My PhD project will contribute to the European Horizon 2020 project, Innovative Management of Animal Genetic resources (IMAGE). My project aims to develop comprehensive genome information for a more precise and meaningful evaluation of animal genetic resources, which will be particularly relevant and innovative for local or non-commercial rare breeds. The target of my PhD are the traditional chicken breeds of The Netherlands, which come in many forms and varieties as a result of on-going changes in selection pursued by the hobby breeders. I will use whole-genome sequence data to identify the extent and nature of key demographic events, including inbreeding, hybridization, and changes in selection, and functionally characterise variants underlying unique phentoypes or inbreeding risk. Although domesticated populations are the main topic of my study, I aim to develop generic methods and concepts universally applicable to any managed species.
I am also a member of the WIAS PhD council since 2017. As chair of the WIAS Science Day committee, I organized the WIAS Science Day 2018, an annual scientific event organised by and for PhD candidates of the WIAS graduate school (Wageningen Institute of Animal Sciences). The purpose of this event is to bring together PhD candidates to present and share their research and exchange ideas with staff members about current developments in the field of animal sciences.The theme of the 2018 edition was WIASS: Work on your Impact in Animal Science and Society.