Junior Science Lab
Yearly, I teach about plant-insect interactions to children in the age of 8 to 12 in collaboration with Wageningen Wetenschapsknooppunt. In Junior Science Labs and visits to primary schools, I share my fascination for ecology. During my lecture, I show the intriguing life style of parasitic wasps with movies of wasps attacking caterpillars and development of the wasp larvae inside the caterpillars. In practicals the children experience how it is to be a researcher. They study the body plan of insects under a microscope and do small experiments with live parasitic wasps. Together we ask questions of how parasitic wasps find plants that are infested with the caterpillars they look for, what cues are needed to find the caterpillar when the wasp has landed on the plant, and which parasitic wasps are associated with which species of insect herbivore. I much enjoy the curiosity for insects that the children show during the Junior Science Lab and am frequently amazed by their knowledge and questions they come up with.
Popular science writing
As editor of the full colour magazine, DN Magazine, of the poison frog association Dendrobatidae Nederland, I am writing popular science articles about discoveries on poison frogs. Twice a year, I write a sequel with short popular summaries of recent scientific findings on poison frogs, ranging from description of new species to behavioural, evolutionary and ecological insights. I interview young scientists studying poison frogs about their field work and give an in depth story about their research. The DN Magazine is in Dutch language, released four times a year and reaches over a thousand members that have a passion for poison frogs. Together with two co-authors, I published a book on poison frogs that is the most complete work with species accounts, husbandry information and biology of poison frogs available. I contributed in particular by writing about the biology of poison frogs.