I graduated from Ghent University (Ghent, Belgium) in 1999 as a Bio-engineer with a Masters in Environmental Technology. I subsequently received a Ph.D. in Applied Biological Sciences from the same university through my research on the effects of hormone disruptors on estuarine invertebrate species.
In November 2003, I was awarded an 18-month position as a postdoctoral scholar in the Biology Department at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (Woods Hole, USA). My research at WHOI has focused on elucidating chemical effects in marine invertebrates using molecular, animal, and population-level approaches - bridging the gap between laboratory and field studies. Since my arrival at WHOI, I have been awarded a Belgian American Educational Foundation Fellowship and several competitively awarded research grants (see projects section). In 2008, I became a Visiting Investigator in the Biology Department.
In 2008, I joined the environmental consultancy Gradient (www.gradientcorp.com), located in Cambridge, MA. I am currently a Principal at Gradient, leading an ecological sciences practice area, with a focus on evaluating environmental risks at contaminated sites; conducting environmental hazard and risk assessments of pharmaceuticals, personal care products, and other industrial chemicals; green chemistry and sustainability; and regulatory ecotoxicity testing.
Outreach and Teaching
I have really enjoyed bringing science to the general public, decision-makers, and other stakeholders. I was member of a scientific expert group of the 'Center for Health and the Environment' which provides information to the Flemish regional government in Belgium. I have presented my research, and marine ecotoxicological research in general, at several public venues, such as the annual Flemish Science Week and Science Fair, Ostend Fisheries Festival, Project Expeditie Zeeleeuw (an e-learning project), Faculty Open House days,... In addition, I have published several articles in gray literature to inform the general public about marine pollution issues.
I have taught field and laboratory classes in marine ecotoxicology and marine ecology to graduate and master-level students at Ghent University. In addition, I supervised the graduate thesis research of several students in the Laboratory of Environmental Toxicology and Aquatic Ecology (Ghent University, Belgium).
I have been actively involved in several scientific societies, primarily the Society for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (www.setac.org), where I have served as president of the local New England chapter (NACSETAC) and a member of the steering committee of the Pharmaceutical as well as Endocrine Disruptor Global Advisory Groups.