My field of expertise is bioinformatics, including sequence analysis (genetics, genomics and metagenomics), biostatistics, tool development, and experimental design. As a biologist, I see the computer as a tool to answer biological questions. The reciprocal exchange of ideas and results between bioinformatics and laboratory or field studies is the fastest way to obtain new biological knowledge.
I have studied most taxonomic groups and several biological and medical systems, but my emphasis has been on microbes. I am fascinated by the dynamics in their genome evolution and in the interactions with each other and with their environment. Phenomena like horizontal gene transfer and micro-diversity are of great importance not only in microbial genome evolution, but also in microbial ecology and medicine. To understand these phenomena requires new tools and technologies, as well as well-designed experiments. My daily work consists of the development of bioinformatic tools to study these phenomena from different angles, the analysis of large-scale datasets, as well as collaborating with microbial ecologists, evolutionary and medical microbiologists to interpret our results.
I obtained my PhD in Bioinformatics for Medical Sciences at Radboud University Nijmegen in 2007.