Daan van Schalkwijk studied theoretical biology at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam; this is a combination of biology, mathematics and statistics. He completed his PhD in medical biology and systems biology at the research institute TNO and the University of Leiden, on the topic of mathematical modeling of cholesterol metabolism. Currently he teaches and advises academically at Amsterdam University College. The courses he teaches include "Big Questions in Science", "Introduction to Health and Wellbeing", and "Basic Research Methods and Statistics". He is also the director of Leidenhoven College, a small-scale collegiate hall of residence in Amsterdam. He regularly writes poetry for Omega magazine, as well as occasionally writing non-fiction with a fictional slant for popular websites like Mercatornet.