tessa fee blanken

postdoctoral researcher


I am a postdoctoral researcher within the psychosystems group, at the Psychological Methods department of the University of Amsterdam (UvA).

My research focuses on the complex interplay between insomnia and depression – at the biological, psychological, and social level. The aim to integrate these different levels comes from combining my educational background in psychological methods (learning about psychopathology networks) with my PhD at the Netherlands Insitute for Neuroscience (focusing on insomnia and depression) and work I did during the COVID-19 crisis (investigating social contact networks along which behaviour can spread). The common denominator is the use of network analyses and complexity science, which I now use to link these levels and shed light on the dynamic interplay between insomnia and depression (see selected publications below).

My dissertation on Changing perspectives on insomnia and depression: From symptoms to system (cum laude) was awarded the Hilbert Kamphuisen Award for best dissertation 2019-2020 and was mentioned in the Volkskrant as a demonstration of how direct interactions among symptoms can cause psychopathological disorders to get intertwined.

During COVID-19, I co-founded the interdisciplinary platform Science versus Corona, including a data consultancy desk, to unite scientistis across disciplines to understand and fight the coronavirus. I currently lead the research we are doing on behavioural solutions to COVID-19 and am involved in the M4MA lab that was initiated from this work to model pedestrain behaviour.

I am a member of the Data Science Centre at the UvA, who funded part of my postdoc within the Social and Behavioral Data Science Centre. In addition I received a personal research grant from the BIAL Foundation to investigate the cross-modal link between sleep and mood. See full cv here.


Jan, 2023 We received an Impact Grant to link our pedestrian model to epidemiological models.
May, 2022 Together with Anouk Schrantee and Maarten Marsman I received an ABC project grant for our proposal: More than the sum of parts: Exploiting the synergy between psychological and brain networks.
Oct, 2021 New paper on how to promote physical distancing

selected publications

  1. covid-19
    Promoting physical distancing during COVID-19: a systematic approach to compare behavioral interventions
    Blanken, T.F., Tanis, C.C., Nauta, F.H., Dablander, F., Zijlstra, B.J.H., Bouten, R.M., Oostvogel, Q.H., Boersma, M.J., Steenhoven, F., Wit, S., and Borsboom, D.
    Scientific Reports 2021
  2. brain/behaviour
    Connecting brain and behavior in clinical neuroscience: A network approach
    Blanken, T.F., Bathelt, J., Deserno, M.K., Voge, L., Borsboom, D., and Douw, L.
    Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews 2021
  3. methods
    Network outcome analysis identifies difficulty initiating sleep as a primary target for prevention of depression: A 6-year prospective study
    Blanken, T.F., Borsboom, D., Penninx, B.W.J.H., and Someren, E.J.W.
    Sleep 2020
  4. methods
    Introducing Network Intervention Analysis to Investigate Sequential, Symptom-Specific Treatment Effects: A Demonstration in Co-Occurring Insomnia and Depression
    Blanken, T.F., Van Der Zweerde, T., Van Straten, A., Van Someren, E.J.W., Borsboom, D., and Lancee, J.
    Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics 2019
  5. insomnia
    Insomnia disorder subtypes derived from life history and traits of affect and personality
    Blanken, T.F., Benjamins, J.S., Borsboom, D., Vermunt, J.K., Paquola, C., Ramautar, J., Dekker, K., Stoffers, D., Wassing, R., Wei, Y., and Van Someren, E.J.W.
    The Lancet Psychiatry 2019