Meike Bartels, PhD

University Research Chair & Professor in Genetics and Wellbeing
Program Director, Research Master Genes in Behavior and Health
President, International Positive Psychology Association
Department of Biological Psychology
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Faculty Profile: Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Meike Bartels, PhD

“Differences in Wellbeing: What Do We Know About Genes, the Brain, and the Environment”


Happiness and wellbeing have emerged as important study subjects within and across many fields of research. A major driving force behind this is the association with physical and mental health and its pivotal role in socioeconomic issues and economic development. With the increased interest in the importance of wellbeing it is critically important to understand and reveal sources of individual differences.

Prof Meike Bartels will present her work on happiness and wellbeing that describing the complex interplay of genetic and environmental factors. She will present the current state of art within the field of behavioral and molecular genetic research into well-being, including twin-family studies and molecular genetic findings and the search for the exposome. She will furthermore explain the importance of her findings for individuals and the society at large.

Meike Bartels, Ph.D., (1973) is University Research Chair Professor in Genetics and Well-being at the Department of Biological Psychology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. She published over 250 papers in peer-reviewed journal including the first molecular genetic evidence for well-being in PNAS and the first genomic variant for well-being in Nature Genetics. She is the president of the International Positive Psychology Association and the immediate past president of the Behavior Genetics Association. She combines research with teaching and is the Director of the Research Master Genes in Behaviour and Health, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam. She was awarded a prestigious European Research Council Consolidator grant to build, expand and consolidate her line of research on Genetics and Wellbeing.

Reading List: