Debarati Guha Sapir


Debarati Guha-Sapir is the Director of CRED and Professor at University of Louvain School of Public Health, in Brussels, Belgium. She holds an Adjunct Professorship at Tulane University Medical Centre (New Orleans) for Health and Humanitarian Aid. Trained in Calcutta University, Johns Hopkins University and University of Louvain she holds a PhD in epidemiology. Since 1984, she has been involved in field research and training in emergency and humanitarian aid issues, working closely with World Health Organisation, UNHCR , UNDP and the European Commission in various regions of the world including China, Sudan, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, the Great Lakes, Somalia and Central America. She is particularly interested in health systems research, epidemiology in unstable situations and international policy related to relief and post conflict transition.

Phone:     +32 (0) 27 64 33 27

Regina Below

Database Manager, Documentalist

Regina is Database Manager and Documentalist at CRED, where she has been working for over 20 years. As technical support staff, she is involved in different activities at the centre and is in charge of the Emergency Events Database (EM-DAT).

Phone:     +32 (0) 27 64 33 26

Joris van Loenhout


Joris van Loenhout obtained a BSc in Biological Sciences, followed by a MSc in Toxicology and Environmental Health, both at Utrecht University, the Netherlands. From 2007 to 2014, he worked at the department of Environmental Health at the Public Health Service Gelderland-Midden. Within that position, he coordinated several EU-funded projects on environmental health topics, and he also carried out a study on indoor temperature in relation to health of elderly residents. In 2015, he successfully defended his PhD thesis on the long-term health impact of Q fever.

Joris has worked at CRED since 2014, initially as a Postdoctoral fellow but currently as a senior researcher. His main focus area is the impact of natural disasters on health and health systems, with a particular focus on heatwaves. Joris is (co-)leading several ongoing projects at CRED, including EM-DAT, BRIGAID and SCORCH. He is also co-promotor of a PhD student at Radboud university, who is currently finalising her PhD.

Phone:     +32 (0) 27 64 34 55

Dr. Maria Moitinho de Almeida

Research associate and PhD. student

Maria obtained a Medical Degree at the University of Lisbon, Portugal, and holds a joint Master’s Degree in Public Health in Disasters from the Karolinska Institute and the University of Oviedo. Maria has worked as a general doctor in a hospital in Lisbon and as a public health medical resident in a local department. She has medical and public health experience in Portugal, Germany, Mozambique, India, and Brazil. Maria joined CRED in March 2017, and leads a project on Hospital Resilience in Nepal. In addition, she has been on various field missions including to Kerala, India after the flash floods in August 2018 and to the refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Maria is also a Red Cross delegate for Emergency Response Units on Community-based Surveillance.

Maria has led the 2017 edition of the APHES Summer Course and co-led the EMMPHID master program in 2017/18, and was co-leading UCLouvain’s course on Applying epidemiological methos in post-conflict and disaster settings. She is also a regular guest lecturer in the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Lisbon and at the Medical School of the University of the Algarve.

Phone:     +32 (0) 27 64 33 27

Thomas Jideofor Ogbu

Research associate and PhD research candidate

Thomas holds a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from the University of Nigeria Nsukka, and a Master’s degree in Biostatistics from Hasselt University Belgium. He also has a Master’s in Public Health Methodology from Universite Libre de Bruxelles (ULB).  He has worked on several projects in both the financial and health sectors in Nigeria and Belgium. 

He started in CRED in October 2018 and is involved in different research projects.

Phone:     32 (0)2 764 34 48

Kirsten Vanderplanken

Postdoctoral Researcher

Kirsten Vanderplanken obtained a MSc in Sociology at Universiteit Antwerpen, Belgium. From 2013 to 2017 she worked at the “Agriculture and Society” department of the Flemish Research Institute for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (ILVO) as a doctoral researcher. In 2017 she successfully defended her PhD thesis on how inter-organisational networks function and shape integration. From 2016 to 2019, she worked as a guest lecturer in the Master Safety Sciences at Universiteit Antwerpen, teaching about quantitative and qualitative research methods and specifically social network analysis. After finishing her PhD thesis, Kirsten worked as a senior researcher at a research agency where she coordinated several quantitative and qualitative sociological studies on labour, sustainability and health topics. Since March 2019, Kirsten is working at CRED as a senior researcher on the SCORCH project.

Phone:     +32 (0) 27 64 33 66

Shivani Chopra

EM-DAT Developer

Shivani received her Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Engineering from Maharshi Dayanand University in India. She has spent more than 5 years as IT developer in various projects covering different fields of business both in India and Belgium. 

Phone:     --
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