I am a third year Ph.D. student in the Graduate School of Geography at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. My research focuses on the impacts of large-scale renewable energy projects on access to rural land and on rural livelihoods in Senegal. I also continue to work at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) as a Senior Research Analyst in the Poverty, Health, and Nutrition Division. This website encapsulates work from both of these strands of my professional life.
How did I end up where I am? My early years were spent, quite literally, on the banks of the Mississippi river in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. When I was five, we moved (back) home to another alluvial plain, the Netherlands, where I grew up and hold dear ties to. With a sedimentologist mother and a cartographer stepfather, perhaps it is no coincidence that I ended up pursuing a Ph.D. in Geography, although it took me a little while to get there. After spending a gap year in Scotland and Costa Rica after high school, I studied Anthropology and Latin American & Caribbean Studies at Union College (Schenectady, NY) and spent terms abroad in Vietnam, Jamaica, Spain, as well as a semester in Washington, D.C. I then pursued an MSc. degree in Anthropology and Development at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) to further understand how in-depth anthropological inquiry could critically engage with and practically inform development discourses and processes.
Having worked in international development for eight years, mostly in West Africa and India, I decided that Geography was the most appropriate discipline to bring together my interests in natural resource management, rural transitions, land, (renewable) energy, and climate change, and to gain additional training in social theory as well as climate science, statistics, GIS, and remote sensing. I started the Ph.D. program at Clark University in 2016.