Hello, my name is Jeroen Hoekendijk, I’m 32 years old, and this week I start my PhD at the NIOZ/WUR. During my PhD, I will use individual based models to study the effect of retreating sea ice on arctic seals. Many seal species are depended on the sea ice, e.g. for breeding and resting. As the sea ice retreats, the distance to foraging grounds increases, possibly leading to increased energetic constraints. Some seal species might therefore switch to (limited available) beaches as haul outs, as is currently observed in walruses. Density depended competition for available resources might increase, and locally available food sources (shellfish in case of the walrus), might decline rapidly.