sociogenome bio photo


Unravelling the genetic influences of reproductive behaviour and gene-environment interaction



Prof. Melinda Mills (Principal Investigator)

Melinda Mills’ main research areas are currently in the area of combining a social science and genetic approach to the study of behavioural outcomes, with a focus on fertility, partnerships and assortative mating. She joined the University of Oxford in 2014 and was previously at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands (2006-2014), Free University Amsterdam (2002-2005) and the University of Bielefeld, Germany (2000-2002). She holds a PhD in Demography from the University of Groningen (2000) and a Master and Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Alberta, Canada.

She is currently the Editor-in-Chief of the European Sociological Review, a Fellow of the European Academy of Sociology and Board Member of the European Consortium for Sociological Research.​

Melinda’s website

Research officers

Dr. Nicola Barban (Senior Research Officer)

Nicola Barban is a Senior Research Associate and a Research Fellow at Nuffield College. He holds a PhD in Statistical Sciences from the University of Padua, Italy. Before moving to Oxford, he worked as postdoctoral researcher at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands. His main research interests are on sociogenomics, quantitative methods in social sciences; demography; social interactions; life course analysis.

Nicola’s website

Dr. Felix Tropf

Felix received his Diploma (Master equivalent) from the University of Bamberg with distinction. For his thesis on sex-differences in elderly care, the German Society for Demography (DGD) honoured him with the Allianz-Newcomer award 2012. From 2011 to 2015, he was appointed as doctoral researcher and lecturer at the ICS Graduate School, University of Groningen. Since 2015, he works as a Research Offices for the University of Oxford and is a Research Fellow of Nuffield College.

Felix’s website

Dr. Stine Møllegaard

Stine Møllegaard is a postdoctoral fellow at Department of Sociology and fellow at Nuffield College. She holds a PhD (2016) in Sociology from University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Stine’s research focuses on the role of nature and nurture in social science research, mechanisms generating inequality in later life outcomes, and intergenerational transmission in the family.

DPhil students

  • Giacomo Arrighini (DPhil student, University of Oxford. Lady Margaret Hall)

  • Xuejie Ding (DPhil student, University of Oxford. St. Cross College) Bio-social determinants of health outcomes: new approach and evidence

  • Evelina Akimova (DPhil student, University of Oxford, St. Antony’s College) Dimensions of Occupations: Do Genes Matter?

  • Renske Verweij (PhD student, University of Groningen) Understanding childlessness: Unravelling the relationship between genes and socio-environment

Research associates

Administrative Staff

Yolandi Muller

Yolandi Muller is a part-time NCRM Research Projects Administrator and personal assistant to Professor Melinda Mills; supporting her research projects. Yolandi offers support to the SOCGEN team, which is an ESCR NCRM project housed within the Department. This includes administrative support for the portfolio of research projects of Mills and the team in the area of ‘sociogenomics’.