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Research interest and projects
As an 'ecologist gone genomics' I am interested in the genomic signatures of the entire history of species, from speciation, past demography towards domestication, inbreeding, hybridization and selection. During my PhD I investigated genomic variation within wild boar, domesticated pigs and closely related species to detect signatures of selection, inbreeding and hybridization. This work resulted in my thesis "The hybrid nature of pig genomes".
Currently I am working as a postdoc on the prediction of deleterious variation in livestock in a Breed4Food-STW partnership program. We aim to go beyond mutations in coding sequence to predict phenotypic effects of variants. I also have an ongoing collaboration with NIOO and the great tit hapmap consortium on the genetics of great tits (Parus major).
Hybridization among species is much more common than previously thought, does not necessarily have negative consequences. I gladly communicate our research to a broader, non-scientific audience through news items, workshops and other means.