NMME (Noraly) van Meer MSc

NMME (Noraly) van Meer MSc

PhD candidate

I am a PhD researcher in the Experimental Zoology Group at Wageningen University and Research. I did both my BSc and MSc Biology at Wageningen University, specialising towards functional morphology and biomechanics. In 2019, I won a WIAS grant for my PhD proposal and started my PhD.


During my MSc thesis I unraveled what the internal part of the ovipositor of a parasitic wasp looks like, and what muscles are responsible for what movements of the outer ovipositor by analysing high-resolution 3D scans. During my internship I went to the Brainerd Lab of Brown University in Providence, RI, in the US. Here, I l discovered how bamboo sharks move food towards the oesophagus after they sucked it into the oral cavity with a technique called XROMM (X-Ray Reconstruction of Moving Morphology). I published both projects, the papers can be found under Publications.


I currently research the developmental changes in muscle morphology and activation patterns in larval fish. In this project, we have made high-resolution 3D scans of the muscles of zebrafish larvae, and we have written dedicated Python code to automatically segment and quantifiy individual muscle fibres. With this quantified data, we can investigate the difference in muscle fibre size, shape and orientation within the body both within the body as over time. In addition, we are building an experimental set-up that is dedicated to film muscle activity patterns in high-speed. More information on the muscle morphology part of my PhD can be read in this  Just keep swimming; how do baby fish develop their muscles to do this while growing?.


Research biomechanics, functional morphology, musculature, 3D image analysis