Members

Meet the AYA members

Amsterdam Young Academy Members

The two universities in Amsterdam, the UvA and VU Amsterdam have a new platform for talented young scientists: the Amsterdam Young Academy (AYA). AYA is intended to become a new, independent platform where talented young scientists from the UvA and VU Amsterdam can meet each other and develop perceptions around science and society. To learn more about all thirty AYA members, please watch the introduction movie and see their individual profiles on this page below.

Members of the Universiteit van Amsterdam (UvA):


Thomas Mensink

Assistant Professor 3D Deep Learning

Faculty of Science

Thomas Mensink is assistant professor in 3D Deep Learning at the University of Amsterdam, since 2017. He researches how a computer can learn to perceive and understand the 3D visual world from just a single image, by combining deep learning techniques with 3D computer vision theory.
AYA member

Helmer Helmers

Assistant Professor Dutch Literature & NWO Veni Postdoc

Faculty of Humanities

Helmer Helmers is lecturer in Early Modern Dutch Literature at the University of Amsterdam. He is the author of The Royalist Republic (CUP, 2015), and co-editor of the Cambridge Companion to the Dutch Golden Age (CUP, 2018). In 2018-2019 he is a fellow at the NIAS, working on a research project on premodern public diplomacy.
AYA member


Bram Mellink

Assistant Professor Dutch History & Postdoctoral researcher

Faculty of Humanities

Bram Mellink is assistant professor at the University of Amsterdam. He investigates the role of ideas in politics and their translation into policy. His current research focuses on the influence of the early neoliberal movement in Western Europe on Dutch policy debates on welfare politics between 1945 and 1975.
AYA member


Carla Ribeiro

Assistant Professor Experimental Immunology

Faculty of Medicine (AMC)

Carla Ribeiro is an Assistant Professor at the department of Experimental Immunology in Amsterdam UMC - location AMC. Her lab focuses on elucidating the molecular mechanisms regulating autophagy pathways, ultimately aiming to maximize the therapeutic potential of targeting autophagy to intervene in chronic viral infections and inflammatory diseases.
AYA member


Marit van Gils

PostDoctoral Fellow Medical Microbiology

Faculty of Medicine (AMC)

After her PhD in computational linguistics at Saarland University, Marit van Gils came to the Vrije Universiteit. Since this move, her research focuses on how computational models of language can be used in interdisciplinary settings and what methodological aspects come into play. Her VENI project addresses stereotyping and concept drift.
AYA member


Matthijs Brouwer

Neurologist

Faculty of Medicine (AMC)

Matthijs Brouwer (1977) is a clinical neurologist at the Amsterdam UMC department of neurology who performs translational research on infections and inflammatory diseases of the central nervous system, including cohort studies, randomized controlled trials, genetic association studies and in vitro and in vivo validation experiments.
AYA member


Maria Weimer

Assistant Professor Public International and European Law

Faculty of Science

Maria Weimer is assistant professor of EU law and governance at the Law Faculty of the University of Amsterdam. She researches the role of law in securing public interests, such as environmental protection and public health, under conditions of economic globalization, rapid technological innovation, multi-level governance and transnationalization. She is deputy editor-in-chief of the European Journal of Risk Regulation.
AYA member


Marci Cottingham

Assistant Professor Sociology

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Marci Cottingham is an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Amsterdam. She examines how social inequalities, organizations, and media structure emotions across the domains of healthcare and biomedical science. The American Sociological Association, the National Science Foundation, and the Society for the Study of Social Problems have recognized and supported her research.
AYA member


Sanne Kruikemeier

Assistant Professor Political Communication

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Sanne Kruikemeier (PhD, 2014) is an Assistant Professor Political Communication and Journalism at the Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR) and the Communication Science Department of the University of Amsterdam. Her research focuses on the how the Internet influences citizens’ involvement in politics. She also investigates the implications of personalized information and communication for individuals and society.
AYA member


Umberto Olcese

Assistant Professor Cognitive and Systems Neuroscience

Faculty of Science

Umberto Olcese was trained as a Biomedical Engineer, but soon became fascinated with the brain. During his PhD and PostDoc he developed his skills in computational and experimental methods to study neuronal activity. As an Assistant Professor at UvA, he investigates the neuron-level mechanisms of multisensory processing and consciousness.
AYA member


