I received my PhD in Evolutionary Morphology at Leiden University on the topic of cranial adaptations during early avian diversification. After receiving my PhD I started at the Delft University of Technology were I contributed to an interfaculty research project aimed to optimize all relevant steps in the procedure to place partial or complete shoulder prostheses, including the design, the operational procedures and the actual placement of the prostheses. This all to improve the post-operative shoulder functionality of patients. This research project was in collaboration with the medical centres of the Erasmus University Rotterdam and Leiden University.
I transferred to Faculty of Veterinary Sciences at Utrecht University to become an Assistant Professor at the department of Veterinary Anatomy and Physiology. I lectured veterinary anatomy, physiology, general zoology and evolutionary biology to student in veterinary and biomedical sciences. I also lectured at the Utrecht Liberal Arts College (Utrecht University College), and had a part-time appointment at the University of Amsterdam to improve their general zoology course. My research on avian evolution continued, alongside projects on the biomechanics of animal locomotion, investigating the effects of disease in horses and dogs.
In 2008 I came to Wageningen University to focus again on biology, were I teach courses for students in Biology and Animal Sciences. I continue my research on avian evolution and biomechanics analyses of animal locomotion aimed to cure health problems in cows and other animals. In addition I participate in two bioinspired design projects investigating swimming in seahorses as inspiration for underwater robots, and ovipositors of parasitic wasps as inspiration for steerable medical needles. (photo Bram van de Straat)
WASP project in the spotlight
- 4 september 2017: WUR persbericht
"Legboor van de sluipwesp staat model voor medische naald"
- 4 september 2017: EOS Wetenschap
"Sluipwespen verbeteren medische naalden"
- 17 November 2018: Volkskrant: Infomercial front page
Additional info on the WUR website
"Sluipwesp helpt chirurg verder" / "Parasitic wasp inspires advancements in surgery"
- 17 November Movie explaning the bioinspired design of a steerable needle
17 November 2018: TU Delft:
"Sluipwesp helpt chirurg verder" / "Surgical tool inspired by parasitoid wasp"
- 20 November 2018: BNR nieuwsradio Science today (in Dutch)
"Zo slim als de sluipwesp"
- 23 November 2018: De Ingenieur
"Nieuwe naald kan heel diep het lichaam in" / "New needle reaches deep into the body"
- 26 November 2018 EOS Wetenschap
"Sluipwesp inspiratie voor flinterdunne chirurgische naald"
- 28 November 2018: RTL nieuws and on the website (in Dutch)
"Dunste operatienaald ter wereld afgekeken van wesp"
- December 2018: Wageningen World
"Afkijken bij de natuur"
- 25 January 2019: Alliance of Advanced BioMedical Engineering
"Ovipositor Inspires New Needle for Surgery"
- 25 April 2019 NWO Actueel
"Hoe biologen én ingenieurs leren van dieren"