I am interested in…
What are you working on?
I work on developing and testing models of the structure of the Universe. My group mostly focuses on understanding what phenomena across the Universe can contribute to changing the shapes of galaxies. The two main ones are gravitational lensing (predicted by Einstein’s theory of general relativity) and gravitational tides. Tides work in a similar way to those on Earth: differences in gravity from one side to the other of a galaxy can make it stretch in particular directions. Modelling both effects is really important if we want to extract information about the dark components of the Universe: dark energy and dark matter, which constitute 95% of the energy density of the Universe today.
What does the DRSTP mean for you?
I view DRSTP as an excellent opportunity for students to get quality high level courses on the core areas of theoretical physics. As a supervisor, I think this is a fantastic asset to my students. I think they also get the opportunity to meet fellow students from other institutions who are at a similar stage in their professional careers. This helps them feel they belong to a broader community than their own research group.
What interests do you have apart from your research?
My family, reading, dancing, and the occasional cycle through the Dutch countryside!