I am currently working as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Linguistics Department of the University of Konstanz where I work with Prof. Tamara Rathcke on language rhythm and potential role of musical abilities in perception and learning of language and vice versa. I am also an honorary research fellow at the MARCS Institute for Brain, Behaviour and Development.
Although I have always had an interest in music (as a pianist) and in language (I studied all offered languages throughout high school and university), my interest in research was sparked during my undergraduate degree in the Netherlands, where I attended a cognitive science class and realised that there is another world related to music that I had not yet explored. As a classical pianist, my degree was built around music performance and musicology courses, but courses in psychology, cognitive science and psycholinguistics showed me how a psychological and cognitive approach to music could provide a whole new perspective to music making. My enthusiasm was complete as soon as I realised there was the potential to combine my interest in music and language into a research career.
I finished my PhD at the MARCS Institute for Brain, Behaviour and Development at Western Sydney University in Sydney, Australia in 2021. My PhD research focused on the perception of affect of unfamiliar music. For my PhD, I held a MARCS Institute PhD scholarship and I was awarded a Transdisciplinary & Innovation grant from the Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language to study the role of music abilities in cross-situational word learning.
A big milestone during my PhD was the opportunity to join a research team on a field trip to a remote area in Papua New Guinea. This trip has become an essential part of my PhD program, and has provided me with important lessons on the importance of community and self-sufficiency.
Before moving to Australia, I completed my BA in Arts & Humanities magna cum laude at the University of Utrecht and my MA in Musicology at the University of Amsterdam. I also studied classical piano at the Royal Conservatoire in Antwerp where I received my BA cum laude.
As a pianist, I debuted with the second piano concerto of Shostakovich in Antwerp with the Flemish Symphonic Orchestra.
I picked up a new hobby in Australia, so when I am not focusing on research, I like to race my bike.
I am always interested in new thoughts/ideas/collaborations, so feel free to get in touch!
Photo by Ian Wrightson Photography.