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Welcome to my website!

I am a historian of science and colonialism and digital humanist in the research group of Knowledge, Transformations & Society (KiTeS) at the University of Twente in the Netherlands.


  • In my work as historian, I examine the relationship between science, technology and society from a long-term historical and global perspective. have a special interest in colonial histories of science (with a focus on histories of natural history and chemistry) and technology in insular Southeast Asia and Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries. 


  • In my work as digital humanist, I research how computational technologies (in particular AI related and semantic technologies) can be used to enrich and contextualize digitized multimodal archives and collections (e.g. biodiversity heritage collections). From 2023 onwards, I am also daily board member and WP2 co-lead of HAICu (digital Humanities - Artificial Intelligence - Cultural heritage, 2023-2029), a large and multi-annual project in the field of digital humanities.

Characteristic of my work is that I combine in-depth archival research with critical conceptual thinking and co-learning with societal stakeholders such as museums, citizen volunteers, research institutes, and archives.


I have presented my research not only in the form of academic publications and talks, but have also co-curated a museum exhibition on the history of recycling (on display at Rijksmuseum Boerhaave in Leiden 2015-2016). I am co-editor of the Brill book series Emergence of Natural History (ENH) and associate editor of the journal Itinerario. Journal of Imperial and Global Interactions. Since 2024, I am also part of a steering group of the 4TU.History of Technology center here in the Netherlands. Moreover, I am member of the scientific advisory board (Wissenschaftlicher Beirat) of the German Maritime Museum (DSM) in Bremerhaven.



  • July 2023: Large consortium on AI, digital humanities & cultural heritage (HAICu) in which I am involved as daily board member and WP2 co-lead recieves funding, see:

  • June 2022: Keynote lecture: Cultural Bias of (Digitized) Natural History Collections. Conference: DH Benelux 2022, June 1-3, 2022, Luxembourg,

  • May 2022: Essay on the Chinese draftsmen Tsing Wang Ho and Pieter van Oort (1804-1834) published, see here.

  • December 2021: Second volume of books on Pieter van Oort (1804-1834) published, see here.

  • November 2021: Guest editor of a special issue on digital natural and cultural heritage collections to be submitted to the Journal on Computing and Cultural Heritage (JOCCH).

  • July 2021: Chapter on Natural History Collections and Empire published, see here.

  • June 2021: First volume of book on Pieter van Oort (1804-1834) published.

  • May 2021: Book chapter on Material Sensibilities with a specific focus on the history of writing paper and its materiality published, see here. [proof]

  • February 2021: Journal paper on semi-automated interpretation of digitized natural history drawings in journal Ecological Informatics, see here.

  • February 2021: Chair of a special session (ICAART 2021, 4-6 February 2021, online) on challenges and opportunities of Artificial Intelligence & Digital Heritage (ARTIDIGH 2021).

  • November 2020: Visual edition of the archive of the Natuurkundige Commissie launched! This is one of the world´s largest historical archives of the flora and fauna of Indonesia in thefirst half of the nineteenth century.

  • November 2020: Conference chair & organizer of the international conference Collect&Connect: Archives and Collections in a Digital Age (virtual event, 23-24 November 2020)

  • November 2020: Invited to speak at the conference Rethinking Culture and Science: Opportunities, Risks and Developments of the Digital Revolution organized by the German National Library in the context of the German Presidency of the European Council.

  • From September 2020 onwards, I have the pleasure of serving as PhD training coordinator of WTMC – the Netherlands Graduate Research School of Science, Technology, and Modern Culture.

  • February 2020: Co-chair and initiator of a special session (ICAART 2020, 22-24 February 2020, Malta) on challenges and opportunities of Artificial Intelligence & Digital Heritage (ARTIDIGH 2020). Submit your paper here!

  • October 2020: New journal paper on Collecting Colonial Nature published in open access! Click for full text here.

  • December 2019: New co-authored journal paper with the title “Semantic Annotation of Natural History Collections” in Journal of Web Semantics published. For a digital copy click here.

  • 24-27 October 2019: Invited commentary on papers of a panel titled ‘Technology and Postcoloniality of/in the Global South’ to be held at the annual meeting of the Society for the History of Technology (SHOT) in Milan.