Leonie Schmidt

Assistant Professor Television Studies & Postdoctoral Researcher

Faculty of Humanities

Dr. Leonie Schmidt is Assistant Professor in the Media Studies Department of the University of Amsterdam and Associate Researcher at SOAS, University of London. Currently, she is working on a Veni project, which explores how in Indonesia Islamic ‘counter-terror pop culture’ helps to limit Islamic radicalisation and terrorism.
AYA member


Eddie Brummelman 

Assistant Professor Development Psychopathology & Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellow

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Eddie Brummelman is an Assistant Professor of Child Development and Education. His research examines how children construct views of themselves—such as narcissism and self-esteem—and how these views can be altered to help children flourish.
AYA member


Shaul Shalvi

Associate Professor Economics

Faculty of Economics and Business

Shaul Shalvi (1978) conducts research bridging experimental economics and social psychology. His recent research focuses on understanding the behavioral roots of corruption. Specifically, how the human tendency to cooperate, may turn otherwise honest people corrupt. He is an international expert on understanding ethical question from a behavioral approach.
AYA member


Janna Cousijn

Assistant Professor Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

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.

Janna Cousijn


Maartje Stols-Witlox

Assistant professor painting conservation

Faculty of Humanities

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.


Hanneke Stuit

Assistant Professor Literary and Cultural Analysis & Postdoctoral Researcher

Faculty of Humanities

Hanneke Stuit’s 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.

Hanneke Stuit



Members of the Vrije Universiteit (VU):

Katinka van der Kooij

Post-doctoral research fellow Human Movement Sciences

Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences

Katinka van der Kooij (1981) started her career writing fiction but soon discovered the human brain was mysterious enough. She obtained her PhD in 3D perception at Utrecht University and afterwards performed post-docs in Industrial Design and Human Movement Sciences. Now she investigates human motor learning at the VU Amsterdam.
AYA member


Marieke de Hoon

Assistant Professor International Law, International Criminal Justice and Human Rights

Faculty of Law

Dr. Marieke de Hoon is Assistant Professor at the Law Faculty of VU Amsterdam. Her research focuses on international law and international criminal law. She is moreover Director Netherlands Office and Senior Counsel at the Public International Law & Policy Group, where she provides pro bono legal assistance in (post-)conflict situations.
AYA member


Yarin Eski

Postdoctoral Researcher Knowledge Hub Security and Social Resilience 

Faculty of Social Sciences 

Yarin Eski is a postdoctoral researcher at the Knowledge Hub Security and Social Resilience of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. His research includes (maritime) security, ethnography, occupational identities, socio-cultural aspects of policing, the use of force, biography, the arms trade, illegal drug trafficking, corruption, undermining of democracy, genocide and existentialism.
AYA member


Anastasia Sergeeva

Assistant Professor Knowledge, Information & Networks

School of Business and Economics

Dr. Anastasia Sergeeva is an Assistant Professor at School of Business and Economics. She holds a PhD in Management from the Graduate School of Management of St. Petersburg State University. Her research focuses on the impact of new technologies on work and organizing, with a particular interest in healthcare settings.
AYA member


Pieter Coppens

Assistant Professor Islamic Theology and Spiritual Care

Faculty of Religion and Theology

Pieter Coppens is Assistant Professor in Islamic Studies at Vrije Universiteit. His research focuses on the history of Qur’an interpretation and the history of Sufism. He is a 2018 recipient of the VENI-grant for a project on the origins, growth and dissemination of Salafi Qur’an interpretation since the 19th century.
AYA member


Josine de Winter

Postdoctoral Researcher Pathophysiology

VUMC School of Medical Sciences

Josine de Winter received her PhD in muscle physiology. Her studies focus on striated muscle performance in health and disease and on how to restore muscle function in patients with muscle disorders. Josine is also highly interested in science communication: her goal is to make science visible to the public.
AYA member


Linda Douw

Assistant Professor Anatomy & Neurosciences

VUMC School of Medical Sciences

Linda Douw is a network neuroscientist: her research revolves around patterns of connections between brain regions and their demise in neurological disease. She also ventures into information transfer between teachers and students and translation of science to the general public. Linda currently holds an assistant professor position at VUmc.
AYA member


