual patterns of animals, and using sensor data for welfare (and further sustainability) assessment. She supervises PhD students and is also involved in education, such as the courses Sensor data in Animal Science (SenDAS), Systems Approach in Animal Science (SAAS) and Future Livestock Systems (FLS) and supervising BSc and MSc thesis students.