TRAJECTORY

Although my curiosity in anthropological issues developed much earlier, I started calling myself an anthropologist only during my studies at the Radboud University in Nijmegen. These, as well as the medical anthropology classes I simultaneously took at the University of Leuven in Belgium, sparked my interest in health-related issues and the inventive ways in which people from all over the world reshape their lives in response to them. The ethnographic project I designed towards the end of my studies paved the way for what would eventually become a long research trajectory within the domain of medical anthropology. It brought me to the Cameroonian rainforest, where I studied women’s experiences with, and responses to, pregnancy loss. I loved the fieldwork and gathered an enormous pile of interesting data; while my master thesis largely exceeded the official word limit, it covered not even half of what I had discovered in Cameroon.

 

After graduation, I continued with a Research Master in African Studies at Leiden University, and I gained some teaching experience at the Radboud University in Nijmegen. But I kept on thinking about Cameroon; I longed to go back to the field, learn more about reproductive issues, and answer all questions that had remained. A Ph.D. scholarship from the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (University of Amsterdam) offered me the opportunity to do so. The next five years found me strengthening my research and relationships in Cameroon, and writing a Ph.D. thesis that was defended - cum laude - in 2011 (read more about the project here). I have published my research findings in several articles, and my book was published by Vanderbilt University Press in 2018 (see more details here).

During my Ph.D. trajectory, I also developed a passion for sharing my knowledge with students and medical doctors. Ever since, I have created and taught different medical anthropological courses at the University of Amsterdam, the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT), the Netherlands School of Public and Occupational Health (NSPOH), the GGD Academy and the Samenlevingsacademie in the Netherlands. I also went abroad to teach classes at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in the UK, the University of Bucharest in Romania, and BRAC University in Bangladesh (see more details here).

 

In 2012, my fieldwork and focus shifted from Cameroon to Romania, after I received a VENI grant (€250,000) from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) for a self-designed research project. In the years that followed, I studied, again, issues related to reproductive health, loss, uncertainty, and decision-making – but now in a small town in the mountains of post-communist Romania (read more about the project here). Some of my findings have already been published (see more details here) and a few more publications are in the pipeline.

 

In addition, I have gained knowledge of, and expertise in, the world of development aid and interventions for sexual and reproductive health across the world - first as a coordinator of an evaluation project for the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2016-2017) and more recently as a researcher at the Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development, were I currently prepare a study on self-care in the domain of sexual and reproductive health. These projects have allowed me to explore new aspects of the the complex lifeworlds of the people that I have been talking with as an anthropologist for over 15 years now.

Currently, my professional life is filled with activities related to research and analysis, writing and publishing, as well as teaching and supervision.

2012 - 2021

University of Amsterdam

Post-doctoral researcher

EDUCATION

2006 - 2011

University of Amsterdam

Ph.D. scholarschip (cum laude)

From 2021

Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development

Researcher

ACADEMIC POSITIONS

2005 - 2006

Leiden University

Research Master African Studies (interrupted for Ph.D.)

2016

New York University, USA

Visiting scholar

From 2014

University of Bucharest, Romania

Research associate

2001 - 2005

Radboud University Nijmegen

Cultural Anthropology (cum laude)

1995 - 2001

Reynaert College Hulst

Pre-university college / gymnasium (cum laude)

2012

New York University, USA

Visiting scholar

2011-2012

University of Amsterdam

Lecturer

2006-2011

University of Amsterdam

Ph.D. candidate

2007

Institute de Formation et de Recherche Démographiques
Université de Yaoundé I, Cameroon

Visiting scholar

2005

Radboud University Nijmegen

Lecturer