I work for Wageningen University (WU) since 1996, in the area of animal breeding and genetics. From 1996 to 2000, I did my PhD-research at WU on the topic "Prediction of rates of inbreeding in selected populations", which was done in close collaboration with Prof. John Woolliams of the Roslin Institute. Since 2001, I am assistant professor at the Animal Breeding and Genomics Centre.
In the past 15 years, my research has mainly focussed on the quantitative genetics of social interactions among individuals and on the transmission of infectious diseases. For research on social interactions, I collaborate closely with dr. Esther Ellen. Using so-called Indirect Genetic Effects (IGE) models, I have shown that IGE can contribute substantially to heritable variation and response to selection, but breeders may need to modify their breeding schemes in order to utilize this heritable variation. For the research on the transmission of infectious diseases, I collaborate with Prof. Mart de Jong. Together we work on quantitative genetic modelling of the transmission of infectious diseases, on the estimation of the genetic effects on transmission and on the design of breeding programs that aim to reduce the prevalence of infectious diseases in livestock populations. Since 2001, I have supervised 21 PhD-students on a variety of topics, and currently I am supervising about 6 PhD-students. I am a teacher in the courses Modern Statistics for the Life Sciences, Population and Quantitative Genetics and Life History Evolution.