Kayla Green is a PhD candidate in the Erasmus SYNC Lab. Her work focuses on the behavioural and neural predictors of wellbeing during adolescence and young adulthood. She investigates the short- and long-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on adolescents’ mental health: which vulnerabilities put some adolescents at risk to be disproportionably hit by the pandemic, and are there protective factors that might buffer against the negative impact of the pandemic on mental health? In addition, she leads the longitudinal Braintime project on brain development during adolescence. She aims to shed light on how structural brain development and neural activation in subcortical brain regions during adolescence may lead to greater wellbeing later in life depending on one’s social environment. 

She is co-founder and social media officer of the YoungXperts youth participation platform. She is passionate about connecting science to society and policy. Green uses living lab methods, like citizen science, to stimulate the combination of impact-driven research and more (fundamental) curiosity-driven research in the field of developmental cognitive neuroscience. 

Green is also a member of the Diversity & Inclusion office, where she works on projects that are aimed at increasing the proportion of underrepresented groups in higher education and improving the success and wellbeing of underrepresented EUR-students.

Green has a background in psychology (Utrecht University, 2015). After obtaining her bachelor degree, she continued with the research master Neuroscience & Cognition (2018) and the clinical master Neuropsychology (2017) at Utrecht University. She did her clinical internship at the Neurology and Geriatrics Department of the Spijkenisse Medisch Centrum, where is also obtained her BAPD (certificate in psychodiagnostics). 

Nienke is junior researcher at the SYNC lab and is involved in our citizen science project YoungXperts. This project aims to include the voices of adolescents in scientific research by organizing living labs (i.e. interactive brainstorms) at schools and youth organisations in Rotterdam.

As junior researcher, she manages the YoungXperts project. She is concerned with the organization and implementation of the brainstorm sessions and workshops. She maintains contact with school leaders and youth workers. Furthermore, she helps with the recruitment and marketing of YoungXperts.

Nienke has a background in communication and media and obtained her master in Consumer Marketing at the University of Amsterdam in 2021. She has working experience in marketing and project management. Nienke is interested in youth participation and how scientists can recruit and include a diverse group of young people from different social backgrounds in their research.