Jun 2018 – Current:
Head of research group “Evolution and Adaptation”, German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig, Germany. Work currently only 80%.
Jun 2016 – May 2018:
Postdoc at the Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED) at the University of Amsterdam (Funded by NWO grant to Daniel Kissling), The Netherlands. On Maternity leave from November 2017-Mar 2018. From March 2018 onwards 80%.
Aug 2015-May 2016:
Postdoc at Université Paris-Sud, Lab. Écologie, Systématique, Évolution (ESE), France (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.
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 CHF).
- Outstanding Student Award from the International Botanical Congress, 23-29 July 2017, Shenzhen, China. ($1500).
- 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).
Teaching and student supervision:
Jan 2017 – Current: Teaching certificate BKO (expected to be accomplished in May 2018 at University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands).
Sep 2015 – Current: Co-supervision of PhD student Qian Zhang at Université Paris-Sud (France) on “Breeding system evolution in Ficus and Moraceae.”
Jan 2017 – May 2018: Course coordinator for “Grand Challenges in Human Ecosphere Interactions”, within the MSc track “Future Planet Ecosystem Sciences” (University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands).
Sep 2016 – May 2018: Lecturer at University of Amsterdam (Netherlands) in several courses:
- Evolutiebiologie theorie (2nd year BSc Biology)
- Biodiversity & Global Change (3rd BSc year Biology and Future Planet Studies)
- Grand Challenges of Human-Ecosystem interactions (1st year MSc Earth Sciences)
April 2016 – May 2018: Supervising student projects at the University of Amsterdam (Netherlands):
- Leon van der Sande (BSc thesis): “Primates, their gape widths and anachronistic fruits on Madagascar”.
- Daphne Vink (MSc thesis, 2017): “Geographical co-variation of primate colour vision and palm fruit (Arecaceae) colour”.
- Garbriel Muñoz (MSc thesis, 2017): “Addressing the connectivity of Raphia taedigera palm swamps in Central America”.
- Jorin Veen (BSc thesis, 2017): “Co-variation between the visual system of primates and the colour of fig (Ficus) and palm (Arecaceae) fruits across Africa”.
- Florinde Vessies (BSc thesis, 2016): “The evolution of fruit dispersal syndromes in custard apples (Annonaceae).”
Mar 2011 – Jun 2015: Teaching assistant at the Institute of Systematic Botany, University of Zurich (Switzerland):
- BIO 225 Species and speciation, Diversification of angiosperms (3rd year BSc Biology)
- BIO 113 Evolution (1st year BSc Biology)
- BIO 337 Basic stats with R (MSc Biology)
Mar 2011 – Jun 2015: Supervising student projects at the Institute of Systematic Botany, University of Zurich (Switzerland):
- 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”.
Oct 2010 – Nov 2010: Student assistant at the Education and Competence Studies Group, Wageningen University (Netherlands).
Other academic activities:
- Reviewing American Journal of Botany; Biological Journal of the Linnean Society; Ecography; Global Ecology and Biogeography; Journal of Biogeography; Journal of Vegetation Science; Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution; Nature Ecology & Evolution; New Phytologist; Oikos; Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics; Plant Systematics and Evolution; PLOS ONE; Proceedings of the Royal Society B; 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 committees German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig, Germany; Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED), University of Amsterdam (Netherlands).
- Origins Center, the Netherlands, “predicting evolution game-changer” participant http://www.origins-center.nl/.
- Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences (China) (2017): “Frugivory-related traits affect speciation, extinction and adaptive evolution of tropical palms”.
- Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences (China) (2017): “Frugivory-related traits affect speciation, extinction and adaptive evolution of tropical palms”.
- Leipzig University (Germany) (2017): “Frugivory-related traits promote the distribution and diversification of tropical plants.”
- Estación Biológica de Doñana, Seville (Spain) (2016): “A juicy topic: the effect of fruit traits on palm diversification”.
- Université Paris-Sud, Orsay (France) (2015): “The role of plant functional traits in Cenozoic angiosperm radiations in Mediterranean-type ecosystems”.
