I am a PhD student in Bart de Boer’s ABACUS
group at the AI lab
of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel looking into interactive rhythms in harbour and grey seals (start: 2020). My main supervisor is Andrea Ravignani and, hence, I am also a member of the Comparative Bioacoustics Group
from the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen. Using a comparative approach, I aim to identify shared bases for the evolution of rhythm in interaction across species (mainly seals and humans) through agent-based models. I use playback experiments and multitrack recordings to characterise seals’ vocal rhythms during conspecific interactions, and electroencephalogram studies to measure their neurobiological mechanisms for predictive timing. This work is supported by the FWO project Interactive vocal rhythms
My main research interest lies in animal communication, particularly how findings gleaned from other species could help answer questions on the evolution of human speech. I studied Liberal Arts & Science at University College Roosevelt in Middelburg (BA) and Wild Animal Biology at the Royal Veterinary College in London (MSc). During my masters, I wrote a thesis ‘Talking seals: vocal development in Eastern Atlantic harbour seal pups Phoca vitulina vitulina’. Since then, I have continued to research communication in seals and also worked as a tutor in the department Life Sciences of Erasmus University College in Rotterdam.