I am an evolutionary biologist studying genetic networks and developmental pathways in the evolution of complex innovations. My main interest lies in the (emergent) properties of interaction networks, and their implications on different levels of the biological hierarchy, translating principles across levels of biological organization.

I’m also active as a regular blogger for, and started the science communication project Occam’s Beard.

Currently I work as a visiting researcher at the Evolution & Development group of the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, Oeiras. I recently moved from Jerusalem, Israel, where I did a postdoc with Ariel Chipman at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

I did my PhD from 2007-2012 on The origin and diversification of an evolutionary novelty: lessons from Drosophila oogenesis in this same group, advised by Élio Sucena. You can download my thesis here.

I did my MSc from 2005-2007 in Animal Biology at Leiden University, working first with Patrícia Beldade and Suzanne Saenko on the evo-devo of butterfly wing patterns, and then at NUI Galway with Wallace Arthur on the evolution of arthropod segmentation.

From 2002-2006 I worked on my BSc in Biology at Leiden University, with projects at the Integrative Zoology group and a thesis on the Modern Synthesis supervised by Bas Zwaan at the Evolutionary Biology group.