Research interests and experience
Species are not randomly distributed in nature, but occur in regular, predictable patterns. Explaining these patterns from an understanding of the relationships between species and their environment is my main drive for conducting ecological research.
During my doctoral research (http://webdoc.ubn.ru.nl/mono/v/verberk_w/matcsptoa.pdf), I developed a strong interest in how species traits in combination allow species to thrive in some environments but not in others. I used information on trait combinations to explain the response of freshwater macroinvertebrates to large-scale rewetting measures in raised bogs.
In addition, my interests and experience also includes other ecosystems (e.g. coral reefs, rivers, streams and fens) and other taxonomic groups (e.g. fish, terrestrial invertebrates, mammals).
My current research at the Institute of Water and Wetland Research of the Radboud University in Nijmegen involves a combination of physiological laboratory experiments and ecological field studies. It centres around the role of oxygen in the thermal physiology of aquatic invertebrates. I am interested if and how differences in a species’ thermal vulnerability can be predicted from their morphological and physiological traits that are related to oxygen supply and demand.
The research has funded by a Rubicon fellowship from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and is currently being funded by a EU Marie Curie fellowship.