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Personal profile


My research revolves around the questions how biological factors such as (epi)genetics and hormones are related to child development and parenting, and how we can apply novel methodologies to enhance our understanding of parenting in relation to child development. I am involved in the longitudinal cohort study Generations2 and in the Father Trials study.




  • Projectleader SURF project ShareStats "Open sharing of statistics exercises with a community of teachers"
  • Coordinator methods-curriculum of the bachelor programmes Psychology and Education.
  • Statistics 2 (General Linear Model: Multiple linear regression, analysis of (co)variance). Second year bachelor course Psychology and Education
  • Statistics 3 (General/ized Linear Mixed Models: Mediation and Moderation models, Logistic Regression Models, Repeated Measures ANOVA, Linear Mixed Models). Third year bachelor course Education


Main applicant

  • ShareStats project "Open sharing of statistics exercises with a community of teachers", funded by SURF (350,000€), collaboration with VU-FSW, UvA, UU and EUR universities, sept 2020 - sept 2022
  • Material support “Genotyping in participants of Generations2”, funded by VU Faculty of Psychology and Education (19.579 €), 2018-2020
  • Project for PhD student “Go explore the world! On parenting and the development of motor activity in early childhood”, funded by VU Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences (201.600 €), 2015-present
  • Material support “The interaction between genes and parenting environment on the development of the young child: A polygenic approach”, funded by VU Faculty of Psychology and Education (48.000 €), 2015
  • Material support “The influence of genes and parenting environment on the development of the young child: A candidate gene approach”, funded by VU Faculty of Psychology and Education (55.000 €), 2014
  • VENI-grant from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) “Causal modeling of behavioral traits using genetically informative designs” (grant number 451-10-005) (250.000 €), 2014
  • ENGAGE grant for postdoc for project “Phenotype harmonization of personality data using Item Response Theory” (PI’s: Stephanie van den Berg, Marleen de Moor, Cornelia van Duijn en Dorret Boomsma) (27.300 €), 2011


  • The academic writing machine, Comenius Teaching Fellow Renske Bouwer (50.000€)
  • Genome-wide epigenetic analysis for project “The impact of child maltreatment on epigenetic changes and psychopathology”, funded by AUGEO (99.900 €), 2017-present
  • Project for three postdocs “Wonder-full education and human flourishing: stimulating children’s learning, morality, and spirituality”, funded by Sir John Templeton Foundation Sciences (800.000 €), 2017-2020
  • Project for postdoc “Stress- en rookvrije zwangerschap: Een e-health interventie voor vrouwen met (lichte) verstandelijke beperkingen”, funded by Fonds Nuts Ohra (288.465 €), 2017-present


Prizes and Awards

  • VU Van der Duin Schouten Education Award, January 28, 2021
  • VU FGB Education Award - Category Experienced Teacher, October 27, 2020
  • Early Career Investigator Program Award, XVIIIth World Congress on Psychiatric Genetics, Athens, Greece, October 3-7 2010
  • EMGO+ Societal Impact Award for organizing 25 years Netherlands Twin Register in Burger’s Zoo in 2014
  • Best Poster Award, Conference of European Network for Genetic and Genomic Epidemiology (ENGAGE), Rotterdam, Netherlands, 15 November 2012
  • Thompson award for best student paper, 38th Behavior Genetics Association congress, Louisville (Ky), USA, June 25-28 2008
  • Galton award for best student paper, 11th International Congress of Twin Studies, Ghent, Belgium, June 7-10 2007


  • Ph.D. in Behavior Genetics (cum laude), PhD thesis: “Exercise behavior and mental health: A genetic perspective”, Supervisors: Prof. dr. Dorret I. Boomsma & Prof. dr. Eco J.C. de Geus
  • M.Sc. in Psychological Methods (cum laude), Master thesis projects: “Causality in the longitudinal panel design and in time series: A comparison of methods” and “Fit indices and the selection of time series models”. Supervisors: dr. Ellen M. Hamaker, dr. Conor V. Dolan & Prof. dr. Peter C.M. Molenaar. Department of Psychology, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands




Ancillary activities

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Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

User created Keywords

  • Child Development
  • Parenting
  • Behavior Genetics
  • Statistics and Research Methods


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  • EMGO+ Societal Impact Award 2014

    Willemsen, G. (Recipient), Stroo, N. (Recipient), Vink, J.M. (Recipient) & de Moor, M.H.M. (Recipient), 5 Jun 2014