Debarati Guha Sapir


Debarati Guha-Sapir is the Director of CRED and a Professor at University of Louvain School of Public Health, in Brussels and Member of the Royal Academy of Medicine in Belgium. She founded EMDAT - international reference database on natural disasters. Trained in Calcutta University, Johns Hopkins University and University of Louvain, she has a PhD in epidemiology.

She is involved in field research and training in humanitarian aid issues, working closely with the World Health Organisation, UNHCR, UNDP and European Commission in various regions of the world, including China, Sudan, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, the Great Lakes, Somalia and Central America. Her research is focused on human impact of disasters and conflicts using Epidemiological methods. She is now researching global trends and patterns of human impact of disasters using several multidisciplinary datasets. Another area of her research is cause of mortality from crises events - a central theme for progress in the Sustainable Development Goals. Debarati collaborates with diverse researchers all over the world and is actively involved in field trials for effective measures of disaster risk reduction. 

Phone:     +32(0)27643327

Regina Below

Database Manager, Documentalist

Regina is a 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).

Projects:  EM-DAT
Phone:     +32(0)27643326

Joris van Loenhout

Postdoctoral Researcher

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)27643455

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 University of Oviedo in Spain and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. 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.

Since she has joined CRED in March 2017, she has been involved in different research projects. Her main research focuses on the use of mixed methods in assessing healthcare needs and delivery in humanitarian settings.

Projects:  CE-DAT, EMMPHID
Phone:     +32 (0)27 64 33 27

Valentin Wathelet

Research assistant

Valentin holds a Bachelor's degree in Biomedical Sciences, and a Master's degree in Biomedical Sciences (Clinical Biomedical Sciences Specialization), both from the Université Catholique de Louvain. Valentin has also been trained in Bioinformatics and Programming at the University of Liège.

Since joining the CRED in November 2018, he has worked on the data and implementation of EM-DAT, and developing specific tools and procedures to improve the database's usability. He is also currently working on epidemiological spread simulations, using mainly R.

Projects:  EM-DAT
Phone:     32 (0)2 764 34 48 (Monday-Wednesday)

Matthias R. Horions

Research Management Assistant

Matthias obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Biology at the Hasselt University and an MSc. in Human Ecology at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). In September 2019, he will hold an additional diploma in Management with minors in Entrepreneurship and North-South cooperation from ICHEC (Brussels).

Matthias is the research management assistant at CRED since May 2018. He assists Director Prof. Debarati Guha-Sapir, and handles logistics at the institute. Additionally, you can contact him for data requests and general problems concerning the EM-DAT database.

Projects:  APHES, EM-DAT
Phone:     32 (0)2 764 33 27

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.

Projects:  EM-DAT
Phone:     32 (0)2 764 33 66

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

Yasemin Inac

Yasemin holds a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing from the University of Applied Sciences Leiden in the Netherlands and a Master’s degree in Epidemiology with minors in tropical- and infectious diseases from the University of Antwerp in Belgium. Yasemin has worked on several projects as a nurse and researcher in The Netherlands, Belgium and South Africa.


Projects:  EM-DAT
Phone:     32 (0)2 764 33 72

Rémi Froment

Rémi holds a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree in Geography, both from the Université Catholique de Louvain.

Following an internship, Rémi joined CRED in September 2019 and is currently participating in a systematic review of the use of satellite data in humanitarian operations.

Projects:  EM-DAT
Phone:     --
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