Merel is the lead researcher of the AI/Autonomy Portfolio at the Security and Technology Programme at UNIDIR. Prior to joining UNIDIR, Merel worked on her doctoral research concerning the use of AI/autonomy in the context of military operations with a specific focus on targeting practices, the implementation of international humanitarian law, and human control. She presents her work to and regularly engages with governments, humanitarian organisations, military services, intergovernmental organisations, research institutes, the media and NGOs. She also served as an advisor to the government of the Netherlands on issues related to autonomous weapons. She holds a PhD in international law and an LL.M in Law and Politic of International Security from the VU University Amsterdam, Netherlands. She speaks English, Dutch, and German.
Merel’s areas of expertise include military operations, targeting, international humanitarian law, lethal autonomous weapon systems, AI, disarmament and the future of war.