A new chapter

Hello everyone,

it has been a while since I posted something. After my trip to Cameroon things got a bit quiet and the job search continued. Luckily I can now make it official that I have accepted a position as PhD candidate at the Faculty of Science of the Charles University in Prague! For this position I will be traveling to Cameroon between 3-6 times in the coming four years for research trips lasting around two months each. The rest of the time I will be in Prague. So feel free to visit ;).  I will be researching: Plant-pollinator interactions along an Afrotropical altitudinal gradient. The research is focused on changes of general characteristics of pollination networks along the altitude, as well as on case studies of selected pollination systems. As someone who is extremely interested in ecosystem functioning this is a rather interesting topic.

I was not the only candidate they had. As you can see below quite a diverse group had applied. In total 42 applications where submitted and only six people where interviewed through skype. Luckily for me, I was the one they selected.

PhD_candidates_2016

I did get the news on a weird day; prior to the funeral of my grandmother. So I couldn’t really celebrate directly, but still enjoyed the news during the following days (and still). From May onward I will be extremely busy with my PhD and before that time I can enjoy a holiday (any suggestions?), work on the website of the Dutch Gorilla Foundation and prepare for my phd (maybe even as a Guest researcher at Naturalis).

So another interesting period is waiting for me and a lot more blog posts will follow! Our research group in Prague also has its own webpage: http://www.insect-communities.cz/

greetings,

Yannick

 

 

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Ready to go

Hey,

the bags are packed and I only still need to buy some “stroopwafels” to hand out to the local staff at the Jane Goodall Institute in Congo. So I am ready for take off. This afternoon I will start my long trip. First from Nijmegen to Schiphol by train continued by a flight to Frankfurt, Addis Abeba and Pointe Noire. In total I will be traveling from this afternoon 15.00 till tomorrow 13.30. In Congo I will directly do my grocery shopping for the field so that we can continue to the Tchimpounga Sanctuary without having to return to Pointe Noire. After only two days in Congo I will already leave for the rainforest and have to live in my tent for the coming two weeks. The plan is that I will be staying in the forest for two weeks at a time. Studying the Mandrills for 14 days continuously and then returning to the sanctuary to rest and eat some fresh foods again. This cycle will continue until I leave the country on the 19th of December.

I am really looking forward to my trip and also a little bit scared for the living conditions in the field (humidity, mosquitos and primitive living). I will try to keep you updated by posting regularly on my site.

greetings,

Yannick

A new step

Hello everyone,

It has been a while since I posted anything. So now a new post to keep you informed of what I am going to do. At the end of June we completed the project at Naturalis. Which meant that I needed to find something else to do. The dream of working abroad is still alive. So I embarked on a mission to find work or a project abroad. And I can say that I found a great project which will keep me busy till the end of the year. My contacts at the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) helped me to get a voluntary position to gain more work experience in the field, abroad and working with wildlife. I am especially grateful for the help given by Diederik, the executive director of the JGI Netherlands. Today I have booked my flights, so now I can say that I will be leaving the Netherlands on the 31st of August and will return on 19 December.

I will be going to the Republic of Congo (Congo-Brazzaville) to work as a researcher within the Mandrill release programme in the Conkouati-Douli National Park. In this park the JGI has released mandrills whom were captured from traders/ private owners. Now they are monitoring and researching these released monkeys. In my capacity as a scientist I have to make sure that we maintain the same research quality during my time in the field. I will be doing the research together with local staff and during my first weeks there will be other researchers from whom I will take over the research. Below I have added some pictures of the living conditions in the field.

I am looking forward to going back in the field without internet and phone connections, but it will take a while to get used to the living conditions. During my time there I will try to send an update once a month, but I am not sure if I am able to do that.

greetings,

Yannick

Bench press
Bench press
Camp
Camp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jungle Gym
Jungle Gym
Kitchen
Kitchen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shower
Shower
Toilet
Toilet

Working at Naturalis and the dream of Africa

He everyone,

I am already back working at Naturalis for two months now. Being brought back in to finish the digitized collections of the Wageningen Herbarium. Now the end of Wageningen Files is near, but still a lot of work has to be done. Bugs in the software and the Leiden/Amsterdam/Utrecht collections will keep me and my colleagues busy till June next year (when the project ends).

