I am a PhD-candidate working at the Aquatic Ecology department of the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW). I was trained as an environmental scientist during my Bachelor in Utrecht. During my Master I switched to ecology and studied the role of plant functional type composition for CO2 uptake in peatland ecosystems. During a second research project – at the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency – I contributed to the development of the GLOBIO-aquatic model. GLOBIO-aquatic models the impact of human pressures on aquatic biodiversity at a global scale, by linking spatial models of environmental drivers to empirically derived cause-effect relationships between these drivers and biodiversity.
For my current research I work with the ecosystem model for shallow lakes PCLake. Water quality managers use PCLake as a tool to estimate the critical nutrient loadings at which a lake ecosystem shows a regime shift from clear to turbid or vice versa. Part of my research consists of further testing and development of the model. Moreover, as the model embraces several key ecological concepts, such as food-web dynamics, closed mass balances, stoichiometry and benthic-pelagic coupling, I also use PCLake to conduct ecological experiments to develop and test hypothesis and ecological theory. For example, I study how important these concepts are for the existence of alternative stable states.