dr.ir. SE (Sijmen) Schoustra

dr.ir. SE (Sijmen) Schoustra

Associate Professor UHD1

I use experimental approaches to study how organisms form communities and how they adapt to new challenges and into stable eco-systems. For this, I use two experimental model (1) traditional fermented products from Zambia and other parts of the world that contain complex natural microbial communities and (2) filamentous fungi (Aspergillus fumigatus) with/out selective pressures of azole fungicides.

While my main interest is in the study of microbial ecology and evolution using experimental systems, both the model system of traditional fermented foods as well as Aspergillus fumigatus fungal communities in the context of azole resistance have initiated many interdiscliplinary projects.

The work on traditional fermentation links to food fermentation, human nutrition and health and to women entrepreneurship. These projects aim to promote traditional fermented foods as a means to ensure food and nutrition security. 

The projects on Aspergillus fumigatus inform and are informed by policymakers, farmers and medical practitioners on risk assessments of azole resistance in various sectors and potential measures for mitigation.

I hold a PhD in Evolutionary Genetics and an MSc in Food Microbiology, both from Wageningen University. I performed postdoctoral studies at the University of Ottawa and at the University of Zambia in the field of experimental evolution.