Hein de Haas

hein4Hein de Haas is a migration researcher and Professor of Sociology at the University of Amsterdam. He was a founding member of the International Migration Institute (IMI) of the University of Oxford (2006-2015), which he co-directed between 2011 and 2015. He is also Extraordinary Professor of Migration and Development at the University of Maastricht / United Nations University and Research Associate at Oxford’s IMI.

His research focuses on the linkages between migration and broader processes of social transformation and development in origin and destination countries. His theoretical and empirical publications cover a wide range of issues, including migration determinants, migration policies, the development implications of migration, transnationalism and rural-urban transformations. He has extensive fieldwork experience in the Middle East and North Africa and, particularly, in southern Morocco.

Hein de Haas holds an undergraduate degree in anthropology (1989), an MA degree in environmental and social geography (1995) from the University of Amsterdam and a PhD in social sciences from the University of Nijmegen (2003). For more information about his work, please visit http://www.heindehaas.org

Simona Vezzoli

a08c7b76-6251-4770-8a36-99ebebe1def3Simona is currently a post doctoral researcher at the University of Amsterdam. She has contributed to the adoption and the adaptation of the scenario methodology for the study of the future of migration at IMI. Currently, her research focuses on the determinants of migration within the Determinants of International Migration (DEMIG) project, specifically conducting research on the history and evolution of migration patterns and policies in the Caribbean region. Her research interests include migration policy, in particular sending countries’ perspectives on emigration and the interaction between emigration and immigration policies; sending country policies to engage diaspora communities; and return and reintegration of migrants in their communities of origin.

Simona has a BA in socio-cultural anthropology (University of California, Berkeley), an  MA in international policy studies with a specialization in international development (Monterey Institute of International Studies, USA), and a PhD from the Maastricht Graduate School of Governance (Maastricht University, The Netherlands). Her studies have focused on migration and development, and migration policies concerning the regulation of migrant labour. She gained an understanding of applied migration and development projects while working on the Migration for the Development in Africa (MIDA) project at the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Rome. While at IOM she also conducted research on unaccompanied Afghan minors seeking asylum in Italy to document their journeys from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran to Italy, their motivations and difficulties encountered, and their expectations and it assessed the minors’ desire to pursue the tracing of their family in Afghanistan or elsewhere.

Sonja Fransen


Sonja is a post doctoral researcher at the University of Amsterdam. She completed a Master degree in Clinical Health Psychology at Tilburg University, a pre-master year of Development Studies at Radboud University, and a Research Master in Social Cultural Sciences at Radboud University.

In September 2009 Sonja joined the migration research group at Maastricht Graduate School of Governance (MGSoG), Maastricht University, to do her PhD research that was part of the Migration and Development: A World in Motion project.

After this, Sonja worked as a postdoctoral researcher on several projects related to (forced) migration at MGSoG, in collaboration with the Centre for Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS), University of Oxford. Currently, Sonja works as a postdoctoral researcher on the Migration as Development (MADE) project at the University of Amsterdam. Sonja’s research interests include (forced) migration, return migration, (post-conflict) development, and remittances.

She has extensive, both quantitative and qualitative, fieldwork experience in various countries, and is particularly specialized in migration and development in the African Great Lakes region. Sonja has also done various consultancies for NGOs and international organizations, including UNHCR and the World Bank. She has published several academic articles, book chapters, policy briefs, and reports in the area of (forced) migration studies and development.

Kerilyn Schewel


Kerilyn is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Amsterdam. Her research contextualizes current migration trends in an analysis of broader social transformations. She is particularly interested in understanding how changing aspirations and notions of the ‘good life’ impact migration decision-making, and how these aspirations interact with broader structural opportunities or constraints throughout the life course.
Her doctoral fieldwork, situated in the Ethiopian Rift Valley, employs a mixed methods approach, drawing on both household survey data as well as in-depth interviews to elucidate the mobility history of one rural village. She shows how migration patterns have interacted with political, economic and social change over time, and she considers the influence of changing aspirations and capabilities of young people today on future migration trends. In this context, she addresses questions related to mobility and immobility, rural transformation, urbanization, education, and gender.
Kerilyn graduated from the University of Virginia with a BA in Psychology (high distinction), during which time she did qualitative research on public health access among Afro-Brazilians in Bahia, Brazil. She holds an MSc in Migration Studies (distinction) from the University of Oxford. Her masters thesis, entitled “Understanding the Aspiration to Stay: a Case Study of Young Adults in Senegal,” employed a mixed methodological approach and won the ‘Best Dissertation’ award.

Katharina Natter


Katharina Natter is a doctoral researcher within the MADE project and particularly interested in the politics of migration in Europe and North Africa.

