Department of Psychology

Professor Yulia Kovas

Position held:
Professor of Genetics and Psychology, Director of InLab

Phone:
+44 (0)20 7078 5025

Fax:
+44 (0)20 7919 7873

Email:
y.kovas (@gold.ac.uk)

Website:
http://www.inlab.co.uk/

Address:
WB312,
Department of Psychology
Goldsmiths, University of London
New Cross, London SE 14 6NW

Office hours:
by Appointment (please e-mail to make an appointment)

Dr Kovas has a BA and MA in Literature, Linguistics, and Pedagogy and teaching qualifications from the State Pedagogical University of St Petersburg.  In Russia she taught children of all ages for 6 years, when she first started thinking about the origins of individual variation in learning abilities.  She received a B.Sc. in Psychology from Birkbeck College in 2003, and M.Sc. in Social, Genetic, and Developmental Psychiatry from King’s College in 2004.  She received her Ph.D. in 2007 from the SGDP Centre, Kings College, University of London (focusing on individual differences in mathematics).

In addition to being a Reader and Director of InLab (www.inlab.co.uk) at Goldsmiths College, she is an Honorary Researcher at the Institute of Psychiatry where she leads the mathematics research on the Twins’ Early Development Study exploring gene-environment interplay in shaping individual variation in mathematics interest, ability, and achievement. 

She has published extensively on gene-environment interplay involved in variation in mathematics. Dr Kovas collaborates on research projects in China, Russia, Kyrgyzia, Canada, and U.S. to study socio-cultural factors involved in cross-cultural differences in numerical cognition and mathematical learning.  This work is supported by research grants from NIH, University of London, MRC, Beijing Normal University, the British Academy, the Royal Society and the Government of the Russian Federation.  In 2011 Yulia Kovas became a winner of the Mega Grant for Leading International Scientists (£3,000,000) from the Government of the Russian Federation to lead a programme of interdisciplinary cross-cultural research into individual differences in mathematical cognition and learning.  Since receiving this award, she has established and the Laboratory for Cognitive Investigations and Behavioural Genetics at Tomsk State University where she directs a major international scientific research programme, including setting up the Russian School Twin Registry.  Dr Kovas is also a co-director of the Russian-British Laboratory for Behavioural Genetics at the Psychological Insititue of the Russian Academy of Education.

Academic qualifications

BA and MA in Literature and Linguistics from The State Pedagogical University of St Petersburg, Russia

BSc Psychology, Birkbeck College, University of London

MSc in Social, Genetic, and Developmental Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College, University of London

PhD (Behavioural Genetics) SGDP, IOP, King's College, London

Teaching

Reader in Genetics and Psychology, Goldsmiths

From 1 September 2014: Professor of Genetics and Psychology, Goldsmiths

Visiting Professor at the  New York University London

 

2012-: MSc Psychology, Genetics, & Education.  Goldsmith College:

This one year full-time (2 years part-time) programme of study aims to equip students with a thorough understanding of cutting edge interdisciplinary cross-cultural research linking genetics with psychology and education. The students on the course will be confronted with fascinating questions about individual differences in learning, ability, motivation, and achievement.  Why do people differ in their ability to learn different subjects?  Why are some people motivated to learn and to succeed academically?  Why do some children fall behind their class-mates and others show highly advanced knowledge in certain academic fields?  Why do some children like mathematical disciplines and others develop intense anxiety about learning mathematics?  How does culture affect the ways people learn?  What is the role of genetic factors in motivation, ability, and achievement, and does the role of genetics differ in different cultures? How do educational systems and methods interact with genetic factors to produce unique learning trajectories?  What are the complex links between genes, brain, and learning behaviours?  How does numerical cognition develop and how does it relate to other cognitive abilities?  How can education be individualised to allow for optimum learning for each individual?  It is clear today such questions can only be answered by using interdisciplinary methods and by integrating the latest knowledge about genetic, brain, and cognitive mechanisms into educationally-relevant research.  The students will be introduced to different methods, such as twin studies, cutting-edge molecular genetic methodologies, brain research, experimental psychology, and cognitive psychology – in their application to educationally-relevant investigations, with the ultimate goal of improving learning. 