Rik Peels 

Assistant Professor Ethics and Epistemology

Faculty of Humanities

Dr. Rik Peels is Assistant Professor in Epistemology at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. He investigates ignorance, responsibility for belief, the limits of science, and the responsibilities of the university. Recent books include Responsible Belief (2017, OUP), and Scientism, ed. with Jeroen de Ridder and René van Woudenberg (2018, OUP).
AYA member


Miriam Wijkman 

Assistant Professor Criminal Law

Faculty of Law

Miriam Wijkman has graduated in Law, and in Child- and Adolescent Psychology. She received her PhD in Criminology with a research on female sexual offenders of whom she studied offender typologies, criminal careers and co-offending patterns. Her research interests focuses on sexual offending, organized crime and legal psychology.
AYA member


Antske Fokkens

Assistant Professor Computational Linguistics

Faculty of Humanities

After her PhD in computational linguistics at Saarland University, Antske Fokkens came to the Vrije Universiteit. Since this move, her research focuses on how computational models of language can be used in interdisciplinary settings and what methodological aspects come into play. Her VENI project addresses stereotyping and concept drift.


Ronald Kroeze

Assistant Professor History

Faculty of Humanities

Ronald Kroeze is an assistant professor of History at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. His research areas are the history of governance, transparency, management, democracy and (anti)corruption. Kroeze was a visiting scholar at Humboldt University, Warwick University and University of Avignon. He is a member of the board of the Amsterdam Centre for Political Thought and the European Research Network ‘Politics and Corruption’. A recent publication is Ronald Kroeze, Guy Geltner and André Vitoria (eds.), A History of Anticorruption. From Antiquity until the Modern Era. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018.
AYA member


Ivano Malavolta

Assistant Professor Data-Driven Software Engineering

Faculty of Science

Ivano Malavolta is an assistant professor in Computer Science at the VU. He designs and conducts empirical experiments to gather data to steer informed decisions about the quality of software (e.g., its energy efficiency) and the way software should be designed and developed. Application areas: mobile and web applications, large-scale software systems, robotics.
AYA member


Silke Muylaert

Postdoctoral Researcher Texts and Traditions

Faculty of Relgion and Theology

Silke Muylaert currently engages in post-doctoral research at the Faculty of Religion and Theology of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Her research concentrates on sixteenth-century Reformed refugees who fled the Low Countries. She completed her doctoral studies in England at the University of Kent and received the Huguenot Scholarship in 2015.
AYA member


Francesca Righetti

Associate Professor Experimental and Applied Psychology

Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences

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.

Francesca Righetti


Martijn Stronks

Faculty of Law

Martijn Stronks is a lawyer and philosopher specialized in migration working at the Amsterdam Centre for Migration and Refugee Law. 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.

Martijn Stronks


Hans Koster

Associate Professor in urban economics and real estate

School of Business and Economics

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.


Maria Themeli

Assistant Professor Hematology

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.


Jos Akkermans

School of Business and Economics

Jos Akkermans is 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.

jos akkermans



Members of the Academisch Centrum Tandheelkunde Amsterdam (ACTA):

Denise Duijster

Post-Doctoral Researcher Dental Public Health

Faculty of Dentistry

Denise Duijster (1986) studies oral diseases in the population. She has developed and evaluated several interventions focused on dental caries prevention in low socioeconomic families, school-based health promotion in Southeast Asia and quality improvement of oral healthcare in Europe. For this, she concentrates on establishing intersectoral research collaborations.
AYA member


Ghizlane Aarab

Associate Professor in Oral Movement Disorders

Faculty of Dentistry

Dr. Ghizlane Aarab is an associate professor and chair at the department of Oral Kinesiology at the Academic Centre for Dentistry in Amsterdam. She teaches at the undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate levels on orofacial pain and on dental sleep medicine. Further, Ghizlane is working part-time as a dentist specialized in sleep medicine, orofacial pain/TMD, and restorative dentistry at her private dental clinic in The Hague. In 2011, Dr. Aarab defended her thesis entitled “Mandibular Advancement Device Therapy in Obstructive Sleep Apnea” at the University of Amsterdam.
AYA member