Wikus Barkhuizen

Postdoctoral Researcher at the Genes Environment Lifespan (GEL) lab

Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development 
Department of Psychological Sciences 
Birkbeck, University of London 



Dr Angelica Ronald

Dr Emma Meaburn

Research interests

I started my PhD studentship in the Genes Environment Lifespan Lab in October 2016. My research focusses on environmental risk factors involved in psychotic experiences during adolescence using a wide range of quantitative and behavioural genetic methodologies and epidemiological designs. My initial research used data from the Twins Early Development Study (TEDS) to investigate the relationship between smoking tobacco and psychotic experiences like paranoia during adolescence. I also use publicly available summary results from genome-wide association studies, including from the UK Biobank, to investigate the genetic overlap and the nature of genetic associations between psychotic experiences and environmental risk factors. I am currently working with participant-level genetic data from TEDS, ALSPAC (Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children) and CATSS (The Child and Adolescent Twin Study in Sweden).

Funding: Camara-Rijvers David PhD Studentship


PhD Psychology
Birkbeck, University of London
2016 – 2020

MSc Early Intervention in Psychosis (distinction)

King’s College London

2015 - 2016

BSc (Hons) Psychology (first class)

Birkbeck, University of London

2009 – 2013


Barkhuizen, W., Taylor, M.J., Freeman, D., & Ronald, A. (2019). A Twin Study on the Association Between Psychotic Experiences and Tobacco Use During Adolescence. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 58(2): 267-76

Barkhuizen, W. & Ronald, A. (2017). The relationship between psychotic experiences and regular smoking during adolescence: A genetically sensitive design. In Behaviour Genetics (Vol. 47, No. 6, pp. 679-680).