After secondary school (Rijswijks Lyceum) I attended the Nederlandse Fotovakschool, meanwhile playing guitar in several rock ‘n roll gigs. Subsequently I fulfilled various jobs in the photo-industry and from 1969 till 1971 I worked as a photographer on the ss Statendam of the Holland America Line, which provided me an opportunity to travel around the world.
During the 1970s I studied biology at the Leiden University where I deepened my knowledge of evolution and indulged in various concepts of optimality. Meanwhile I was working in the building trade and constructed my own house in The Hague. Under supervision of Gerrit Anker and supported by Bert Otten I studied functional morphology of photoreceptors in a number of haplochromine cichlids from Lake Victoria.
During this period I also met my present wife, Joke Zwaanswijk (1954). In the 1980s we started a family with our son Beren (1982) and daughter Rosanne (1986). I continued my research on photoreception in cichlids and the potential adaptive character of their visual system at Leiden University which resulted in my thesis in 1991.
In the 1990s I began teaching biology at the Gymnasium Haganum meanwhile continuing my research at Leiden University. We arranged our second residence in Ambiévillers, France, where we spend ca. three months a year. We also developed a camping site near the house where we organized summer courses of a creative nature.
In 2000 my wife and I decided to finely get married and we spend our honeymoon with our children in Costa Rica. Next to teaching biology and general science to pupils of Gymnasium Haganum, I supervised students at the Leiden University with their studies on vision and evolution in cichlids. Since 2006, I also assist our pupils in their search for a successful career.
In 2009 I will end my work as a teacher.