Behavioral Biologist, PhD, National Geographic Explorer
I see public outreach as a fundamental part of science. Sharing the knowledge generated by our research and giving insights about the work we are doing is not only important, it is rewarding and fun. Below I give an overview of the various outreach activities I have done or been involved in over the years, ranging from public lectures, and interviews in magazines and radio shows, to developing video shorts about my work, and collaborating with musicians and artists.
Short docu video about my work
With support from the Zukunftskolleg, I teamed up with Berlin filmmaker Nicolas Buenaventura to create a 3min short documentary to give an overview of the research I do and provide insights into the different aspects of my work, from catching fish, setting-up experimental systems, to developing my own recording and tracking software, and analysing data.
Dedicated youtube channel
At the start of my PhD I set up my own youtube channel to share videos about my work and my interest for animal behaviour. Over the years I have shared more than 50 videos, from field work, and running experiments, to animal tracking, and video shorts, which have been viewed 30k+ times.
Jollethebiologist on instagram!
In the summer of 2019 I decided to set up an instagram account specifically about my research: @jollethebiologist. It is a great way to give quick insights about my day to day work and not just about the papers we publish. I try to publish twice a week and have to date shared a total of 80 posts. All in all it has been a rewarding experience so far!
Live on the Naked Scientist show
Some years back I was invited to be a live guest on the popular Naked Scientists Podcast, where I talked about the fascinating behaviour of three-spined sticklebacks and my research trying to unravel it. It was a live show attended by children and students as well as their parents, but it later also aired as a podcast and radio show on BBC radio3. I even brought some sticklebacks with me to show they can change color. Here you can listen to the show.
Created an autonomous “school of lights”
In 2018 I received a €9,500 public outreach grant from the Zukunftskolleg to set up a collaboration with Toer, a Dutch design studio known for their curiosity-driven work and interactive art installations. Over the course of the year, we managed to design and create an interactive light installation called School of Lights, which we even exhibited during the international Dutch Design Festival in Eindhoven in 2018. With this project the aim was to not only inform and educate the public about collective behaviour but to inspire and make science accessible in a playful way.
Featured in Knowledge magazine
Public lecture at the Linnean Society
During my PhD I was invited to give a public talk at the Linnean Society, London, which is the oldest active biological Society in the world! I talked about how I decided to be a scientist and what fascinates me in the natural world to why I study sticklebacks, how to do behavioural experiments, and then gave some insights into some of the key findings of my work. It was great to see so many enthusiastic students with very bright questions at the end that hopefully got inspired by my talk to become zoologists themselves.
Public lecture at the Shropshire wildlife trust
I was invited to give a talk at the Shropshire Wildlife Trust to talk about how I became the scientist that I am now. I talked about my upbringing and the travels I have had and how that enabled me to fuel my curiosity for the natural world.
Created Raspberry Pi website with over 30 tutorials
Interview in Kosmos magazine
I was selected by Humboldt Kosmos magazine for a two-page interview about my work. Was an interesting experience to do an actual photoshoot! You can read the full article by clicking the image.
Participated at the Konstanz Science Festival
Yesterday night we had the Konstanzer Lange Nacht der Wissenschaft, a whole evening where scientists present their work to the general public. I was excited to also participate this year and had a couple boards installed with posters and photos about my work, and a big screen that showcased collective moving stickleback shoals with the sophisticated tracking and processing we use projected on top.
Active academic blog
which I use to document and update the public about our on-going research, discuss the different aspects of academia, provide coding tutorials, and give insights into the life of a Behavioural Ecologist. I used to be a webdesigner, enabling to design and adapt the website to my own ideas. Already over 150 posts.
Designed a stickleback poster
My first non-academic poster: an array of close-up photos of 33 experimental sticklebacks. The poster shows the 33 individual sticklebacks that we used for an experiment in which we investigated consistent individual differences. As is clear from the poster, despite the fish being size-matched for the experiments, the fish have a beautiful range of colour and shading patterns. Let’s see if I’ll continue doing this for all my future experiments..!
Participated in a theater performance
During my PhD I worked together with a film maker and musician to collaborate on a musical performance to explore the boundaries of music, science and art called “Triggers and Tresholds“, including a theatre performance (see 1min part below), a song about animal personalities by Jens Boutery: .