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Science Faculty PhD Council

Last updated on 26 September 2022
Welcome to the information page of the PhD Council of the Science Faculty. The council represents the needs and wishes of the PhDs within the faculty. If you have questions or suggestions on the logistics of your PhD trajectory, please let us know!

Goals of the council
The Science faculty PhD council was established with two overarching goals in mind: 1) to improve communication from the Science faculty board to PhD researchers in all related graduate schools, and 2) to represent the needs of PhD researchers in the faculty of Science. As such, the PhD council aims to provide information on your PhD trajectories, communicate on new regulations and education requirements for PhD researhcers, gain insights into problems and solutions experienced and offered by PhD researchers and facilitate a network of PhD researchers at the Science faculty.

PhD representatives of multiple graduate schools of the Science faculty are involved in the PhD council. You can find a profile of us here below. Is your department/institute not represented in the council yet and want to contribute to a better PhD experience? Consider joining our council and contact us via:

Who are in the council?

  • Athena Institute

    Jennie Weemhoff 
    Room: WN A-511

    Who am I? I am Jennie Weemhoff. I am a PhD-candidate at the Athena Institute where I research competency-development of participants of community service learning. I have an interdisciplinary background, primarily in social sciences and humanities.

    What is my research about? Community Service Learning (CSL) is a form of education, in which students use their academic skills to contribute to societal issues. My research focuses on how students, teachers and community partners develop certain competencies through participation in these courses.

    Why am I a member of the PhD council? Through participating in the council, I get to know the beta faculty on a more institutional level and can contribute to the wellbeing of PhD-candidates in our department and faculty.

  • Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences


  • Computer Science

    Nikos Kondylidis
    Room: NU:10th floor A35

    Who am I?
    I am Nikos and I am doing my Ph.D. in the Knowledge Reasoning and Representation (KRR) group of the Computer Science department. I like socializing, meeting new people, and trying to better understand their points of view. I would be very happy if in the future my work could help different communities or people to understand each other and make it easier to find a common ground for living together.

    What is my research about?
    My research is funded by the European project "Meaning and Understanding in Human-centric Artificial Intelligence" (MUHAI) which is focused on researching artificial intelligence methods that have more humane properties. These properties would include common sense and understanding of social issues and are aimed to be applied in human-focused domains like disambiguating recipe execution and predicting or explaining social inequality causes. In more detail, my Ph.D. is focused on assisting two parties, that use different vocabularies, to successfully communicate, interact, and cooperate. Specifically, the two parties are represented by two knowledge graphs and the tasks that I am working on are best described by the terms meaning coordination and ontology alignment.

    Why do I love being a member of this Ph.D. council?
    As a Ph.D. student, I can experience some of the problems that other students are facing. Being a member of the Ph.D. council allows you to better understand these problems and why they occur while also the opportunity to try and resolve them or at least officially acknowledge them as a starting point. Finally, I understand that the Ph.D. experience alone can be very tough and I want to try my best to ensure that our Faculty is supporting its students as much as possible.

  • Earth Sciences

    Fleur van Crimpen
    Room: W&N R350

    Who am I?
    I am Fleur and I am currently doing a PhD on coastal erosion along the Canadian Beaufort sea coast at the department Earth sciences. I have a background in geo-ecological dynamics and earth sciences.

    What is my research about?
    For my research I’m looking at the transport of carbon from thawing permafrost along eroding coasts in the Canadian Arctic. With the use of hydrodynamic fractionation we try to mimic the transport within the marine system, by doing so we try to understand what part will degrade and what will end up on the sea floor.

    Why do I love being a member of this Ph.D. council?
    Within the council I want to be an advocate for everyone who struggles with the combination of fieldwork, lab work and the never ending writing part. But besides that the VU should be a space where everyone feels safe and respected, being part of the council will give me the opportunity to fight for a better support and guidance within the VU.

  • Ecology and Evolution


  • Envrionment and Health


  • Health Sciences


  • Institute for Environmental Studies

    Tristian Stolte
    room: NU-8A40

    Who am I?
    My name is Tristian Stolte and I am doing a PhD on global scale assessments of disaster risk in cities. I conduct my research at the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM) in the Water & Climate Risk (WCR) department, located in the NU-building.

    What is my research about?
    Cities play an increasingly important role in the climate crisis and case studies on climate-related disaster risk are often conducted for specific cities. Yet, there are hardly any studies conducted on disaster risk for multiple cities simultaneously (that is, which cities are most at risk for a given disaster) and knowledge on this topic is therefore fragmented. I aim to close that gap by performing global-scale and urban-focused disaster risk studies, while also trying to gather and harmonize some of the fragmented information on cities that is relevant to disaster risk assessments.

    Why am I a member of the PhD council?
    The PhD council is a means of centralizing the needs of the PhDs, and voices their feelings towards those that influence these needs and feelings. Moreover, it provides tools and upholds systems that help both new and existing PhDs in their –often difficult– journey of achieving their promotional title. I hope to be able to further this cause and to maintain the good work of the PhD council that is already done.

  • Mathematics

    Fabio Buccoliero
    Room: NU 9A-94

    Who am I?
    I am Fabio Buccoliero. I am a PhD student in the mathematics department, where I work on topological graph theory. I am passionate about mathematics and how to explain mathematics in an easy way.

    What is my research about?
    My research consists of applying knot theory to graph theory. In particular, I work with graphs (which are just a bunch of points connected by lines) whose lines are knotted, called spatial graphs. I try to see which of these spatial graphs can be put on top of a sphere or other surfaces, without letting their lines intersect each other.

    Why am I a member of a PhD council?
    I love being involved in what happens in my university. I believe that the PhD council is a wonderful opportunity not only to keep myself informed but also to be active for my department.

  • Molecular Cell Biology


  • Neurosciences


  • Physics and Astronomy

    Tinka Clement

    Who am I?
    I am Tinka Clement, doing my PhD in the department of Physics. I'm part of the group of the Physics of Living Systems. I have a background in molecular cell biology and i'm very interested in investigating biological systems at the single-molecule level.

    What is my research about?
    The main focus of my PhD projects is gaining a deeper understanding of the organization and mechanical properties of human mitotic chromosomes. To achieve this, i use optical tweezers combined with fluorescence microscopy to hold, stretch, and visualize individual human chromosomes. Pretty cool if you ask me!

    Why am I a member of a PhD council?
    In short: to make everyone's experience as a PhD student in the Faculty of Science a bit of a smoother ride. I strive to achieve this through adressing any problems directly with the faculty, improving the availability of useful information, and building a sense of community among PhD students.