Health Psychology
Health psychology team
Semiha Denktas

Semiha Denktaș

Semiha Denktaș is professor in Psychology at Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences. She studies determinants of human behaviour, designs and evaluates interventions to change behaviour. Her vision is that scientific knowledge on human experiences and behaviours can contribute to achieving and maintaining positive and healthy behaviour of individuals and groups from birth to old age. With her interdisciplinairy approach and with a special focus on underrepresented groups, she aims to have a positive and lasting impact on education, science and society. In mutually beneficial partnerships with students, colleagues, societal stakeholders and citizens, she aims to practice meaningful and innovative research which she translates into her teaching materials and lectures. 

Rutger Engels portret
Dieuwertje Bravenboer

Rutger Engels

Rutger Engels is professor in Developmental Psychopathology at Erasmus School of Social and Behavioral Sciences. His fundamental and applied research focuses on mental health and substance use in children, adolescents and adults. In the last 10+ years, he has coordinated programmes aiming to develop, test, and ship (technology-enabled) interventions for mental health and addictions. He has co-designed a series of applied games, e-learning and digital solutions focusing on prevention and care for anxiety, depression, suicide prevention and additions. He is passionate about taking science to the frontline where it matters most and developing state-of-the-art prevention and treatment programmes that will have a far-reaching, international impact on policy and practice.

Marilisa Boffo

Marilisa Boffo is assistant professor in clinical psychology and eHealth at Erasmus School of Social and Behavioral Sciences and coordinator of this master track in “Health Psychology”. Trained as a clinical psychologist and research methodologist, she combines the two worlds into the design and evaluation of digital interventions for behaviour change. Marilisa’s primary research interest focuses on how to combine behavioural science, design and technology in order to develop innovative and effective interventions to support wellbeing and personal growth and prevent the development of psychopathology. Marilisa is also specialised in the design and management of (pragmatic) RCTs, with particular attention to their methodological and ethical aspects. She teaches the courses Design of Digital Interventions and Research Methods in Behaviour Change.

Paul Kocken

Paul Kocken

Dr. Paul Kocken is associate professor in behaviour change at Erasmus School of Social and Behavioral Sciences. He is a Public Health expert, specialised in Health promotion, Epidemiology and Health Policy and Management. He has a longstanding professional career as researcher and intervention developer in health and youth care practice. Paul is passionate in sharing his knowledge and skills to bring about break throughs in improved citizen’s health and wellbeing. He brings together education, practice, policy making and research to accelerate behaviour change and reduce health disparities. Paul teaches the courses in Health Psychology & Behaviour Change and Professional skills.

Inge Merkelbach on the stairs in Langeveld Building.

Inge Merkelbach

Inge Merkelbach is assistant professor in behaviour change at the Department of Psychology, Education & Child Studies. She works as behavioural scientist on research projects with societal impact, mostly within the city of Rotterdam. Topics she is interested in include health, poverty, and sustainability. Additionally, she likes working with different stakeholders like the municipality of Rotterdam and people living in the city. In her research she often combines different research methods, both qualitative and quantitative.

Camila Villegas Mejia

Camila Villegas Mejia

Camila Villegas is a professional designer and PhD candidate at the Department of Psychology, Education & Child Studies. Her research interests focus on the role of design in eHealth. Her current research is centred in testing novel design approaches to improve engagement with digital behaviour change interventions. Camila is one of the main teachers of the course in Design of Digital Interventions in the master track in “Health Psychology and Digital Interventions”, bringing an interdisciplinary perspective to the course contents and sharing her design expertise. Outside of work, she enjoys cats, pancakes, drawing and running. 

Tajda Laure

Tajda Laure

Tajda Laure is a behavioural scientist and PhD candidate at the Department of Psychology, Education, and Child Studies. Her research focus is on developing and evaluating digital interventions aimed to support students' wellbeing and academic performance. She is interested in digitalisation of mental health interventions, emotional and behavioural regulation, biological stress factors, and ethics in eHealth. Tajda is also one of the main teachers in the courses in Design of Digital Interventions and Research Methods in Behaviour Change

Malin Hollaar

Malin Hollaar

Malin Hollaar is a PhD candidate at the Department of Psychology, Education, and Child Studies and Healthy’R, an expertise center of the municipality of Rotterdam and EUR. Healthy’R combines scientific knowledge in the field of behaviour and health with so-called knowledge of the street, to help Rotterdammers choose healthier behaviours. Her research is focused on the psychological and community resilience of employed adults, and how this can be promoted. Malin teaches in the course Professional Skills, where she can share her professional experiences, e.g. about working with the municipality. In her spare time, she works as a music journalist, sharing her love for music on online platforms.

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