Before I came to CREED, I studied econometrics at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. My master's thesis, called Apples and Oranges, was on comparisons of wealth, income and price levels across countries or across time. Then I switched to evolutionary game theory and in 2004 I defended my PhD thesis Survival of the Fair: modelling the evolution of altruism, fairness and morality. Gerard van der Laan supervised both of them. After my defense, I received a VENI-grant from the NWO (the Netherlands Science Foundation), which allowed me to continue to drift towards the boundary with biology at CREED. Here I also benefit from the regular interaction with Maus Sabelis and others at the Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED). Im 2009 and 2011 I was at the Program for Evolutionary Dynamics (PED) at Harvard. Since 2012 I am a member of De Jonge Akademie (The Young Academy), which is part of the KNAW (Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences).
The week before my thesis defense, Witho Oost interviewed me for the IKON
radio program 'de
andere wereld van zondagavond' .
Around the same time Martijn van Calmthout wrote an article in the science section of the Volkskrant on my thesis and how it was received at the Vrije Universiteit.
In 2004 VPRO's Noorderlicht had a summer science series called 'de Zomerdenktank'. Primatologist Frans de Waal, theologist and physicist Wim Drees and I were invited for the episode on altruism, morality and evolution.