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 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 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, 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.

Photo by Elmer Spaargaren