Jun 2016 – Current:
Postdoc at the Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED) at the University of Amsterdam (Funded by NWO grant to Daniel Kissling).
Aug 2015-May 2016:
Postdoc at Université Paris-Sud, Lab. Écologie, Systématique, Évolution (ESE) (Funded by a personal grant from the Swiss National Science Foundation). For a 1 minute summary of this research, watch this video.
Mar 2011-Jun 2015:
PhD (with distinction) in Evolutionary Biology at the Institute of Systematic Botany, University of Zurich, Switzerland, supervised by Prof. H. Peter Linder. Thesis on the role of plant functional traits in Cenozoic angiosperm radiations.
Sep 2008-Feb 2011:
MSc Biology (with distinction), specialization Ecology, Wageningen University, the Netherlands. Master thesis at the Biosystematics Group supervised by Dr. Freek T. Bakker and Dr. Robin van Velzen. Thesis on the evolution of Rinorea (Violaceae) as host plant for Cymothoe (Nymphalidae): new insights from extended sampling of Ghanaian populations, and development of a new nuclear phylogenetic marker.
Sep 2004-Jan 2008:
BSc Biology, specialization Ecology, Wageningen University, Wageningen, the Netherlands.
Teaching and student supervision:
- Co-supervision of PhD student Qian Zhang at Université Paris-Sud on “Breeding system evolution in Ficus and Moraceae.”
- Florinde Vessies (University of Amsterdam, BSc thesis): “The evolution of fruit dispersal syndromes in custard apples (Annonaceae).” University of Amsterdam.
- Orlando Schwery (University of Zurich, MSc thesis): “The influence of functional leaf traits and mountain association on species richness within the family of Ericaceae”.
- Anouk van ‘t Padje (Wageningen University, BUSS student project): “Functional traits in Rhamnaceae”.
- Natascha Fuhrer (University of Zurich, BSc summer project): “Functional traits in Proteaceae”.
Teaching-assistant at the Institute of Systematic Botany, University of Zurich, Switzerland (Mar 2011 – Jun 2015):
- BIO 225 Species and speciation; Diversification of angiosperms
- BIO 113 Evolution
- BIO 337 Basic stats with R
Student assistant at the Education and Competence Studies Group, Wageningen University, The Netherlands (Oct 2010 – Nov 2010).
SYNTHESYS grant (15 day visit at Botanical Gardens, Kew, UK)
Swiss National Science Foundation: Early Postdoc.Mobility fellowship (18 months) (75’000 CHF)
G& A. Claraz-Schenkung Foundation, Zurich:
- Grant towards conference attendance, Evolution, Brazil (June 2015, 1100 CHF)
- Grant towards costs of course on SDM, Denmark (August 2014, 617.50 CHF)
- Grant towards conference attendance, Evolution, U.S.A. (July 2014, 500.- CHF).
- Grant towards conference attendance, AETFAT, South Africa, and field work Australia (October 2013, 4865.- CHF.)
- Grant towards field work South Africa (September 2011, 800.- CHF)
Swiss Botanical Society:
- Grant towards conference attendance, Evolution, U.S.A. (July 2014, 500.- CHF)
- Grant towards conference attendance, ATBC, Brazil (June 2012, 500.- CHF.)
Alberta Mennega foundation:
- Grant towards field work, Ghana (October 2009, 800.- Euro)
Hugo de Vries foundation:
- Grant towards field work, Ghana (October 2009, 1000.- Euro)
PhD at University of Zurich awarded “cum laude” (distinction awarded to ~5% of PhD candidates based on quality of thesis and oral examination, awarded with $1000).
MSc at Wageningen University awarded “cum laude” (distinction awarded to ~5% of MSc candidates based on average course scores and quality of thesis).
Evolution conference Brazil award to participate in workshop on “Introduction to Meta-Analysis and Systematic Reviews” ($1000)
“Outstanding Student Award” from the International Botanical Congress, 23-29 July 2017, Shenzhen, China. ($2000)
Other academic activities:
- Reviewing Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, Ecography, Global Ecology and Biogeography, Journal of Biogeography, Oikos, Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics, Plant Systematics and Evolution, PLOS ONE, Scientific Reports, Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa, Book chapter, fwo grant proposal.
- PhD/Postdoc council Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED), University of Amsterdam (Netherlands)
- Search committees for professor Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED) Population and Evolutionary Biology (PEB) group (BAC committee) and PhD students, University of Amsterdam (Netherlands)
- Editor Amsterdam Science Magazine, Amsterdam, Netherlands: http://amsterdamscience.org/
- Seminar committee IBED, University of Amsterdam
- Origins Center, the Netherlands, “predicting evolution game-changer” participant http://www.origins-center.nl/
April 2012, University of Potsdam, Potsdam (Germany): “Diversifcation rate consequences of Forest to Fynbos trait shifts and the influence of fire in the Cape Floristic Region”.
