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My name is Ian Spiertz, and I have been working at the Ettema lab as a research intern, as part of my Master’s program of Molecular Life Sciences at Radboud University in Nijmegen, the Netherlands.
I was 11 years old when my parents gave me a GameBoy Color for my birthday, including the game Pokémon Gold. It didn’t take me too long to evolve my starter Cyndaquil into a Quilava and so I took my very first steps to become a Pokémon Master. It would take many more years before I understood that evolution in Pokémon was actually closer to Lamarckism than to Darwinian Evolution. It did however spark my enthusiasm and curiosity for how life is not static a thing, but rather consists of ever emanating entities that change form over the course of generations. Ever since I was young I have been interested in Biology, and that interest gradually shifted to the molecular aspects of the field when I was confronted with some basic molecular biology and organic chemistry in secondary school. During my studies, I regained my interest for the molecular aspects of evolution and so after a short search I found the Ettemalab in Uppsala, where I was welcomed with open arms.