I am from the Netherlands, where I obtained my BSc Biology (major: Ecology and Evolution) at the University of Groningen. Before starting my Masters, I investigated the genetic basis of parasitoid resistance in D. melanogaster with Bregje Wertheim in the Evolutionary Genetics lab at the University of Groningen.
I joined the Extavour lab during my final last semester of the Erasmus Mundus Master Programme in Evolutionary Biology (MEME). During the two years prior to joining the Extavour lab, this program gave me the opportunity to study at Uppsala University in Sweden, the University of Montpellier in France and the Ludwig Maximilians University (LMU) of Munich in Germany. At LMU I worked with Charissa de Bekker (currently at University of Central Florida; see UCF web page) on the characterization of candidate manipulation genes in the fungal entomopathogen Ophiocordyceps using both bioinformatics and molecular biology techniques.
I joined the Extavour lab for the spring semester of 2017. My main interest was to study genes that control ovariole number in Drosophilids, the evolutionary origins of these genes, and how their functions have changed in divergent lineages. I worked with Tarun Kumar to develop a high-throughput system to knock down target genes in somatic cells of the developing ovaries without affecting their function other tissues.
After completing my Master’s thesis, I remained in the Extavour lab as a Research Assistant, characterizing the in situ expression of genes with transcripts enriched in specific subcellular regions of cricket oocytes and early embryos.