April 2015, Université Paris-Sud, Orsay (France): “The role of plant functional traits in Cenozoic angiosperm radiations in Mediterranean-type ecosystems”.
April 2016, Estación Biológica de Doñana, Seville (Spain) “A juicy topic: the effect of fruit traits on palm diversification”.
Participation in conferences:
Feb 2012 (Oral): Biology 2012, Fribourg (Switzerland): “The connection between fire, plant functional traits and adaptive radiations in the Cape Floristic Region, South-Africa”.
Jun 2012 (Oral): Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC), Bonito (Brazil): “Diversification rate and functional trait shifts: consequences of Forest – Fynbos transitions in the Cape Floristic Region”.
Feb 2013 (Poster): Biology 2013, Basel (Switzerland): “Parallel shifts in leaf morphology to summer-drought conditions in Rhamnaceae (Rosales)”.
Dec 2013 (Oral): Systematics without Borders, ASBS, Sydney (Australia): “Leaf trait evolution in the Proteaceae”.
Jan 2014 (Oral): AETFAT, Stellenbosch (South Africa): “Is the Cape Phyliceae radiation extraordinary?”
Jun 2014 (Poster): Radiations, Zurich (Switzerland): “Does the interaction between Mediterranean-type ecosystems (MTEs) and typical MTE-traits affect diversification rates in Rhamnaceae?”
Jun 2014 (Oral): Evolution 2014, Raleigh NC (U.S.A): “Functional traits, biomes and diversification rates in Rhamnaceae”. Watch online.
Nov 2014 (Poster): Radiation and Extinction: Investigating Clade Dynamics in Deep Time, London (England): “The effect of Mediterranean-type ecosystems and functional leaf traits on diversification rates in Rhamnaceae”.
Jun 2015 (Oral): Evolution 2015, Guarujá (Brazil): “Niche and trait evolutionary rates are correlated during evolutionary radiation”. Watch online.
Aug 2015 (Oral): Systematics Biennial Conference, Oxford (England): “The evolution of niches and traits during the Proteaceae radiation”.
Aug 2015 (Poster): Systematics Biennial Conference, Oxford (England): “Frugivory, functional traits and the diversification of a tropical angiosperm family: Annonaceae (Magnoliales)”.
May 2016 (Oral): EUNOPS, Gran Canaria (Spain): “Diversification slow-down of large-fruited palm lineages after extinction of megafauna”.
Jan 2017 (Oral): International Biogeography Society (IBS), Tucson AZ (U.S.A.): “Global signals of extinction and adaptation in a tropical keystone plant family”.
Feb 2017 (Oral): MEDECOS meeting, Seville (Spain): “Convergence and evolutionary predisposition in the assembly of mediterranean-type floras.”
Feb 2017 (Oral): Netherlands Annual Ecology Meeting (NAEM), Lunteren (Netherlands): “Frugivory and plant radiations: which ecologies promote speciation in the tropics?”
Scientific video for NESCent Evolution video contest, 2016: “The fate of rain forests”. Watch online.
Scientific video for NESCent Evolution video contest, finalist, screened at Evolution 2015 Guarujá (Brazil) (June 2015): “Convergence in Mediterranean Ecosystems”. Watch online.
Scientific video for NESCent Evolution video contest, finalist, screened at Evolution 2014 Raleigh NC (U.S.A) (June 2014): “Exaptations versus Adaptations”. Watch online.
Public lecture, Friends of the Botanical Garden, Zürich, Switzerland, April 2014, on Proteaceae in Australia (in German).
Public lecture, Friends of the Botanical Garden, Zürich, Switzerland, August 2013, on functional morphology of Mediterranean plants.
Languages and other skills:
Dutch (mother tongue), English (excellent), German, Spanish (intermediate).
DNA extraction, PCR, Gel electrophoresis, Cloning, Sequencing.
Microsoft office, SPSS, R, Mesquite, MrBayes, Tracer, PartitionFinder, BayesRate, BEAST, Python.
Phylogenetic comparative methods, species distribution modelling, phylogenetic and biogeographic reconstruction, molecular dating, functional trait measurements, geometric morphometrics, statistics (generalized linear modelling, mixed-effects modelling), R programming.
(Scientific) video making and editing. Watch online.