I am a human geographer working on the intersection of repopulating rural studies and lifestyle-related urban-rural mobilities. I completed my PhD in 2013 at Örebro University in Sweden, studying Dutch families in the rural Bergslagen area (Sweden), their migration decisions and post-migration everyday realities. I also have a Master’s degree (Ma of Arts) 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 current research combines innovation capacity of lagging rural areas with incoming entrepreneurs’ contribution to rural development. This mainly considers Dutch rural tourism entrepreneurs in the county of Värmland and non-EU incomers in the county of West-Bothnia, Sweden. Is their entrepreneurship part of pre-migration aspirations and expectations or is it rather a necessity (due to a lack of local employment)? In the latter case, can we speak of skill destruction? And what happens when the newcomers decide to leave the area again? How does this relate to place marketing efforts to attract new residents, for instance through the annual Emigration Expo in the Netherlands? This research will run until 2016 and it is part of the project “Mobilising the Rural: Post-productivism and the New Economy” (headed by Linda Lundmark).
In 2015, I have visited the University of Erlangen as part of a collaboration project, and I gave a presentation at the Vaasa campus of Åbo Academy, Finland. I am involved in the Lifestyle Migration Hub, an expanding network of migration scholars studying social rather than economic reasons for voluntary movements across the globe, related to individual perceptions of ‘the good life’. In particular, I am interested in transient and strategically switching populations in Europe.
A detailed list of my publications can be found here.
Various courses taught at Bachelor level between 2009-2015:
Culture, Tourism and Regional Development
Qualitative and Quantitative Research methods
I welcome Bachelor and Masters proposals in the fields of the tourism-migration nexus, transnational families, VFR mobilities in rural areas, countryside capital, lifestyle entrepreneurship and lifestyle migration.