Tjomme van Mastrigt
Fred de Boer (WUR)
Henk van der Jeugd (NIOO)
Kevin Matson (WUR)
Netherlands Institute of Ecology
Description PhD project
I am a behavioural ecologist with a particular interest in birds. This started from an early age. Once I started my bachelor studies in biology, I extended my interest to insects and plants. During the summers, I spent most of my time outside, working on several vegetation surveys in the coastal dune slacks of Meijendel.
In my previous work, I used field experiments to study the roles of bird song in mate choice and begging behaviour in ‘resolving’ evolutionary conflicts over allocation of parental care. After graduating, I worked as a research assistant at the Department of Terrestrial Ecology at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology and shortly as a researcher at Bureau Waardenburg.
During my time at Department of Terrestrial Ecology, I worked on the ecological interactions between plants, their soil biota, herbivores, and pollinators. The interactions excite me most in ecology. The interplay of hosts, vectors, and viruses is at the core of the one health project. For me this was an important reason to apply. My project aims to gain insight in how bird population dynamics are affected by arboviruses and their vectors.
In the next four years, I aim to grow as a person and particularly, as a scientist, while we will work together towards a better understanding of what determines and predicts arbovirus spread. Apart from my passion for the natural world, I enjoy playing floorball with my sports team in Utrecht, running through the woods, and reading.