Research lines

Visualisation in research

Visualisation is key in any project involving datapoints. Yet the reader is not ‘showered in graphical displays’ [Anscombe, 1973]. I am an active promotor of the use of visualisation, and try to help people make graphs in several ways: i) by making the graphs for them; ii) by giving visualisation-workshops in R; iii) by creating R-packages that facilitate the use of graphs.

Studying the number of children people want and have

There is huge variation in the number of children people (would like to) have over time / across the globe / within countries. I try to study the determinants of this variation, including individual factors like wealth and education, genetic factors, and social influences.

Evolutionary perspectives on human height variation

My research in the past has focussed on variation in human height. In particular, how evolutionary processes have been and are shaping variation in stature. I tried to address questions like: Why is there such variation across countries in height? Why are women on average shorter than man? In what ways does height play a role in mate choice and competition? Does natural selection act on height in contemporary populations? Why are the Dutch so tall? Why am I so tall?

Recent Publications

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Recent Posts

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Recently, the Department of Sociology at Groningen celebrated its 80-year existence. Six videos were made as part of this celebration, showing the diversity of research at our Department. This video was made for the Families Lifecourse and Ageing Group, which I am coordinating:

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I recently had to make an interactive visualisation of some twitter-data. Here I’ll explain how I went about it. rtweet Getting twitter data is reasonably easy once you have the rtweet package going, although there are certainly some steps that you have to go through to set-up this package (with respect to the API authorization). You can read about these steps here. We’ll also use the tidyverse-package (as always, I will rely heavily on ggplot that is within the tidyverse).

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I am fortunate enough to have been nominated for the New Scientist Wetenschapstalent 2018. The ‘winner’ will be determined by a committee and by popular vote (how scientific!). You can vote here if you think my research is good, or if you think I am not half-bad as a researcher.

For a quick Dutch video of my research, see:

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Talks & Workshops

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Teaching

I currently teach or contribute to the following courses at the University of Groningen’s sociology curriculum:

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