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Personal profile

Ancillary activities

  • European Union | Brussels | Expert | 2019-02-28 - present
  • European Commission | Brussels | Expert | 2020-03-03 - present

Ancillary activities are updated daily

Personal information

I am a scholar with a multidisciplinary background in sociology, human geography and anthropology. I believe in the power of ethnography to understand complex situations. I specialise in international migration, and applied research to support innovation in different professional fields from international development and humanitarianism, to healthcare.


I have spent 20+ years researching how migrants live their lives across multiple worlds, promoting change and development in their home and host countries. My work has focused, among others, on humanitarian responses to migration; migration governance; migration and development policymaking and practice; return migration; migrant transnationalism between Africa and Europe.  


Alongside migration-related work, I also engage in research collaboration with external partners in healthcare. In the medical world, research often emphasises aspects that can be quantified and measured. I rely on ethnography to document otherwise difficult to capture dimensions of healthcare that are however equally important in shaping the quality of care.    


I welcome students interested in collaborative research with external organizations/companies in healthcare, as well as students with an interest for migrant reception, border controls, return migration, and humanitarianism. 


I joined the Social and Cultural Anthropology Department at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in 2014, after having held positions at other universities in Italy, Senegal, the UK and the Netherlands. Before making research my passion, I was an international development and humanitarian practitioner in Africa and Asia.


I am board member of the Dutch Anthropologists' Association (ABv).


  • GN Anthropology
  • migration
  • diaspora
  • governance
  • mobility
  • citizenship
  • humanitarianism
  • development
  • co-creation
  • people-centred design
  • ethnography
  • healthcare policy
  • safety
  • healthcare professional cultures


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