  • October 2019: Edited volume on “Locations of Knowledge in Dutch Contexts” pulblished. This interdisciplinary volume brings together scholars who shed light on the ways locations gave shape to scientific knowledge practices in the Dutch Republic and the Kingdom of the Netherlands. For more information click here.

  • June 2019: Co-authored book chapter on “Automated Semantic Annotation of Species Names in Handwritten Texts” published. For a PDF click here.

  • April 2019: Journal special issue on the history of the Bogor Botanical Gardens published. For PDFs in open access click here.

  • 27 February 2019: Invited conference paper titled “Material Sensibilities: Paper, Chemistry, and Recycling in the Netherlands and beyond, ca. 1800”. International conference: The Paper Trade of Early Modern Europe: Practices, Materials, Networks, Erlangen, 26-27 February 2019.

  • 30 January 2019: Colloquium presentation Göttingen University (Chair, Early Modern History: M. Füssel) on “Expertenwissen, Rohstoffkreisläufe und Chemie in den niederländischen Kolonien um 1800“

  • From 16 to 23 October 2018, I was guest lecturer for the History of Science and Technology in Indonesia at Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta.

  • September 2018: New co-authored conference contribution with the title “From Historical Handwritten Manuscripts to Linked Data” to be published in Springer LNCS (vol. 11057), Proceedings of International Conference on Theory and Practice of Digital Libraries (TPDL) in Porto, 10-13 September 2018.

  • March 2018: New co-authored book chapter with the title “Towards a Digital Infrastructure for Illustrated Handwritten Archives” published in Springer LNCS (vol. 10605) on Digital Cultural Heritage. For an authors approved digital copy click here.

  • On 7 February 2018, I gave a keynote lecture titled “Natural Historical Archives as Digital Challenge and Opportunity” at the conference Digital Past in Aberystwyth. The conference was organized by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales.

  • January 2018: Book chapter on the material history of coins, paper money and debt in the early nineteenth century Dutch empire in Southeast Asia published, for a pdf see here.

  • October 2017: Interdisciplinary symposiumManaging Alliances: Plant Science at Bogor Botanical Gardens, 1817-2017” to commemorate the bicentennial anniversary of the Botanical Gardens in Bogor, Hortus Botanicus Leiden, 19 October 2017.

  • August 2017: The collaborative digital cultural heritage research project: Eventscapes: Providing Spatio-Temporal Access to the Prize Papers has recieved funding from NWO. I helped realizing the project as co-applicant.

  • August 2017: New position as editor of the Brill book series Emergence of Natural History. If you are interested in publishing in the series please get in touch with me.

  • July 2017: Article in de Volkskrant (Dutch national newspaper) on my research in the context of the collaborative Making Sense project published.

  • August 2017: Come and join us for our summer course on ‘Governance and Ethics of Technology‘ (13-22 August 2017) at Twente University!

  • June 2017: Project website of Making Sense of Illustrated Handwritten Archives is online!

  • February 2017: Hortus Botanicus Leiden: Public lecture on Reinwardt and early years of the hortus botanicus in Bogor on February, 26!

  • February 2017: Come and watch our presentation on ‘Natural Historical Archives as Digital Challenge and Opportunity‘ at UCL Centre for Digital Humanities on February, 8!

  • January 2017: Panel on ‘Niches and Networks of Expertise: Negotiating Science, Citizenship and Economy in Southeast Asia and beyond‘ for the annual meeting of the European Association of Southeast Asian Studies (EASAS) in Oxford, 16-18 August 2017 accepted! If you are interested in contributing please drop me a line.

  • October 2016: Presentation of project Making Sense of Illustrated Handwritten Archives at workshop ‘Googeling through archives’ at the National Archive in The Hague. For a report and visual impressions of the event see here and here.

  • October 2016: Click here for the ‘Making Sense’ poster presented at the 4th National eScience symposium in Amsterdam on 13 October 2016!

  • July 2016: First conference paper of ‘Making Sense of Illustrated Handwritten Archives’ project presented at DH 2016 in Krakow. See for the abstract here!

  • February 2016: The exhibition Wealth of Waste has received an ‘honorary mention’ award in the 2016 competition for the Dibner Award for Excellence in Museum Exhibits of the American Society for the History of Technology (SHOT).

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