Welcome to my website! I am an assistant professor in the research group of Science, Technology and Policy Studies (STePS) at the University of Twente in the Netherlands. In my research and teaching I examine the relationship between Science, Technology and Culture (=STC) from a long-term and global perspective. I have a special interest in the history of natural history and chemistry in insular Southeast Asia and Europe. This includes research into how computational technologies can be used to contextualize and provide access to valuable digitized scientific archives and collections, eimage.g. in the field of colonial natural history. My research in the latter field also allows me to reflect upon how the growing use of digital technologies impacts research in the humanities and, more general, our understanding of culture and technology in society.

Characteristic of my work is that I combine in-depth archival research with more conceptual thinking. I have presented my research not only in the form of numerous academic publications and talks, but also an internationally well-received museum exhibition on the history of recycling. The exhibit was on display at Rijksmuseum Boerhaave (National Musuem of Science and Medicine) in Leiden (2015-2016) and the Fries Museum (2016-2018) in Leeuwarden. I am also co-editor of the Brill book series Emergence of Natural History (ENH) and I am associate editor of the international journal Itinerario. Journal of Imperial and Global Interactions. Since summer 2020, I am also developing PhD training (workshops and summer schools) for WTMC, the Netherlands Graduate Research School of Science, Technology, and Modern Culture. If you want to learn more about my current research projects click here. For a more detailed CV, click here.


  • July 2021: Chapter on Natural History Collections and Empire published, see here.
  • June 2021: Van OortFirst volume of book on Pieter van Oort (1804-1834) published.
  • May 2021: Book chapter on Material Sensibilities with a specific focus on the history of writing paper and its materiality published, see here. [proof]
  • February 2021: Journal paper on semi-automated interpretation of digitized natural history drawings in journal Ecological Informatics, see here.
  • February 2021: Chair of a special session (ICAART 2021, 4-6 February 2021, online) on challenges and opportunities of Artificial Intelligence & Digital Heritage (ARTIDIGH 2021).
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  • June 2019: Co-authored book chapter on “Automated Semantic Annotation of Species Names in Handwritten Texts” published. For PDF click here.
  • April 2019: Special issue on the history of the Bogor Botanical Gardens published. For PDFs in open access click here.
  • 27 February 2019: Invited conference paper titled “Material Sensibilities: Paper, Chemistry, and Recycling in the Netherlands and beyond, ca. 1800”. International conference: The Paper Trade of Early Modern Europe: Practices, Materials, Networks, Erlangen, 26-27 February 2019.
  • 30 January 2019: Colloquium presentation Göttingen University (Chair, Early Modern History: M. Füssel) on “Expertenwissen, Rohstoffkreisläufe und Chemie in den niederländischen Kolonien um 1800
  • From 16 to 23 October 2018, I was guest lecturer for the History of Science and Technology in Indonesia at Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta.
  • New co-authored contribution to conference with the title “From Historical Handwritten Manuscripts to Linked Data” to be published in Springer LNCS (vol. 11057), Proceedings of International Conferenceon Theory and Practice of Digital Libraries (TPDL) in Porto, 10-13 September 2018.
  • New co-authored journal paper with the title “Semantic Annotation of Natural History Collections” in Journal of Web Semantics published. For a digital copy click here.
  • New co-authored book chapter with the title “Towards a Digital Infrastructure for Illustrated Handwritten Archives” published in Springer LNCS (vol. 10605) on Digital Cultural Heritage. For an authors approved digital copy click here.
  • On February 7, I gave a keynote lecture titled “Natural Historical Archives as Digital Challenge and Opportunity” at the conference Digital Past in Aberystwyth. The conference was organized by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales.
  • New book chapter (open access) on the material history of coins, paper money and debt in the early nineteenth century Dutch empire in Southeast Asia published.
  • Interdisciplinary symposiumManaging Alliances: Plant Science at Bogor Botanical Gardens, 1817-2017” to commemorate the bicentennial anniversary of the Botanical Gardens in Bogor, Hortus Botanicus Leiden, 19 October 2017.
  • The collaborative digital cultural heritage research project: Eventscapes: Providing Spatio-Temporal Access to the Prize Papers has recieved funding from NWO. I helped realizing the project as co-applicant.
  • Since summer 2017, I am editor of the Brill book series Emergence of Natural History. If you are interested in publishing in the series please get in touch with me.
  • Article in de Volkskrant (Dutch national newspaper) on my research in the context of the collaborative Making Sense project published.
  • Come and join us for oursummer course on ‘Governance and Ethics of Technology‘ (13-22 August 2017) at Twente University!
  • Project website of Making Sense of Illustrated Handwritten Archives is online!
  • Hortus Botanicus Leiden: Public lecture on Reinwardt and early years of the hortus botanicus in Bogor on February, 26!
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  • Come and watch our presentation on ‘Natural Historical Archives as Digital Challenge and Opportunity‘ at UCL Centre for Digital Humanities on February, 8!
  • Panelon ‘Niches and Networks of Expertise: Negotiating Science, Citizenship and Economy in Southeast Asia and beyond‘ for the annual meeting of the European Association of Southeast Asian Studies (EASAS) in Oxford, 16-18 August 2017 accepted! If you are interested in contributing please drop me a line.
  • Presentation of project Making Sense of Illustrated Handwritten Archives at workshop ‘Googeling through archives’ at the National Archive in The Hague. For a report and visual impressions of the event see here and here.
  • Click here for the ‘Making Sense’ posterpresented at the 4th National eScience symposium in Amsterdam on 13 October 2016!
  • First conference paper of ‘Making Sense of Illustrated Handwritten Archives’ project presented at DH 2016 in Krakow. See for the abstract here!
  • The exhibition Wealth of Waste has received an ‘honorary mention’ in the 2016 competition for the Dibner Award for Excellence in Museum Exhibits of the American Society for the History of Technology.