I study the seasonal migrations of birds, from the continental-scale movements of species to the fine-scale behavior of individuals flying through the atmosphere. I use weather radar networks as well as individual tags to address questions in migration ecology, including when and where birds migrate, when and where birds die within the annual cycle, and how shifting patterns in mortality and recruitment of young birds cause bird abundances to change. I also develop software tools for biologists using weather radar as a tool in their research.
I am an ecologist with a background in physics, and my research bridges the disciplines of ecology, computer science, physics, and meteorology, addressing questions about the effects of global change on the distribution and seasonal migration of birds.
After receiving my Ph.D. at the Institute of Atomic and Molecular Physics in Amsterdam, I studied animal movement during postdoctoral appointments at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology, the University of Amsterdam, and the Netherlands Meteorological Institute. I have a continuing interest in understanding the role of individual decision making as a constituent of large-scale movement patterns, which I explored in individual tracking studies on dark-bellied brent geese (Brant) and Eurasian Oystercatchers.