Maarten is a FONASO PhD candidate at the universities of Göttingen (Germany) and Bangor (Wales) working on landscape ecology and connectivity for large mammals in tropical forests. Specifically, he is working on the ecology and movement of the white-lipped peccary, a Neotropical wild pig, in the forests of Belize, Central America. Data from the field is used to model movements and predict the most feasible corridors among forest fragments.
For almost 15 years, Maarten has been involved in on-the-ground conservation work throughout the world in projects focusing on a diversity of animals, ranging from large mammals and bats to birds, reptiles and amphibians. Equipped with a BSc in Wildlife Management from the Netherlands and a MSc in Ecology from Uppsala University in Sweden, he has been working on landscape ecology and connectivity modelling in Belgium for 1.5 years before joining the Ya'axché Conservation Trust in Belize as Research Coordinator in 2010. In Belize, he worked on the development of Ya'axché's biodiversity monitoring programme, provided strategic ecologcal advice, and liaised with national and international academic institutions to initiate biological, socio-economical and archaeological research in Ya'axché's protected areas and their buffer communities