Stefan Vriend

Dr. Stefan Vriend



Droevendaalsesteeg 10
6708 PB Wageningen

+31 (0) 317 47 34 00

The Netherlands



Quantitative population ecologist and coding enthusiast working for the SPI-Birds initiative. Tackling data-related challenges with a daily dose of atmospheric music, coffee and an ornamental pair of socks.


I am a developer and postdoctoral researcher at the SPI-Birds Network and Database. This is a network of researchers working on populations of breeding, individually marked birds with the aim to improve data accessibility and transparency, and to facilitate collaboration. As part of SPI-Birds, we are building robust pipelines for different research groups that output their individual-based breeding bird data in a community-defined standard format. In addition to tailoring pipelines, my work for the coming months will include: standardizing SPI-Birds' metadata, making long-term ecological data FAIR and AI-ready, and some research on large-scale intraspecific variation in various eco-evolutionary processes in hole-nesting passerines.

Before this, I was working as a PhD researcher at the Centre for Biodiversity Dynamics at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, Norway. I worked on the project 'Evolution in a Changing Climate' (EVOCLIM), which was inspired by the ability of individuals and populations to adapt to an ever-changing environment. Using a unique set of long-term studies on European hole-nesting passerines, I explored the roles of density dependence, through competition within and between species, and environmental fluctuations in affecting and linking ecological and evolutionary processes.

At NTNU, I have also been involved in the organisation of three international conferences: EvoDemo7, the 7th Annual Meeting of the Evolutionary Demography Society (, Røros, Norway, 6 - 11 Oct 2020), Nordic Society Oikos conference (, Trondheim, Norway, 20 - 22 Feb 2018), 8th International Hole-Nesting Birds Conference (, Trondheim, Norway, 30 Oct - 2 Nov 2017).




  • 2018–Present
    Developer at SPI-Birds
  • 2017–2022
    PhD student at Centre for Biodiversity Dynamics, NTNU, Trondheim, Norway


MSc Biology at Radboud University, Nijmegen

Projecten & samenwerkingen


  • SPI-Birds Network and Database

    Project 2019
    SPI-Birds Network and Database ( is a centralized and community-driven initiative that connects researchers working on wild bird populations in which individuals are uniquely marked and recognized. SPI-Birds makes research groups and their datasets visible, provides systematic data archiving, ensures data quality and integrity, and facilitates data sharing and comparative, cross-dataset analyses. For this purpose, we have developed a data standard and series of data quality checks agreed upon by the community, which adhere to the FAIR principles.
    Blue tit on a tree branch, getting ready to fly.


  • SPI-Birds: Studies of Populations of Individuals - Birds


    SPI-Birds is a network of researchers working on populations of breeding, individually marked birds that came together to create a community-defined, standardized method for formatting data and for describing the attributes of studied populations. In addition, this initiative aims to make long-term data of individually marked birds more accessible and improve the exchange of data, research ideas and practices. More info:

  • sTraitChange


    A sDiv collaborative project with the focus on: how do trait responses to climate change translate into variation in demographic rates and population dynamics?