- University of Potsdam, Potsdam (Germany) (2012): “Diversification rate consequences of Forest to Fynbos trait shifts and the influence of fire in the Cape Floristic Region”.
- Wageningen University, Wageningen (Netherlands) (2011): “The role of plant functional traits in Cenozoic angiosperm radiations”.
Talks at conferences (unless ‘poster’ is indicated):
- EUNOPS, Gothenburg (Sweden): “Palm fruit color drives the distribution of frugivorous primates”.
- Geobiodiversity – An Integrative Approach Expanding Humboldt’s Vision, Frankfurt (Germany): “Extinction and adaptation of megafaunal-fruited
palms under historical global change”.
- International Botanical Congress (IBC), Shenzhen (China): “Which fleshy fruit traits allow for long-distance dispersal? A deep-time perspective from the custard apple family (Annonaceae)”.
- International Botanical Congress (IBC), Shenzhen (China): “Global signals of extinction and adaptation in megafaunal-fruited plants: Insights from a keystone tropical plant family (Palms, Arecaceae)”
- International Biogeography Society (IBS), Tucson AZ (U.S.A.): “Global signals of extinction and adaptation in a tropical keystone plant family”.
- MEDECOS meeting, Seville (Spain): “Convergence and evolutionary predisposition in the assembly of mediterranean-type floras.”
- Netherlands Annual Ecology Meeting (NAEM), Lunteren (Netherlands): “Frugivory and plant radiations: which ecologies promote speciation in the tropics?”
- EUNOPS, Gran Canaria (Spain): “Diversification slow-down of large-fruited palm lineages after extinction of megafauna”.
- Evolution, Guarujá (Brazil): “Niche and trait evolutionary rates are correlated during evolutionary radiation”. Watch online.
- Systematics Biennial Conference, Oxford (U.K.): “The evolution of niches and traits during the Proteaceae radiation”.
- Systematics Biennial Conference (Poster), Oxford (England): “Frugivory, functional traits and the diversification of a tropical angiosperm family: Annonaceae (Magnoliales)“.
- AETFAT, Stellenbosch (South Africa): “Is the Cape Phyliceae radiation extraordinary?”
- Evolution, Raleigh NC (U.S.A): “Functional traits, biomes and diversification rates in Rhamnaceae”. Watch online.
- Radiations (Poster), Zurich (Switzerland): “Does the interaction between Mediterranean-type ecosystems (MTEs) and typical MTE-traits affect diversification rates in Rhamnaceae?”
- Radiation and Extinction: Investigating Clade Dynamics in Deep Time (Poster), London (England): “The effect of Mediterranean-type ecosystems and functional leaf traits on diversification rates in Rhamnaceae”.
- Systematics without Borders, ASBS, Sydney (Australia): “Leaf trait evolution in the Proteaceae”.
- Biology 2013 (Poster), Basel (Switzerland): “Parallel shifts in leaf morphology to summer-drought conditions in Rhamnaceae (Rosales)”.
- Biology 2012, Fribourg (Switzerland): “The connection between fire, plant functional traits and adaptive radiations in the Cape Floristic Region, South Africa”.
- 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”.
- Bessensap 2018 – organised by the Dutch Science Foundation – event in which 400 scientists and journalists meet. Talk on how biodiversity emerges and who we should protect! (in dutch “Over hoe biodiversiteit tot stand komt en wie we moeten beschermen!”)
- Scientific video for NESCent Evolution video contest, 2016: “The fate of rain forests”, directed by R.E. Onstein
- Scientific video for NESCent Evolution video contest, finalist, screened at Evolution 2015 Guarujá (Brazil): “Convergence in Mediterranean Ecosystems”, directed by R.E. Onstein
- Scientific video for NESCent Evolution video contest, finalist, screened at Evolution 2014 Raleigh NC (U.S.A): “Exaptations versus Adaptations”, directed by R.E. Onstein
- Public lecture, Friends of the Botanical Garden, Zürich, Switzerland, 2014 (in German).
- Public lecture, Friends of the Botanical Garden, Zürich, Switzerland, 2013.
