Coronavirus expert list - This list is frequently updated

Coronavirus expert list - This list is frequently updated

Effects on society: health care, education, politics, economy, climate,...

The effects of the Coronavirus are unparalleled, with all sections of society affected. That is why we have listed a few experts for you, from the medical sector as well as in blended learning and new technologies that make homeworking and teaching possible. You will also find researchers here who can help you with the following questions: What are the effects on humans as social animals in this lockdown? How will this develop politically and what are the economic consequences in Belgium and Europe? What are the possible consequences for the environment, climate and mobility? The academic experts of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel are happy to share their knowledge and analysis with you. 



MARK RUNACRES – Professor of fluid mechanics and head FabLab Brussels

Prototype simple ventilator

0476 41 24 63



Via Gina Volkaert

0476 88 67 24


DIRK DEVROEY - General practitioner

0475 85 38 12



02 477 63 66



WIM VAN DEN BROECK - Educational psychology

Learning disabilities

0487 42 60 13


NADINE ENGELS - Educational science

Well-being of pupils and teachers, teaching profession, school culture psychology, blended learning

0475 30 51 21


KOEN LOMBAERTS - Educational Sciences

Educational innovation, independent learning, online learning

0478 249 779




ELKE VAN HOOF - Health Psychology

Burnout, stress, trauma, overgevoeiligheid

0479 99 12 19


SARAH DE GIETER - Organisational psychology

Organisational psychology, human resources

0474 40 20 25


DOMINIQUE VERTÉ  - Adult educational sciences

Belgian Ageing Studies, social gerontology, needs of the elderly, ageing

0479 791 943  


IGNACE GLORIEUX - Sociology of time


“The coronavirus thoroughly disrupts daily life. People are advised to work from home, schools are closed. Restaurants, bars and shops are closed, public events are cancelled. Public life comes to a standstill and we are asked to withdraw into the private sphere. In just a few weeks, daily life as we know it from our time studies has changed drastically. The traditional social ‘Zeitgebers’, such as working hours, school hours, opening hours, no longer function. Spheres of life that are often strictly separated in modern societies – family, work, education, care, leisure – are brought back into the family sphere from one day to the next. This disruption of routines may also offer opportunities; restrictions often lead to new possibilities. Maybe it makes us think about the rush of our daily lives, maybe it makes us think about how we spend our time? Maybe it also leads to new forms of working and collaboration? But maybe after this crisis we will realise more than ever that working is a social activity that we should keep separate from the family sphere and that it is nice to relax outside the family sphere with other people. And perhaps we will also come to realise that a collective regulation of time is not necessarily a restriction, but a necessity in order to manage social life.”

0475 25 48 02


JESSY SIONGERS - Sociology of youth

Leisure and youth. Working at the Youth Research Platform and the Knowledge Centre for Cultural and Media Participation.

“At the Knowledge Centre for Cultural and Media Participation, we have just postponed a face-to-face survey among more than 2,000 Flemish people about their leisure activities, because in these times of Corona, an oral survey is no longer justified. The survey is intended to allow comparisons to be made with the measurements taken in 2014, 2009 and 2004 (see also the web tool at We can already state, however, that Flemish people’s leisure time expenditure will look completely different in 2020. This applies in particular to young people, who participate most strongly in organised leisure activities and for whom meeting friends is central in their choice of leisure activities.”

0471 96 08 69


MARK ELCHARDUS - Cultural sociology

Contemporary development of opinions, attitudes and ways of thinking and feeling

0475 77 36 15



Health demography, ageing, households and families, inequalities in mortality and health

0495 29 68 04


DAVE SINARDET - Political science

Federalism, nationalism, Belgian politics

0473 97 69 90

LOUISE HON - Political science

Euroscepticism, EU democracy, voting behaviour and public opinion

0474 86 27 36




Overheidsfinancien, begroting, overheidsadministratie

0477 20 59 08



Specialisation (retail) marketing and consumer behaviour, marketing strategy

02 629 18 79


LEO VAN HOVE - Economics

E-commerce, payment systems, currency economy

0474 24 90 65




Sustainable logistics, urban logistics

02 614 83 24


GEERT TE BOVELDT - Urban mobility and public transport

0488 58 71 02




Humanitarian aid (by and for women) and standards of living during and after the First World War.

“The major flu epidemics of 1918 and 1919 left deep wounds in Belgium, leaving some 280,000 victims. However, both the German and Belgian authorities buried their heads in the sand, and a nationally coordinated policy was lacking due to the chaotic war situation and the lack of scientific knowledge, civilian doctors and medicines. The censored press systematically minimised the disease, seeking scapegoats left and right – from women with bare necks to Chinese guest workers and Bolshevism.”

0495 87 96 26



ANN VAN GRIENSVEN - Biological engineering and hydrological modelling

0484 76 16 96


KURT BARBÉ - Biostatistics

Research group Biostatistics and Medical informatics (BISI).

“Every day I post an update of the model on Facebook,. For the time being, I try to get the number of tests to correct the model. My model currently looks as follows with interpretation:”

0479 25 72 46 



WIM THIERY - Climate science

“Globally, governments are stepping up their efforts to deal with the COVID-19 crisis, showing what a response to a global crisis can and should be: government action based on scientific knowledge and individual behavioural changes that together achieve results, with an emphasis on protecting the most vulnerable.”

(based on:

0485 70 80 18



ALEXANDER MATTELAER - Political science

Director IES - Institute of European Studies

European integration, defence policy and Nato, state sovereignty

0495 25 16 72


LUK VAN LANGENHOVE - Psychology and sociology

Regional integration, social sciences, positioning theory and psychology

“EUTOPIA goes digital! The travel restrictions and the principle of social distancing certainly do affect the project of establishing a European University. But it also creates a big opportunity to digitize collaborations. From its inception, he EUTOPIA project always has stressed that there is more than just physical mobility of students and staff to create a European university. Today, we are working hard to digitize board meetings and staff and student encounters.”

0473 981 956


JAMAL SHAHIN - Political science (EN, NL, FR, with British experience)

Impact of the internet on policymaking, political participation in the EU and globally. New forms of social and political organisation at global level and their impact on decision-making. EU communication on domestic and international stages

0474 48 09 74

About Press - Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Vrije Universiteit Brussel is an internationally oriented university in Brussels, the heart of Europe. By providing excellent research and education on a human scale, VUB wants to make an active and committed contribution to a better society.

The World Needs You

The Vrije Universiteit Brussel assumes its scientific and social responsibility with love and decisiveness. That’s why VUB launched the platform De Wereld Heeft Je Nodig – The World Needs You, which brings together ideas and actions based on six Ps. The first P stands for People, because that’s what it’s all about: giving people equal opportunities, prosperity, welfare, respect. Peace is about fighting injustice, big and small, in the world. Prosperity combats poverty and inequality. Planet stands for actions on biodiversity, climate, air quality, animal rights... With Partnership, VUB is looking for joint actions to make the world a better place. The sixth and last P is for Poincaré, the French philosopher Henri Poincaré, from whom VUB derives its motto that thinking should submit to nothing except the facts themselves. VUB is an ‘urban engaged university’, strongly anchored in Brussels and Europe and working according to the principles of free research.


Press - Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Pleinlaan 2
1050 Brussel