I am a food scientist, specialized in milk and dairy products. In 2014, I obtained my PhD degree on the topic of "Natural variation in casein and salt composition of milk" which was part of the Dutch milk genomics initiative. From 2014-2017, I worked as a researcher at FrieslandCampina Research in the Food Structuring department, followed by postdoc positions at the Food Chemistry group of Aarhus University in Denmark and at the Food Quality and Design group of Wageningen University. From 1 May 2019 I have started in the WUR tenure track as assistant professor at the Food Quality and Design group.
My expertise is on natural variation in milk caseins. One specific interest of mine is the influence of post-translational modifications on casein micelle structure. During my PhD work I discovered that increase in glycosylation of kappa-casein is corelated with the reduction in size of casein micelles. In order to understand more on the challenging topic, I think we need to learn more on the structure-function relation of post-translational modifications and casein micelle structure and how this influences dairy product characteristics. This requires a multidisciplinary approach with experts in different fields, such as biochemistry, physical-chemistry and glycobiology, food science and nutrition with support of the government and dairy sector.
I teach several undergraduate and post-graduate courses on various dairy related topics. I am also the coordinator of the MSc course Dairy Chemistry and Physics. Furthermore, I am supervising BSc, MSc and PhD thesis projects and food technology internships.