Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
About us Latest news News News articles

Five University of Groningen professors elected as members of the KNAW

10 May 2017

The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts & Sciences (KNAW) has chosen five professors from the University of Groningen to join its ranks: André Aleman, Amina Helmi, Claartje Mulder, Linda Steg en Marcel Visser . A total of 26 new members were elected. KNAW members are elected on the basis of high-quality academic achievements.

The KNAW has over 550 members, all of whom are prominent academics working in diverse fields of academic research. The KNAW’s tasks include advising the government about matters pertaining to science, promoting national and international cooperation at the academic level and being responsible for fifteen leading research institutes. The following professors from the University of Groningen will soon become members of the KNAW.

André Aleman
André Aleman

André Aleman, Professor of Neurosciences (UG/UMCG)

André Aleman is an innovative, internationally renowned brain researcher. His research field covers subjects such as suicide, ageing, schizophrenia and depression. One of Aleman’s achievements was to analyse the brains of schizophrenic patients who hear voices. His research is regularly cited in textbooks and finds its way onto the bookshelves of policymakers. Aleman, who was previously a member of The Young Academy, has also written an international bestseller about the ageing brain and gives lectures to diverse audiences.

Amina Helmi
Amina Helmi

Amina Helmi, Professor of Dynamics, Structure and Formation of the Milky Way

Amina Helmi is conducting research into the history of our Milky Way. Helmi has demonstrated how residue from smaller solar systems combined to form the Milky Way as we know it. She obtains data from telescopes and processes it into models and simulations. Helmi (assisted by her team) was one of the first people to sift through the mountains of data from the GAIA satellite. She showed how stars from the outer regions of the Milky Way move through the Milky Way like wrong-way drivers. Helmi was previously a member of The Young Academy.

Claartje Mulder
Claartje Mulder

Claartje Mulder, Professor of Demography and Space

Claartje Mulder has made significant contributions to the fields of geography, demography and family sociology. She was one of the first researchers to study how people make decisions relating to work, divorce, family and domicile based on their life course. Mulder found evidence that children who live close to their parents are less likely to move further away than children who already live at a distance.

Linda Steg
Linda Steg

Linda Steg, Professor of Environmental Psychology

Linda Steg focuses on the question of how we can understand, predict and influence environmentally aware behaviour. Her research examines subjects such as how people use their cars and why people waste energy. Steg showed that when it comes to the environment, people pay less attention to cost/benefit analyses, facts and arguments than to standards, values and feelings. Steg’s research helps policymakers to find ways to influence people’s behaviour.

Marcel Visser
Marcel Visser

Marcel Visser, Professor by special appointment of Seasonal Timing

Marcel Visser is head of the department of Animal Ecology at the Netherlands Institute for Ecology (NIOO-KNAW) and Professor by special appointment of Seasonal Timing at the Groningen Institute for Evolutionary Life Sciences (GELIFES) of the University of Groningen. He is an expert in the field of seasonal timing, climate change, phenology and the great tit. His research has proved that climate change is causing certain organisms in the food chain to shift their seasonal timing more strongly than others, thus causing selection on the basis of seasonal timing.

More information


Last modified:14 April 2020 1.09 p.m.
printView this page in: Nederlands

More news

  • 16 September 2021

    Teachers can also be bullies: LGBT youth at school

    Researchers Tessa Kaufman (Utrecht University) and Laura Baams (University of Groningen) are the first to use nationally representative data to reveal the school experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) school pupils in the...

  • 16 September 2021

    In traffic we see more than we think

    Would you notice if the speed limit on an electronic road sign changes? Are we aware of the route instructions that we follow? How is it possible that we avoid an obstacle without being aware of it? The aim of Ilse Harms’ PhD dissertation was to...

  • 14 September 2021

    Vote for Biomembrane SAVER as KIJK best tech idea 2021

    You can vote until October 5.