- Internship at the VPRO (Dutch Television Company), the National Science Quiz, the Netherlands (Sep 2010 – Jan 2011).
Visits / fieldwork abroad:
|Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden and Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences (China)||2017||4 weeks||Collaboration at Biogeography & Ecology group and data collection. Funded and invited by Prof. Yaowu Xing|
|Kew gardens, London (UK)||2017||3 weeks||Data collection (herbarium) funded by SYNTHESYS grant|
|Grenoble University, Grenoble (France)||2016||1 week||Workshop funded by France-Berkeley fund, invited by Prof. Brent Mishler and Dr. Wilfried Thuiller|
|University of California, Berkeley (U.S.A.)||2016||1 week||Workshop funded by France-Berkeley fund, invited by Dr. Hervé Sauquet and Dr. Chelsea Specht|
|Museum National d’ Histoire Naturelle, Paris (France)||2015||2 weeks||Data collection (herbarium)|
|Université Paris-Sud, Paris (France)||2015-2016||10 months||Postdoc|
|University of Zurich, Zurich (Switzerland)||2011-2015||4 years||PhD|
|Kirstenbosch botanical garden, SANBI + Bolus herbarium, University of Cape Town, Cape Town (South Africa)||2014||1 week||Data collection,
|Royal Botanical Gardens Melbourne, Sydney, Atherton and Perth (Australia)||2013||6 weeks||Data collection,
|Macquarie University, Sydney (Australia)||2013||2 weeks||Data measurements,
|University of Western Australia, Perth (Australia)||2013||2 weeks||Data measurements,
|Cape Floristic Region + Bolus herbarium, University of Cape Town, Cape Town (South Africa)||2011||3 weeks||Data measurements,
|Kakum National Park (Ghana)||2009||1 month||Data collection, collaboration MSc|
|Inti Wara Yassi (Bolivia) and La Tortuga Feliz (Costa Rica)||2008||3 months||Volunteer work and internship to protect sea turtles and abused wildlife in Latin America|
- Bayesian Modelling Summer School, Lygra, Norway.
- Gender bias training, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
- Structural Equation Modelling with Bill Shipley, Graduate School for Production Ecology & Resource Conservation (PE&RC), Wageningen, the Netherlands.
- Introduction to Meta-Analysis and Systematic Reviews, pre-Evolution workshop organized by Jessica Gurevitch (Stony Brook University) and Marc J. Lajeunesse (University of South Florida), Guaruja, Brazil.
- Postdoc funding and career management, University of Zurich, Switzerland.
- Modelling species distributions under climate change, organised by David Nogues Bravo, Copenhagen, Denmark.
- Filmmaking for Scientists, University of Zurich, Switzerland.
- Mixed effects models in R and AS-REML Course, University of Zurich, Switzerland.
- Topics in Evolutionary Biology, University of Zurich, Switzerland.
- Supervising students – dealing with roles and relationships, University of Zurich, Switzerland.
- Scientific Writing Practice I: General Principles, Plant Science Center, Zurich, Switzerland.
- Introduction to Geometric Morphometrics, Transmitting Science, Barcelona, Spain.
- Contemporary Analysis of Ecology: Generalized Linear Models in R, University of Zurich, Switzerland.
- Evolutionary Dynamics, University of Groningen, the Netherlands.
- Alpine Plant Ecology, Plant Science Center, Basel, Switerland.
- Effective Publishing, University of Zurich, Switzerland.
- R4ALL, University of Zurich, Switzerland.
- Evolutionary approaches to biodiversity science, pre-ATBC workshop organised by Susanna Magallón (UNAM, México) & Lúcia Lohmann (USP, Brazil), Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil.
Languages and skills:
- Languages: Dutch: native; English: near-native; German, Spanish, French; conversational.
- Laboratory skills: DNA extraction, PCR, Gel electrophoresis, Cloning, Sequencing.
- Computer skills: Microsoft office, SPSS, R, Mesquite, MrBayes, Tracer, PartitionFinder, BayesRate, BEAST, Python.
- Methods: 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.
- Other: (Scientific) video making and editing.