I started my PhD, supervised by Astrid T. Groot, in August 2016. My research focuses on chemical sexual communication in moths to better understand mating preferences and resulting sexual selection.
At the moment, I am focusing on mate choice in the tobacco budworm Heliothis virescens (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) . This generalist insect species is a major pest in North America, feeding on crops like tobacco, soy bean, and cotton. While the female sex pheromone attracts males over a long range, the male emits pheromone in proximity to the female. My aim is to determine the effect of male traits involved in close-range courtship on mate choice and individual fitness.
Besides my research I am a member of the IBED PhD/Postdoc council (http://ibed.uva.nl/phd-pd/council.html). My role in the council is to facilitate an active dialogue between the PhDs/Postdocs at IBED and the PE&RC graduate school (https://www.pe-rc.nl). Furthermore, I am the contact PhD for starting PhD candidates in the Evolutionary and Population Biology Department.