I am a human geographer interested in shrinking and growing rural communities, transient and strategically switching populations and lifestyle-related messy mobilities. I completed my PhD in 2013 at the Centre for Urban and Rural Studies (CUReS), Örebro University (Sweden). This thesis draws on register data and interviews with Dutch families in the rural Bergslagen area (Sweden), regarding their migration decisions and post-migration everyday realities. I have a Master’s degree in area studies (completed in 2002) from Utrecht University and a Bachelor’s degree in European Studies (2006) from The Hague University of Professional Education, both in the Netherlands.
My research is based in two projects funded by the Swedish research council FORMAS: "Mobilising the rural" (2014-2017) and "Mobilities, micro-urbanisation and changing settlement patterns in the sparsely populated North" (2017-2021), both headed by Linda Lundmark at Umeå University. As a post-doctoral researcher, I combined insights on innovation capacity of lagging rural areas with studying incoming entrepreneurs’ contributions to rural development in the former project. This mainly considered Dutch rural tourism entrepreneurs in the county of Värmland and non-EU incomers in the county of West-Bothnia, Sweden. As an assistant professor in the latter project, I currently study the ever-changing mobility patterns to and within rural Västerbotten and Norrbotten in order to understand how they have changed regional settlement patterns and functional settlement structures there. The focus is particularly on understanding the extent to which new mobility patterns have contributed to processes of counter- and micro-urbanisation (i.e. urbanisation within rural and sparsely populated municipalities). The project approaches these issues from two perspectives: a broader regional perspective focused on statistical analysis, GIS and spatial mapping, and a more detailed local perspective focused on local community case studies and interviews with individual migrants and community stakeholders.
I am involved in the Lifestyle Migration Hub, a network of migration scholars studying social rather than economic or other reasons for voluntary movements across the globe, often based on individual perceptions of ‘the good life’. I am also an affiliated researcher with the Arctic Research Centre (ARCUM) at Umeå University, through which my research can be linked with Arctic social sustainability studies.
A detailed list of my publications can be found here.
As a lecturer, I teach various courses at Bachelor and Master level (since 2009):
Destinations, Culture, Tourism and Regional Development
Tourism Geography and Tourism Planning
Social and Economic Geography, including retail and localisation models
Qualitative and Quantitative Research methods
I welcome Bachelor and Masters proposals with a the tourism-migration nexus in the fields of lifestyle migration, lifestyle entrepreneurship, transient populations, transnational family practices, new rural immigration destinations, rural place marketing and countryside capital.