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Sam Boerlijst


Track 15: Experimental work on effects of global change scenarios on vector population parameters


Peter van Bodegom (LU)

Primary Supervisor

Maarten Schrama (LU)


Eline Boelee (Deltares)


CML, Deltares


Description PhD project

Hey there! I’m Sam, a molecular ecologist with a thirst for knowledge and coffee. I like to explore, not only by travelling, but also by finding new and creative solutions to the problems I encounter.

In my off-time, I like to learn to use (and build) new tools, ranging from 3D printers to embroidery machines. Apart from that, I play tabletop games with friends, cook, draw, do nature photography and play piano. I also enjoy bad puns, so… my apologies in advance.

A common theme for my projects is my focus on use of molecular detection methods for (routine) biodiversity monitoring. For my bachelor’s project, I studied the spatio-temporal distribution of macro- invertebrate environmental DNA (eDNA), the DNA that organisms shed into their environment. We found out that invertebrate eDNA can be highly heterogeneously distributed in water bodies. Thereafter, I compared eDNA-based detection to traditional capturing methods for mosquitoes on the Dutch Leeward Isles. eDNA- based detection turned out to be as good as traditional techniques. For my master’s project, I tried to genotype the African lion from stool samples, which proved to be unreliable.

As I like to investigate human impacts on biodiversity and want to stay in ecological and molecular research, a PhD at this consortium was an ideal opportunity. Apart from experimentally investigating the resilience of these important vectors, I hope to build an interdisciplinary network and find new collaborations within the field of vector ecology.