Rik has always been fascinated with analyzing and modelling the world around him. He has been interested in areas as diverse as mechanical and civil engineering, rocket science, biology and fundamental physics. He started his academic career in pure mathematics, but at the same time, he developed a passion for data science and machine learning. In the middle of his PhD he decided to completely switch research direction and now studies applied mathematics and machine learning. He also keeps a blog where he toys with diverse topics in data science.
Rik is the editor of 14 Breaks:
Cities threaten global biodiversity but could also help sustain it
Over the next 30 years, the expansion of cities will threaten global biodiversity unless we change the way that they are built. Greener cities can become part of the solution to the global biodiversity crisis.Feb 1, 2023 | 3.5 min read
When One Disaster Follows Another
Disasters such as hurricanes, floods, and wildfires are increasing in frequency, and many locations are experiencing repeated disasters. Each disaster can create legacy conditions that affect the outcome of the disasters that follow. New research is helping to understand and predict these important legacies.Sep 14, 2022 | 3.5 min read
A House Of Toxins? How Cleaning Products Can Create An Unhealthy Living Environment
Using some common household cleaning products lead to the formation of indoor pollutants. During realistic use, we observed for the first time that chemical vapors from certain cleaning products can rapidly change into small airborne particles harmful to the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. This has consequences for professional cleaners and people frequently exposed to cleaning products.Aug 18, 2022 | 3 min read
Genetically Reprogramming Biological Clocks: One Step Closer To The Fountain Of Youth
Imagine telling explorers of the New World that the Fountain of Youth was hidden in their cells. That's probably what Kristen C. Browder's team could say after successfully reversing the biological clock of living mice. According to their results, the secrets of rejuvenation seem to be buried in the heart of each of our cells, in other words, in our genes.Aug 11, 2022 | 3 min read
Ships with hitchhiking critters connect Antarctica to the rest of the world
Ships expose Antarctica to many kinds of human impacts, including invasive species that cannot cross the rough seas of the Southern Ocean without help. To successfully conserve iconic Antarctic species and environments we need to know where non-native species might come from, and where to look for them in Antarctica.Jul 8, 2022 | 4 min read
Are super-Earths more friendly to life than we thought?
The discovery of planets outside the Solar System began thirty years ago and has been on the rise since, but how much do we know about these planets? Can we find out what they are made of and if they are habitable? Can we use our limited knowledge of the Earth’s interiors to predict the habitability of these faraway planets? Some scientists used laser beams on a piece of iron and did just that.May 30, 2022 | 3.5 min read