About me

I am an assistant professor in history and philosophy of science at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. I grew up in the Netherlands, received an MSc degree from the London School of Economics and obtained a PhD from the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge. Before coming to Copenhagen, I held a post-doc in the Descartes Centre for the History and Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities at Utrecht University. I have been a visiting fellow at several other research institutes and universities, including at the Australian National University, the Egenis Centre for the Life Science at the University of Exeter, the Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin, and the Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research near Vienna, Austria. In September 2018, I visited the Humanities Institute of the New York Botanical Garden as Andrew W. Mellon Fellow.

I specialize in history and philosophy of biology. In my research I combine philosophical analysis with historical case studies while paying close attention to scientific practice. I am currently carrying out the research project The Nature of Naming and the Naming of Nature (2017-2022), for which I received a VENI early career research grant from the Dutch Research Council (NWO) and a Pegasus Marie-Curie Grant from the Flemish Science Foundation (not taken up). I have also been co-PI for the research project Productive Ambiguity in Classification, together with philosophers, historians, taxonomists and bio-informaticians from Arizona State University. For both projects I have studied taxonomic principles and practices of naming and reference fixing.

Some of my other research interests are in scientific explanation, the history and philosophy of modern evolutionary theory (in particular modern synthesis historiography and its philosophical dimensions), and the evolution of cooperation, cognition, and morality.

I am an Associate Editor for Acta Biotheoretica and serve on the Editorial Board of Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science I am also a Council Member of the International Society for the History Philosophy and Social Studies of Biology.