In the mean time I am still trying to achieve my dream of finding a job in Community Based Conservation programs in the Tropics (main focus on Africa). To be better suitable for this I have followed a french course and wish to keep practicing this language in order to gain a working proficiency.
After a short leave at the Zeeverkenners Canisius (Waterscouting group I have been a member of in the past decade) I became active again as a Treasurer for their foundation which maintains the vessels owned by the group. Furthermore, from the new season onwards I will be (together with a friend) guiding a group of  five guys during their year in between being a group member and becoming a staff member.

So I am keeping myself busy, but if anyone knows of nice jobs abroad please keep me informed!

 

greetings,

 

Yannick

Update

Hey everyone,

after returning home from a great trip to Rwanda at the end of March I regained the energy and inspiration needed to continue my jobhunt. Spending several weeks writing/searching/ networking in the end didn’t lead to my dreamjob (yet). So next week I will go back to Naturalis to continue working on the Quality Control of the digitalized Wageningen Herbarium. But in the meantime the jobsearch will continue. In the past few weeks I started a French course at the Radboud University to increase my knowledge of one of the common languages spoken in central/west Africa. So hopefully this will help me in the search of my African dreamjob!

Yesterday Jane Goodall visited the Netherlands again. As a volunteer for the Jane Goodall institute I was present at her lecture at my old University (Wageningen). Everytime I hear her speak she relights the fire in me to pursue my dream of working abroad on conservation and management of natural resources.

So now with even more energy I will continue the search. I will keep you updated.

greetings,

Yannick

Next Chapter: Rwanda

Hi everyone,

after extending my contract at Naturalis I now finally have something new to look out for.  On January 18 I will fly to Rwanda to visit my father for a period of approximately 2 months. Besides the family visit I will try to enjoy the country and visit several projects regarding nature conservation to get a better view on conservation issues in this part of Africa. I think I will find many similarities with the situation that I encountered in Tanzania.

During this trip I will try to visit the SNV Sustainable Energy programme, Nyungwe forest, Lake Kivu and hopefully Akagera NP. Throughout this period I will keep you updated by using this blog. I am really looking forward to going abroad, however due to the fact that I still have to work up till a week prior to my departure I cannot completely focus on the trip yet…

Greetings,

Yannick

Digitalisation of Plant Material at Naturalis Herbarium Wageningen

Hello all,

I haven’t been active on my website lately since I have been busy working at Naturalis. Just a small update to let you know how I am doing. Currently I am still busy with the digitalisation of the plants in Wageningen. Besides scanning we also enter the data found on the labels. Look at the example below.

An example of a Liana which was Digitalised.
An example of a Liana which was Digitalised.

Also have a look at this movie published by Naturalis about the Digitalisation project. Here they show how the digitalisation is done at the Entomology department:

I am still busy trying to find a job abroad, so please keep me informed if you have any tips.

greetings,

Yannick

Job search update

Hello everyone,

hereby I would like to give you an update on my job search. After deciding that I would like to go abroad for my work I applied for numerous positions around the world in countries such as Brazil, Peru, Guatamala, Uganda, Cameroon, Namibia, Indonesia, Jordan, the UK, USA and Mongolia. Furthermore, I applied for a temporary function at the Herbarium Vadense in Wageningen (Part of the Naturalis Biodiversity Center and Wageningen University). On the 1st of march I will start my job here as a “registrator” in the digitalisation process of the plants present. This project will last 6 month and thus will keep me busy until the end of august. Meanwhile I will continue to apply for jobs abroad and hope to find something nice to keep me busy from September onwards. So if anyone has some tips or interesting vacancies please do contact me!

An inside look of the herbarium in Wageningen

Many greetings,

 

Yannick

Graduation

Dear people,

On the 27th of November I graduated from Wageningen University. I completed my MSc in Forest and Nature Conservation and am now currently trying to find a job in my field of work.

Together with Jordi, a good friend who has followed the same study path as me.
Together with Jordi, a good friend who has followed the same study path as me.

The graduation ceremony was great, after some nice words from Dr. Heitkonig and receiving the honorary WUR pin we went on to a nearby restaurant to celebrate. The nice thing was that my supervisors from my thesis in Bolivia both made time to come and congratulate me.

At the graduation drink together with Lourens and Estela my two supervisors for my thesis in Bolivia
At the graduation drink together with Lourens and Estela my two supervisors for my thesis in Bolivia

Now I am busy applying for jobs and trying to find out whether I prefer working in the Netherlands or abroad… I hope I can bring some good news on that matter very soon.

greetings,

Yannick

 

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