A scene from a sci-fi movie

It was true. We ended up surprise camping in a beautiful place. Rothenburg ob der Tauber, the place unbeknownst to us, but that others ensured us would be great, was indeed a quite idyllic and beautiful town. But something felt off. Wherever we went there were crowds of unmasked tourists. It was a scene thatContinue reading “A scene from a sci-fi movie”

Teaching ecology in China

As part of my teaching, I offer so-called ‘projects’ to students that are interested in the work I do. Projects are basically semester-long student projects that can be part of longer-term research, or can be something tailor-made for the students. The idea is that students get to think about a subject, formulate hypotheses or researchContinue reading “Teaching ecology in China”

Snake wrangling with my son

As frequent readers of my blog may have noticed, I spend my free time outside a lot. As I have written about many times before, I’ve been an ‘unprofessional herpetologist’ from when I was seven years old. I have kept reptiles ever since, and for a part of this time I bred snakes in numbersContinue reading “Snake wrangling with my son”

Happy Easter

Easter Holidays for me already started a couple of days ago, and thus far I have made the most of it. The weather has been fantastic, and we have been outside quite a bit. Mostly, we have enjoyed family walks in the area (what else, given the circumstances). I have really started geeking out onContinue reading “Happy Easter”

A change of pace

As an ecologist that mostly focuses on plant-mediated interactions (above- and belowground!), I have worked with quite a few model systems, that I have gotten to know quite well. I have reasonable botany skills, too. Or well, good memory, rather. Of course, my knowledge is entirely limited to the severely depleted biodiversity found in theContinue reading “A change of pace”

Being outdoors is not what it used to be…

You know that feeling when you have been outside in the cold all day, and you come inside and struggle to keep your eyes open? That’s how I feel right now! We were ‘hiking’ in the Altmühltal today. Well, we spent the first two hours covering one and a half kilometre, that is the timeContinue reading “Being outdoors is not what it used to be…”

Germany you should – a series (part 3)

When you’re expecting or raising kids, being in Germany is fantastic. Why? In the Netherlands*, the conditions to become parents are pretty grim. My country hates kids. Mothers get four months of maternity leave, which includes the weeks before the baby is born. I guess the government thinks dads should not be involved in raisingContinue reading “Germany you should – a series (part 3)”