Background and activities
Current Research Areas / Teaching
I am working as an Associate Professor in Environmental Toxicology at NTNU (Trondheim, Norway). I teach classes in the international Master Program "Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry" at NTNU. Further I participate in the class of Pollution Biology in the third Bachelor of the Biology Programme and in the Bachelor course Ecotoxicology and Environmental Resources.
My research is oriented towards the interaction of pollution with species-specific ecology, natural stressors and effects on hormones, behaviour and reproduction, mostly focussing on birds. More information can be found on the Bird Ecotoxicology webpage (see link on the side).
I am currently leading the NewRaptor, a project co-funded by the Norwegian Research Council and NTNU (“fellesløfte”), which focusses on the exposure and effects of emerging flame retardants in birds of prey. The project includes both experimental studies as well as sampling of goshawks and sea eagles. In addition, I have been doing some work with black-legged kittiwakes on Svalbard in collaboration with Claus Bech (NTNU) and Geir Wing Gabrielsen (Norwegian Polar Institute).
From June 2014 I am included as one of the young researchers at NTNU included in the "Outstanding Academic Fellows Programme". This means that I get support through the programme to focus on excellent research and I have recently submitted an application for an ERC starting grant. More info on the Programme can be found at http://www.ntnu.edu/research/outstanding-academic-fellows
After the completion of my Master in Biology in July 2003, I started my research career as a PhD student at the Department of Biology at the University of Antwerp (Belgium) under supervision of Prof. Marcel Eens and Prof. Adrian Covaci. During my PhD I investigated the contamination of the Belgian environment with organic pollutants, making use of different bird species. For the first time it was investigated if organic pollutants could be quantified in bird feathers. Feathers of predatory birds were confirmed to be useful as a nondestructive biomonitoring tool for contamination with organic pollutants. Concentrations of most organic pollutants could be quantified in one single tail feather and these concentrations were related to the levels in the internal tissues of the birds. This implies that concentrations in feathers may provide information on the levels in the bird’s body and may anticipate potential negative effects.
After obtaining my degree of Doctor in Sciences in 2008, I started a post doc at the University of Antwerp. During my Post doctoral research I also started to focus on perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) and interactions of pollution and ecology in birds of prey. I was an official partner in an international project (RAPTOR 2015) that was lounged in January 2008 with regard to the impact of persistent organic pollutants, natural stress and climate change on the survival of raptors in Northern ecosystems (Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, Polar Environmental Centre, Tromsø, Norway). Within this project, I was also co-supervising a PhD student, Igor Eulaers, who will defend his PhD thesis in October 2014. During my post doc, I also obtained an Yggdrasil mobility grant via the Norwegian Research Council, which allowed for a research stay at the National Institute for Air Research (NILU) in Tromsø, Norway during May-June 2010. I had several side projects, including measurement of organic pollutants in polar bear hair, organising the Dioxin 2011 conference in Brussels (Belgium) and contributing to a chapter on "POPs in the urban environment" in the book Environmental Forensics of POPs (eds Court Sandau and Gwen O’Sullivan).
Scientific, academic and artistic work
Displaying a selection of activities. See all publications in the database
- (2015) Selecting the right bird model in experimental studies on endocrine disrupting chemicals. Frontiers in Environmental Science. vol. 3 (35).
- (2014) Brominated and phosphorus flame retardants in White-tailed Eagle Haliaeetus albicilla nestlings: Bioaccumulation and associations with dietary proxies (δ13C, δ15N and δ34S). Science of the Total Environment. vol. 478.
- (2014) Legacy and current-use brominated flame retardants in the Barn Owl. Science of the Total Environment. vol. 472.
- (2014) An overview of existing raptor contaminant monitoring activities in Europe. Environment International. vol. 67.
- (2013) Ecological and spatial factors drive intra- and interspecific variation in exposure of subarctic predatory bird nestlings to persistent organic pollutants. Environment International. vol. 57-58.
- (2013) Perfluoroalkyl substances in soft tissues and tail feathers of Belgian barn owls (Tyto alba) using statistical methods for left-censored data to handle non-detects. Environment International. vol. 52.
- (2013) Raptors under stress in Norway. Toksikologen. vol. 23 (3).
Part of book/report
- (2013) POPs in the Terrestrial Environment. Environmental Forensics for Persistent Organic Pollutants.
- (2014) Skal finne miljøgifter i fuglefjør. Gemini.no [Internett]. 2014-09-19.