I have lived on islands almost all my life. The sea was never far away. My natural curiosity for how things work, was satisfied by studying physics. The Introduction to Physical Oceanography course in my first year at University, perfectly combined physics with my need for the sea.
After finishing my Bachelor of Physics and a Master in Meteorology, Physical Oceanography and Climate, I worked at the Royal NIOZ (Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research). I started a Ph.D. in physical oceanography in Hobart, Australia in 2011 and finished in 2014. After that I was awarded a 2 year Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at Columbia University (New York City). From 2017 until 2019 I was employed at the School of Mathematics and Statistics of the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. Since November 2019 I started a Tenure Track at the NIOZ.
Texel Sint Maarten Tasmania Manhattan
Above is an example of an Arts and Science Outreach collaboration; a stop motion animation that explains how scientists measure the ocean using ARGO floats. Arts: Malou Zuidema. Science: Esmee van Wijk (CSIRO)
Public outreach can be an important tool to create awareness of for example climate related issues, and lead to larger public support for the related science that is required. Because public outreach can be fun and useful and is often required as a component for a scientific research proposal, public outreach is becoming a bigger part of scientists their jobs.
Arts and science collaborations provide one way to achieve public outreach. If you require a public outreach component in a proposal or want to have an alternative way to explain your scientific research to a more general crowd, my wife Malou Zuidema can help. She is an illustrator/teacher/artist who has a lot of experience collaborating with scientist to help translate their science into stop-motion animations or other forms of art. Check out her website for more information.
I like to take on the challenge to explain my science to an audience other than scientists. I've enjoyed doing this during 'open days' and my public Ph.D. presentation. This is something I enjoy doing, so please feel free to contact about science outreach opportunities.
Sports and Science
Running through the dunes on Texel (the Netherlands). Photo by John Cluderay.
I'm convinced that sports is beneficial for us in more ways than we currently understand.
I personally use sports for all the usual benefits such as staying fit, sharp, relaxed, healthy and energetic, but on top of that I also use it to be more productive at work. I strongly believe that physical activity makes me generally more efficient in my work. In particular when I do my exercise when my ability to focus and concentrate reduces (usually about halfway throughout the working day). A light intensity, 40-60 minute, physical activity (jog, swim, cycling, soccer) will recharge my body and mind. I then have a far more productive second halve of the day, than when I would not exercise.
I'm convinced that our society will thrive if the general concesus would change such that breakes for exercise are a rule rather than an exception.
Comparing uphill cycling to upwind cycling
2017 - Translating Uphill Cycling into a Head-Wind and Vice Versa.
I grew up in the coastal regions of The Netherlands, which is as flat as a pancake. Having to commute to work by bike, I required to battle wind, rather then hills. However, when I moved to Hobart (Australia), commuting to work included battling hills rather then wind. I couldn't help myself thinking how wind and hills relate, and found myself calculating an incline of a hill, as an "Incline Equivalent Windspeed".
This study is published in the Journal of Science and is open access. I wrote a short piece on this (in Dutch and English) regarding the last mountain that needed to be climbed for the 2017 Tour de France.