Since November 2019 I work as a PhD student for the Zero Hunger lab, where I am supervised by Marleen Balvert and Hein Fleuren. Within the Zero Hunger Lab we aim to contribute towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), especially towards SDG 2: Zero Hunger. Using data science -and in my case operations research- we strive to support NGOs with their questions.

The research topic I am currently working on is called ENHANCE: Environment, Nutrition and Healthy Analytics for National, Consumer and Emergency diets. The goal of this project is to find affordable, nutritious and sustainable diets. As these factors can be contradicting, we aim to show and evaluate ecological trade-offs of healthy affordable diets. In this way we can determine how sustainable various diets are and take relevant planetary boundaries into account. This project is a diverse collaboration between the World Food Programme, Johns Hopkins University Center for a Livable Future, Capgemini and the Zero Hunger Lab.


My expertise lies in the field of optimization. In my work I like to think and work on different aspects of a problem: from discussing the main problem with field experts to setting up the corresponding mathematical formulation and evaluating its implications. Using my mathematical background within an applied setting is what I love to do the most, especially when it contributes to a better future.



Being born and raised in Rotterdam, I obtained both my bachelor’s and master’s degree at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam. During my bachelor period, I have been on an exchange to Mannheim University in Germany for one semester. In 2017 I obtained my BSc (cum laude) in Econometrics and Operational Research. In 2019 I finished my MSc (cum laude) in Econometrics and Management Science with the track Operations Research and Quantitative Logistics.



Starting date PhD: 15-11-2019

Expected graduation date: 15-11-2023


As the set-up of this academic year was a bit different due to the covid measures, the teaching setting was different as well. This year I am a teaching assistant for the following courses:

Mathematical Analysis 1

- A first year Bachelor Econometrics & OR course.  I gave plenary (live) sessions to students to explain exercises.

Mathematical Analysis 2

- A first year Bachelor Econometrics & OR course. During online sessions I gave plenary and individual explanations to students about their exercises.  

Operations Research Methods

- A third year Bachelor Econometrics & OR course. In this course I assist students during (online) computer labs in which they can ask questions related to the course material and their programming.


Besides these courses, I also supervise a master thesis student.


Recent publications

  1. Forecasting the Spread of SARS-CoV-2 is inherently Ambiguous given th…

    Koenen, M., Balvert, M., Brekelmans, R., Stienen, V., & Wagenaar, J. (2020). Forecasting the Spread of SARS-CoV-2 is inherently Ambiguous given the Current State of Virus Research. (CentER Discussion Paper; Vol. 2020-026). CentER, Center for Economic Research.

Find an expert or expertise