The interplay between genetics and fertility behavior (postdoc 2011-2014):
I worked on Melinda Mills’ VIDIproject ‘unravelling the interplay between genetics and fertility behavior’ (Mills, VIDI). We set up the first GWAS of reproductive behavior in collaboration with the SSGAC. Additionally, we examined the heritability of fertility behavior and the relationship between education and fertility. Moreover, as part of this project I worked on two sophisticated analyses that directly build on recent GWAS findings. First, a paper which uses Mendelian Randomisation to test whether the link between education and fertility postponement is causal. And second a paper that investigates whether genetic infertility markers predict childlessness and whether there are possibly gene-environmental interactions related to educational level. Both were presented at the PAA 2014 (see working papers).
Life course transitions and psychological well-being (PhD 2007-2011):
For my PhD thesis (promotor Matthijs Kalmijn, copromotor Christiaan Monden) I investigated whether the impact of life course transitions (such as job loss, divorce, becoming disabled) on psychological well-being differs between higher and lower educated people using large scale longitudinal data from the UK and the Netherlands. So far this has resulted in four publications. I showed that life course transitions have a weaker detrimental impact on well-being for higher educated people and negative life course transitions may therefore be an important pathway for growing educational disparities in psychological well-being over the life course.