In her PhD thesis “Immigration and the State in Morocco and Tunisia: Polity, Politics, Policy”, she is looking at the emergence and changes of Moroccan and Tunisian immigration policies over the 2000-2015 period. Her aim is to relate this analysis to Morocco’s and Tunisia’s state (trans)formations since the mid-20thcentury, in terms of the structure and workings of the political system as well as state-society relations.

Katharina holds a Research Master in Comparative Political Science with a minor in Middle East-North African studies from Sciences Po, Paris (2012, honors) and a Bachelor in Political Science with a minor in European studies from Sciences Po, Nancy (2010, honors). Before joining the University of Amsterdam, Katharina has worked for more than two years as a Research Assistant at the International Migration Institute (University of Oxford) on the Determinants of International Migration (DEMIG) project led by Hein de Haas.

Since 2011, Katharina is also actively involved in Asylos, an NGO researching country of origin information for lawyers representing asylum seekers in European courts. In 2011 and 2012, she worked on migration issues during her traineeships at the European Commission (Brussels), the International Center for Migration Policy Development (Vienna), the French Institute for International Relations(Paris) and the Bertelsmann Stiftung (Berlin). In 2009-2010, Katharina spent one year in Cairo. She speaks German, French, English and intermediate Arabic and is currently learning Dutch.

Dominque Jolivet

dominqueDominique Jolivet holds a Master’s degree in Foreign Languages Applied to International Business and Trading (Université de Nantes, France) with a specialization in International Business Negotiation (Université François Rabelais of Tours, France) and a Master’s degree in Migration Studies, Development and Social Intervention (Universidad de Almería, Spain). She is research officer at the Oxford Department of International Development (ODID) at the University of Oxford, where she has been involved in several projects (EUMAGINE, THEMIS, Mobility in the African Great Lakes and MobileWelfare). She is interested in understanding the role of welfare and well-being in migration and immobility processes. Her research also focuses on how migration aspirations and decisions are shaped by non-migration policies in origin and destination countries, on onward migration processes and on the internal and structural factors that shape migration projects.

Mathis Osburg

Picture_Mathis Osburg

Mathis Osburg is a researcher in the MADE project at IMI. He holds a BA in Political Science from the University Lumière Lyon II and a MSc (Cum Laude) in Sociology with a specialisation in Migration and Ethnic Studies from the University of Amsterdam. His current research focusses on the effect of state expansion on shifting migration patterns and aspirations in French Guiana, a French overseas department in South America. Previously, Mathis worked with NGOs in the field of forced migration in Turkey, Serbia, Mexico and Belgium. He speaks English, French, German, Turkish and intermediate Spanish.

Naiara Rodriguez Peña

NaiaraNaiara is part of the European Joint Doctorate MOVES project. Her research inquires how development and migration are related in Argentina, given that the nexus between the two departs from general trends on the field. She focuses on how developmental processes have historically shaped motility and mobility processes. In this manner, her research investigates how development influences the capabilities and aspirations to migrate of individuals, how such potentiality turns into actual migration, and the adaptation strategies of those that aspire to but do not have the means to move. She is particularly interested in understanding the role of the state in the transition from (im)motility to mobility.

Naiara holds a BA in International Relations from the University of Deusto, Spain (2017), a MSc in Migration and Ethnic studies from the University of Amsterdam (UvA), the Netherlands (2018, cum laude), as well as a MSc in Political Economy (UvA; 2019, cum laude). Her studies have focused on migration dynamics, the intersection between migration, sexuality and race, and the interplay between broad processes of social transformation and migration dynamics.  While at MADE, she conducted research on how transformation in a rural, frontier Brazilian town affected its migration dynamics and socio-economic structure, which has informed the direction of her current project.

Her research interests include the role that states play in migration –in particular, sending countries perspectives on emigration and circulation movements and non-migration policies-, the relation between broader processes of change and migration dynamics, and the adaptation mechanisms followed by migration and return processes.

Siebert Wielstra

SiebertSiebert Wielstra worked as a student researcher and later as a research assistant for the MADE project. He carried out his research on replacement migration and social transformation within the project. His research focused especially on how long term social change is intertwined with shifting migration trajectories in small rural towns. Further research interests include border regimes and migrant surveillance, incorporation of irregular migrants and labor migration.

Siebert holds a Research Master in Social Science (2019) from the University of Amsterdam, with a specialization in migration studies and a Bachelor in Sociology (2016) from the University of Amsterdam with specializations in both urban sociology and the sociology of education. During his studies he worked as a student-assistant at the departments of Sociology and Anthropology.