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Jurrian van Irsel


Tracking of movement, density and mortality of susceptible amplifying hosts (birds, rodents, bats, mammals)


Ruud Foppen (SOVON)

Primary Supervisor

Henk van der Jeugd (NIOO)


Kevin Matson (WUR)


Netherlands Institute of Ecology


Description PhD project

I specialised in avian research, as bird watching is my passion. I am often in nature reserves such as “de Zouweboezem” near Utrecht or “Huis ter Heide” near Tilburg. I have been monitoring breeding birds and counting migrating birds in both the Netherlands and Iceland. Besides bird watching, I also have a passion for cycling and regularly go out climbing some hills (by racing bike) in Nijmegen. Moreover, combining cycling with bird watching is the perfect way to discover new areas or spot great bird species.

During my masters, I focused on learning statistical approaches to determine population demography. After my master, I worked at Sovon, Dutch Centre for Field Ornithology, for six months where I mainly focused on spatial modelling.

During the PhD, I want to extend my knowledge on birds, research, and statistical modelling. The topic of the PhD fits my research interests perfectly, as it combines avian research, population dynamics, and movement ecology. Given the high impact on society (or at least the impact on the active bird watching society by the loss of common blackbirds), I hope that at the end of the track we are able to understand the dynamics of a virus outbreak and prepare ourselves for new outbreaks.