Four new professors at the Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences

On 1 June 2023, Mia Skytte O’Toole, Stefan Pfattheicher, Mimi Yung Mehlsen and Maja O’Connor will take up their positions as professors at the Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences at Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University.

Maja O’Connor , Mia Skytte O’Toole, Mimi Yung Mehlsen, Stefan Pfattheicher. AU Photo

The four new professors all previously held positions as associate professors at the Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences.

"It’s interesting and gratifying to see that four internal candidates ranked highest among the field of applicants. This is testimony to the level at Aarhus University," says Jan Tønnesvang, head of the department.

This was the first time in the history of the Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences that a professorship was advertised openly without any affiliation to a specific field of psychology. Professorships at the department have always previously been advertised in open international competition but linked to specific fields such as clinical psychology or work and organisational psychology.

"We decided to advertise the position without linking it to a specific subject because we wanted to have a strong field of applicants and attract the best candidates," says Jan Tønnesvang.

The department received applications from both Denmark and abroad, and an external assessment committee was involved in the appointment process.

About the newly appointed professors:

Mia Skytte O’Toole
Mia Skytte O’Toole conducts research on emotions and emotion regulation with particular focus on anxiety and depression. She is currently investigating the role of the body in emotions and how to optimise contemporary cognitive treatments.  

Stefan Pfattheicher
Stefan Pfattheicher conducts research within the field of social and personality psychology. His work primarily deals with how emotions and motivations (e.g. boredom and empathy) affect the prosocial and antisocial behaviour of individuals.

Mimi Yung Mehlsen
Mimi Yung Mehlsen conducts research within health psychology and lifespan psychology. She has investigated how to maintain quality of life even when affected by serious illness and whether psychological treatment can assist individuals living with chronic illness and the after-effects of treatment.

Maja O’Connor
Maja O'Connor has worked with grief research for more than 20 year and has been the manager of the Unit for Bereavement Research since 2016. Her research covers the entire spectrum of grief with a particular focus on detection, diagnostics, and treatment of the new diagnosis "Prolonged Grief Disorder".

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