Born (1954) and raised in the city of Rotterdam, a son of a shipyards labourer, I grew up in a rural area of a city rebuilding from the Second World War. After finishing high school I spent best part of two years in National Service, a useful experience to improve survival and marksman skills. Shortly after this I became officer of social service for the city of Rotterdam, where I had several duties from reactivating the unemployed to social work for homeless, addicted and people with mental disabilities. During the first years I completed a study as social worker at the Social Academy (Stichting Haarlem). AfterwardsI did a six-year training for yoga-teacher; obtained a masters degree in acupuncture and followed courses psychopathology (Catholic University Nijmegen – KUN) and statistics (Erasmus University Rotterdam – EUR).
After eighteen years of fieldwork I was employed some years as a researcher (social studies) and six years as a consultant. Mostly asked to advice in matters of reintegrating unemployed, building of multidisciplinary (semi) governmental teams for marginalized groups in society (psychiatric patients, disabled, elderly people) and evaluating local management of social matters. Because I am well trained in statistics I am regularly asked to conduct quantitative analysis on systems holding specific client/patient information. At the moment I work for concernstaff of the local gouvernment of De Ronde Venen to devellop strategic use of (Big) data.
My private life is dominated by natural history studies, mostly on marine Mollusca (shells). I travel around the world searching after fragments of supercontinent of Gondwana, looking for fossils and representatives of Scaphopoda (Tuskshells). I am a collection advisor of the Natural History Museum Rotterdam.
Travel and old natural history books are also my great passion, especially the natural history of Indonesia (former Netherlands Indies).
I can hardly imagine a life without music, I like classic as much as modern artists. I have a special interest for folksingers like Dick Gaughan, Karine Polwart, or MartheVassallo, listen to her performing a nice gavotte, but my favorite singer is Natalie Merchant. Her album “Leave your Sleep” is amazing!
At the moment I live in the city of Dordrecht some 20 kilometres South of Rotterdam, in a nice home dating from the beginning of de 20th century, it’s spacious and allows me to give my collections, books and myself a save haven.