I am assistant professor at the Department of Developmental Psychology at the University of Groningen. I am intrigued by the possibilities for learning and development that engaging in joint action can offer, which I study from a dynamical systems perspective. I investigate the process of discovering possibilities for action (affordances) within a social system, by integrating theory and methodology from movement sciences and psychology in embodied naturalistic tasks. I am committed to sharing my work both within and beyond academia to inspire enthusiasm for joint action in particular and for science in general through research, education, talks and media.
In my research, I aim to investigate the process of discovering possibilities for action (affordances) within a social system, by integrating theory and methodology from movement sciences and psychology in embodied naturalistic tasks.
In the research project Conflict in motion I investigate the relation between agency, possibilities for action (affordances) and movement coordination in physical conflict. How do you experience agency when your possibilities for action are dependent on the coordination with another? And how can you prepare for a threatening interaction that requires improvisation? I investigate this in embodied, naturalistic tasks, for which parts of the Women’s self defense course I developed are used as experimental tasks.
In a paper in collaboration with Prof. K.L. Marsh (University of Connecticut) and Dr. Koudenburg (University of Groningen), we propose a theoretical framework on how joint action and breakdowns affects psychological unity and agency.
In the research project Moving patterns of behaviour in collaboration with Dr. Cox (University of Groningen) and Random Collision we study how agency can be strengthened through movement. Furthermore, I am collaborating in a project on Antifragility with Y. Hill (Free University of Amsterdam), dr. Ruud den Hartigh (University of Groningen), dr. P.L. Silva (University of Cincinatti) and dr. A. Kiefer (University of North Carolina).
In my dissertation Coordination dynamics of crew rowing I experimentally studied antiphase rowing, which is theoretically faster but had never been empirically tested on water. My experiments in the lab and on the water generated novel predictions for dynamical systems theory, and showed the expediency of using real-world tasks to test theory on human interaction. I developed and programmed the Remo measurement system to test crew performance on water.
Science is a joint endeavour that requires curiosity, rigorous methods and sharing knowledge in discussion within and between disciplines. As the incremental acquisition of knowledge is a process over generations and the aim of university education is to teach students academic thinking and doing, academic teaching and scientific research are inseparable. I aspire to create an academic environment that fosters discussion and invites exploration.
Acting on this aspiration, I developed a Movement Workshop for students to explore theoretical concepts on motor learning (e.g., affordances, constraints, control parameter and self-organisation) through movement exercises and joint reflection upon their experiences. To support students in their process of building on their future, I developed the educational module Creating your own course to challenge and support students to develop their plans for the future.