Hello, my name is Douwe Maat. I am a microbial ecologist, specialized in marine viral ecology and polar marine microbiology. My first encounter with the Arctic was in 2008 during my master evolutionary biology, where I did an internship on the effects of glacier melting on marine phytoplankton and bacteria. Since then I have furthered my interests in microbial ecology. I did my PhD on the effects of global climate change on virus-phytoplankton host interactions. In other words: how our changing environment affects the specific modes of phytoplankton mortality and subsequently marine food-web dynamics and the cycling of carbon and other elements in the water column. In 2014 I went back to the Arctic for a Post-doc on the effects of glacier-derived suspended sediments (rock-flour) on marine microbial interactions, i.e. how is grazing and viral lysis of microbes affected by these inorganic particles. I have been joining the APECS Netherlands meetings since that year with great interest and since 2015 I am chair of the APECS Netherlands board. We have several meetings/ activities each year and are working on expanding our network with more members and also have closer contact with other NCs. For the period 2016-2017 I am also in the council of APECS international for which I am an individual council member as well as representative of APECS Netherlands.