I am a broadly trained evolutionary biologist, with a devoted passion for the ecology of flowering plants. Unlike animals, plants cannot run away from danger. However, plants are by no means defenseless. From apparent defensive structures like thorns and needles, to chemical defense compounds and an innate immune system; plants use it all to combat the armies of harmful bacteria, fungi, animals and other plants. I’m intrigued by these resistance traits that make up the defensive arsenal of plants, and how they have evolved.
I am currently a postdoctoral Scholar at the University of Chicago, department of Ecology and Evolution. In the laboratory of Joy Bergelson. I am studying the evolution of Resistance genes in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, and some of its co-uccuring nephews and nieces. You can find more about this on my research page.
When I am not in the field looking for plants and their microbes, I might be in the lab isolating DNA and plant metabolites, or behind my computer analyzing data. But science is not my whole life. I also love to compose and make music, and all the better when my passion for science and music are fused together in projects like ‘Project 28’ (on the Evolution of dying, and why we are all in potential immortal) and ‘Insecten in de Pop’ (on the parallels in music and insect biology).