I work for Wageningen University (WU) since 1996, in the area of animal breeding and genetics. From 1996 to 2000, I did my PhD-research at WU on the topic "Prediction of rates of inbreeding in selected populations", which was done in close collaboration with Prof. John Woolliams of the Roslin Institute. Since 2001, I am assistant professor at the Animal Breeding and Genomics Centre.
In the past 10 years, my research has mainly focussed on the quantitative genetics of social interactions among individuals, in close collaboration with dr. Esther Ellen. Using so-called Indirect Genetic Effects (IGE) models, I have shown that IGE can contribute substantially to heritable variation and response to selection, but breeders may need to modify their breeding schemes in order to utilize this heritable variation. Recently I have been working on extending those models to infectious diseases, in collaboration with Prof. Mart de Jong. Since 2001, I have supervised 12 PhD-students on a variety of topics, and currently I am supervising 6 PhD-students. I am a teacher in the BSc-course Animal Breeding and Genetics, and in the MSc-courses Population and Quantitative Genetics and Life History Evolution.
More recently my research focus has shifted to the integration of quantitative epidemiology and quantitative genetics, in collaboration with Prof. Mart de Jong of QVE-WUR. Together we work on quantitative genetic modelling of the transmission of infectious diseases, on the estimation of the genetic effects on transmission and on the design of breeding programs that aim to reduce the prevalence of infectious diseases in livestock populations.