Currently I am a Newton International Fellow of the Royal Society, based at the Department of Zoology at the University of Oxford, in the group of Prof Tim Coulson. I am still working with the Black-tailed Godwit dataset of Team Piersma. Here in Oxford I learn how to construct Integral Projection Models (IPM). One of my present aims is to understand the effects of laying date on population dynamics of godwits, and how population dynamics influence laying dates.
In 2005 I started working as a master student with Black-tailed Godwits at the University of Groningen in Theunis Piersma’s group. The godwit research was in its second year, and it was fascinating to work with such an iconic species. In 2007 my dream came true and I started my PhD project on “Spatial demography of Black-tailed Godwits”, which I finished in 2015.
I aimed to understand its population dynamics by identifying demographic bottlenecks, integrating source-sink dynamics, and fitness consequences of habitat use. During my PhD I have shown that reproduction on intensified agricultural grassland was too low for maintaining a stable population size, but that immigration from offspring hatched on traditional meadows prevented the population from going locally extinct.
After my PhD I continued as a postdoctoral researcher, at the University of Groningen within the Conservation Ecology Group, where I focused on carryover effects of migration strategies, i.e. interactions between wintering site choice in the non-breeding period and reproductive output in the breeding period.