Bio

I am currently employed as a data sctientist at Shintō Labs and live in Almere, the Netherlands. We make data-driven web applications, as platforms for practical data science applications, mostly for government clients. My work involves writing interactive web applications (using R and Shiny, data interfaces, analytical and data visualization tools.

I also offer R Training & Consulting through my company DataPelikaan. I offer customizable workshops from beginner to advanced level in R, on data analysis, programming, workflow & collaboration, and interactive web applications.

Before moving back to the Netherlands in 2018, I was an Associate Professor at the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment (Western Sydney University), where I worked on models of vegetation function and structure, as support for global models of climate change impact. I worked daily with complex datasets arising from scientific field experiments, in field and glasshouse studies on climate change impacts on plants.

I have written (or co-authored) many publications in the scientific literature. You can view a selection of them here, or browse the whole collection on gscholar. I have also written a lot of publicly available R code, summarized here.

In the nineties, I studied Forestry at Wageningen University. I quickly realized I enjoyed programming, and developing mathematical models, and customized my studies to include a lot of quantitative subjects. In 2000, I moved to Idaho (USA) to start on my PhD, where I developed a predictive model of forest growth, taking into account variations in the weather, forest attributes, and our understanding of tree physiology. In 2001 one of my supervisors suggested I learn the R language - a nerdy affair in those days. I was quickly hooked. From 2004 to 2008 I lived in Helsinki, Finland, where I worked as a post-doc on various models of tree and forest functioning.

In 2008 I moved to Sydney, Australia, to start as a post-doctoral researcher, investigating climate change effects on Eucalyptus trees. The intended 2 year stay turned into a decade, with eventual promotion to Associate Professor. My tasks were to carry out and lead research projects, supervise PhD students, write publications and give presentations, and teach from time to time. I developed a popular R course from scratch, and wrote a 300+ page manual used also by other institutions.