Amsterdam Young Academy announces 10 new members


 AYA is an independent platform where talented young scientists from the UvA and VU Amsterdam can meet each other and develop perceptions around science and society. 

AYA should be a place where the focus is on free intellectual debate and it would have an independent, opinion-forming role. A platform which would concurrently promote not only collaboration between the UvA and VU Amsterdam but also between the two universities and the city of Amsterdam.

10 new members in 2019
The faculties had been asked to nominate people with proven talent who had been awarded a PhD within the last eight years. Other important criteria were: patent enthusiasm for science, for interdisciplinarity and for applying science to society. This membership will be expanded by the current members of the Amsterdam branch of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Science's Young Academy. The 10 new members in 2019 are: 

Jos Akkermans an associate professor at VU Amsterdam. He studies how people can build successful and sustainable careers, for example looking at the role of employability and career shocks. Jos is associate editor for the Journal of Vocational Behavior and part of the Academy of Management Careers Division executive board.

Jelle van Baardewijk is a philosopher and social scientist at the VU. His research focuses on the intersection of business and policy ethics, for instance in education for ‘citizenship’. Jelle van Baardewijk is professor of business ethics (‘lector’) university of applied-sciences Rotterdam, conducting research in ethics of business, consumption, innovation, and policy making of business education.

Janna Cousijn works at the department of Psychology of the University of Amsterdam. She has an interdisciplinary background in neurobiology, medicine and psychology and currently studies how the environment and the brain interactively shape risk and resilience to addiction.

Hans Koster is associate professor in urban economics and real estate at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Using econometric tools and big data, he studies where and why people and firms locate in cities and how they interact.

Francesca Righetti is an associate professor in the department of Experimental and Applied Psychology at the VU Amsterdam. Her research focuses on close relationships and what enables people to maintain happy and fulfilling relationships with others.

Maartje Stols-Witlox is assistant professor painting conservation at the University of Amsterdam. In her investigations of historical painting and conservation methods, she combines historical recipe research and reconstruction with laboratory research.

Martijn Stronks is a lawyer and philosopher specialized in migration working at the Amsterdam Centre for Migration and Refugee Law at VU Amsterdam. He has analyzed the meaning of time in migration law and is currently investigating how governments use speed to differentiate between desired and undesired migration. He teaches in the Master program International Migration and Refugee Law a course on philosophy of migration.

Hanneke Stuit is assistant professor Literary and Cultural Analysis & Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Amsterdam. Her research focuses on the impact of how peripheral spaces like the countryside and the prison are imagined in popular culture. She mostly works on contemporary South Africa.

Maria Themeli is assistant professor at the department of Hematology in Amsterdam UMC – location VUmc. Her research focuses on using cells of the immune system as living drugs and empowering them in the lab to become more effective in destroying cancer.

Susanne Wilken is assistant professor of Aquatic Microbial Ecology at the UvA. She is interested in the complex microbial interactions that drive biogeochemical cycles in lakes and oceans. She is particularly fascinated by organisms that combine a ‘plant-like’ with an ‘animal-like’ lifestyle, as these mixotrophs can take contrasting ecosystem functions depending on environmental conditions.

About AYA
The Amsterdam Young Academy (AYA) will bring together young talented scientists from VU Amsterdam and the University of Amsterdam (UvA). AYA is an independent platform in which excellent researchers and lecturers from different disciplines will meet each other to develop views on science and scientific policy. At the same time, AYA provides opportunities for its members to conduct interdisciplinary research and aims to build bridges between science and society in Amsterdam. 


For more information (also in Dutch) and high res images, please contact the Amsterdam Young Academy office via: or