Anja Holowell (PhD student)


Twitter: @AnjaHollowell

Anja started her ESRC-funded PhD in October 2021, supervised by Prof Angelica Ronald and Prof Iroise Dumontheil. The project, titled Large-scale cognitive and genetic investigations into the relationship between infant temperament and later mental health outcomes is part of the Genetics of Early Milestones and Skills project (GEMS). This project will use data from a number of different pregnancy and birth cohorts from the EArly Genetics and Lifecourse Epidemiology consortium ( to map the common genetic architecture of infant temperament traits. The project will also look into the role of infant temperament on lifespan development at behavioural and cognitive levels using longitudinal research designs.

Before her PhD, Anja completed her MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuropsycholgy at Birkbeck; her project investigated the relationship between a Bias Against Discomfirmatory Evidence (BADE) and non-clinical psychotic experiences in adolescents. Anja then worked in Public Involvement for a mental health research charity for two years before starting her PhD.


Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) +3 studentship

ESRC enhanced funding for Advanced Quantitative Methods


PhD Psychology – Birkbeck, University of London (2021-2024)

MSc (distinction) Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuropsychology – Birkbeck, University of London (2016 – 2018)

BSc (2:1) Natural Sciences (Major: Biochemistry and Genetics, Minor: Statistics) – Lancaster University (2012 – 2015)

Conferences and presentations

‘Preliminary results from a genome-wide association study of infant fussiness including a phenotypic harmonisation approach to account for measurement heterogeneity’ – London Genetics Network annual meeting, ECR flash talk, December 2022

Mapping the common genetic architecture of early temperament: First-look results from genome-wide association analyses of infant cohorts’ – World Congress for Psychiatric Genetics, Poster, September 2022


Pavarini, G., Reardon, T., Hollowell, A., Bennett, V., Lawrance, E., Pinfold, V., & Singh, I. (2022). Online peer support training to promote adolescents’ emotional support skills, mental health and agency during COVID-19: Randomised controlled trial and qualitative evaluation. European child & adolescent psychiatry, 1-12.

Hollowell, A., & Ronald, A. (2020). Psychotic experiences associate with a bias against disconfirmatory evidence (BADE) in adolescence. Schizophrenia Research, 218. 304-305.