Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics

Core committee

The core committee oversees the organisation of all activities of the PhD/PD council, including monthly seminars and open meetings with IBED management.

2017/2018 Core Committee:

  • Mr E.A. (Ernesto) Villacis Pérez MSc

    PhD Candidate - Chair

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Ernesto is a PhD candidate in the Evolutionary and Population Biology department within IBED. He is interested in studying the genomic signature of evolutionary processes within plant-invertebrate interactions. He obtained a BSc in Biology and a BSc in Applied Ecology in his home country, Ecuador. Later on, he obtained an MSc in Ecology and Evolution in the UvA. In 2015, he joined the PhD Council to help develop a platform that enhances the grad-school experience, and also to link the interests of the PhD and PD community of the institute with those of the faculty. He is currently the chair of the PhD/PD IBED council.


Rachid started his PhD in 2015 in the Laboratory for Molecular & Chemical Ecology working on plant defenses and the antagonistic interactions between spider mites and tomato plants. Before his PhD, he obtained both his Bachelor's degree in Biology and Master's degree in Biological Sciences (Green Life Sciences) at the University of Amsterdam, with internships in Seewiesen, Amsterdam and Jena. By joining the council, he hopes to contribute to its continuous support of PhD's and PD's at IBED. 

Naomi is a PhD candidate in the Evolutionary and Population Biology Department at IBED. After having obtained her MSc degree in Ecology at the University of Zurich in Switzerland, she moved to Amsterdam in 2016. Her PhD research focuses on chemical communication in moths to better understand sexual selection and speciation processes.

She joined the PhD council as representative for the PE&RC graduate school. Her role is to facilitate an active dialogue between the PhDs/postdocs at IBED and the PE&RC graduate school, with the aim to support members and provide the opportunity to get involved in a vibrant community of young researchers on a national level. Naomi is convinced that the work of the PhD council helps to bring PhDs and postdocs together to form a good and welcoming social environment and contribute to an active and creative scientific community.

  • dr. R.E. (Renske) Onstein

    Postdoctoral Researcher

    Postdoctoral Researcher

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Renske Onstein is a Postdoc in macro-evolution and -ecology, associated to IBED's Theoretical and Computationl Ecology department. She is interested in global diversity patterns and the processes driving those. Currently her research focuses on the interaction between frugivores and fruit functional traits and how this may have affected diversification rates in the palm family. Renske joined the PhD and Postdoc Council to help connect young researchers across the Institute and to plan activities and events.

Jacques started as a postdoc in the Theoretical and Computational Ecology department at IBED in July 2015. His research is partly experimental and partly theoretical, with a focus on the role of dispersal in eco-evolutionary dynamics.

Jacques joined the PhD/Postdoc council to help postdocs to connect, highlight opportunities that could aid in postdoc development, but also provide a platform for postdocs to view their concerns.


  • Mr B.A.J. (Baptiste) Poursat MSc

    PhD Candidate

    PhD Candidate

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Baptiste is a PhD candidate at the University of Amsterdam (FAME & ELD) and at the VU University of Amsterdam (Department of Molecular Cell Biology) since May 2015. His researches are focused on the adaptation of microorganisms to environmental pollution and its implication in the biodegradation of persistent chemicals. Baptiste joined the PhD/PD council to contribute to the social life of the university, and to try to connect the PhD students and postdoc of the University of Amsterdam and the Vu University of Amsterdam.

  • Ms S.F. (Silke) van Daalen MSc

    PhD Candidate

    PhD candidate
    T: 0205258419

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Silke has just started the second year of my PhD doing research in the Theoretical and Computational Ecology group at IBED. My research concerns variation in lifetime reproductive output. Specifically, I aim to incorporate different sources of variation into Markov chain models, and evaluating the contributions of these sources in populations of humans, plants, and animals.

As a member of the P(h)D council, I represent TCE and I’m a point of contact for information and questions about PhD teaching duties, and serve as the council secretary. I enjoy being part of the council as it allows me to be involved in the organization of IBED. Working on the P(h)D council, I hope to contribute to a friendly working and learning environment within IBED, one where PhD’s and Postdocs can meet each other, discuss science, solve problems, and generally just have a good time at IBED.

Elspeth began her PhD in June 2017 in the Theoretical and Computational Ecology group. Her research centres around the analysis of movement patterns in seabirds from GPS data obtained through the UvA-BiTS bird tracking system, with particular focus on individual behaviour with respect to weather, resources and interactions involving wind parks.

By joining the council she hopes to help facilitate social and academic integration for new and international PhDs alongside helping to support the PhD and Postdoc community at IBED through the organisation of a wide variety of events. 

Published by  IBED


16 November 2017