I am a PhD candidate in Theoretical Ecology and Mathematical Demography in the TCE group in IBED, the University of Amsterdam.
My research focus is on variation in lifetime reproductive output (LRO), more specifically, the underlying causes of this variation. The number of offspring individuals produce over their lifetime is often quite variable within a given population or species, and given that LRO is a proxy for both individual fitness and population growth rate, such variation can be of great consequence to the ecology and evolution of a species. My research is aimed partly at developing models that take into account different sources of variation in the life histories of species, for example, including stochastic processes, individual differences, density-dependence, etc. Another goal of my PhD is to comparatively investigate the contribution of such sources of variation in lifetime reproduction across different species of birds, animals, and plants. To that end, I work with a large database of matrix population models, called COM(P)ADRE. How variation in an important life history trait such as lifetime reproductive output arises is a question with relevance not just in ecology and evolution, but also in demography, wildlife management, and pest and disease control.