With an ecology background and a passion for biodiversity, I started engaging with companies to promote wetland conservation in 2008. I am now Head of Business and Ecosystems and Manager for the Shell–Wetlands International Partnership. Between 2000, when I joined Wetlands International, and 2008, I headed our biodiversity work while actively shaping the strategy of our organisation, including the development of the strategic partnership with Shell.
As I come from a background in ornithological conservation and research, focussing on wetlands broadened my horizon to embrace the full set of values that they represent. Before 2000, I led the Research and International Department of a Dutch ornithological NGO for 10 years, gathering, analysing and providing information for policy making at a national and international level. I was trained as an ecologist (Ornithology and Aquatic Ecology) at the Universities of Nijmegen and Groningen.
Wetlands are special places. I love how they teem with life and how that life is adapted to the role wetlands play in the water cycle. Their diversity and beauty and the landscapes they shape inspire me. Spending time near wetlands is one of my favourite things to do, especially watching birds.