I started looking at diatoms during my MSc studies at Utrecht University (the Netherlands) where I studied freshwater species from Florida. During my PhD, I switched to the Arctic marine realm and I have worked there ever since. Besides studying fossil diatoms in the microscope, I also track their presence by analyzing specific diatom-produced organic biomarkers to reconstruct Arctic sea ice conditions. Together with a great group of international colleagues, I recently started a PAGES Working Group called MARDI (Marine Arctic Diatoms), where we aim to integrate and harmonize existing surface sample datasets with the ultimate goal of improving quantitative diatom-based Arctic paleoceanography.