Heidy den Besten obtained a BSc in Food Technology and a BSc in Mathematics. She completed her MSc Food Technology cum laude specialising in Food Safety at Wageningen University, after which she started her PhD project entitled "Quantification of Bacillus cereus stress responses" in the Laboratory of Food Microbiology of Wageningen University. Her PhD research combined a mathematical modelling approach with single-cell analyses and molecular techniques for elucidating B. cereus adaptive stress responses. In 2011 she started as Assistant Professor in the Laboratory of Food Microbiology of Wageningen University. Her research domain focuses on quantitative pathogen ecology interlinking functional genomics and modelling of microbial behaviour. She supervises BSc, MSc and PhD projects and teaches in the MSc and BSc Food Microbiology programmes.