The students will acquire a variety of valuable skills and experiences, including up-to-date research methods in different disciplines; collaborations with international researchers; developing and testing new hypotheses informed by interdisciplinary and cross-cultural research; training in disseminating of scientific knowledge; applying research outcomes to practice in collaboration with educational practitioners. The unique aspect of this programme is that students on the course will collaborate with MSc students at international institutions in several countries – as part of existing InLab collaborations (several universities in the Russian Federation, China, Japan, Canada, and US). These collaborations will provide the firm foundation for interdisciplinary cross-cultural investigations.  The knowledge and training acquired by the students will be broad and can be used in the future in a wide variety of settings. In addition, all students in the course will also develop expertise and contribute to STEM-relevant research.  STEM fields are considered to be of utmost importance for progress, innovation, and economic sustainability of the society.  The students will conduct a high-quality piece of independent research, using interdisciplinary approaches and with access to cross-cultural samples. 

In terms of access to international datasets, interdisciplinary expertise, and access to resources the programme will be supported by the InLab, the International Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Investigations into Individual Differences in Learning, directed by Dr Yulia Kovas (visit www.inlab.co.uk for information about InLab). Students on the course will work on their research project in collaboration with international members of InLab and will have an opportunity to attend InLab seminars and research/analyses meetings.  Doctoral and post-doctoral researchers of the InLab will also act as mentors to the students.  Students will also have support from the Unit for School and Family Studies at Goldsmiths (http://www.gold.ac.uk/usfs/), such as access to collaborating schools and training in educational research (e.g., assessment, intervention, educational neuroscience). 

The interdisciplinary, cross-cultural nature of the programme is best suited to the needs of the modern science that requires high degree of integration and collaboration. 

Areas of supervision

Individual Differences in Learning

Learning abilities and Disabilities

Numerical Cognition and STEM

Methods: behavioural genetics, cross-cultural studies, education and psychology

Dr Kovas will supervise students interested in conducting their Final Year, MSc, Doctoral, or Post-Doctoral research in the above areas.  The exact project should be developed by the student in discussion with the supervisor.  Please contact Dr Kovas if you want to discuss this opportunity further.

Examples of the current projects:

1.      Clear gender differences have been consistently shown in several areas of cognitive functioning, such as language, mathematical, and spatial abilities.  However, the origins of such differences remain poorly understood.  One fascinating phenomenon that has been described in the literature is that girls with twin brothers perform better on spatial ability tests than girls with twin sisters.  It is possible that this effect has something to do with in-uterine transmission of testosterone
from boys to girls.  However, it is also possible that the effect is due to some kind of socialization factors.  If the latter is true, it should be possible to find this effect in non-twin siblings.  The project will involve assessing females with male or female siblings on spatial and other tasks.

2.      Humans possess an amazing ability to understand and use numerical information long before they have learned anything about exact number or
mathematics.  The ability to approximate is present very early on in infant development and continues to develop throughout development.  It has been hypothesized that individual differences in this ability (‘number sense’) is linked to later success in mathematics.  This project will use a series of tests to assess children’s or adults’ mathematical ability and their number sense and will explore the relationship between the two. Further hypotheses can be developed and tested.

Grants & awards

2005  Fellowship to attend the Summer Institute in Cognitive Neuroscience at Dartmouth Medical School, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH.

2007  International Society of Twin Studies Galton Award for Best Student Paper at the 11th International Congress of Twin Studies.

2008  Co-investigator on a NIH grant: ‘Mathematical Cognition and Specific Learning Disabilities ($2,200,565 for 4 years).

2008  Travel Award from The USA National Institutes of Mental Health and Drug Abuse. $ 1500.

2008  The Royal Society UK-Japan Frontiers of Science Fellowship for the attendance of the Frontiers of Science Symposium, Tokyo, Japan. 

2008  Fellowship from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Strategic Programme Fund of the British Consulate-General in Osaka to visit research Institutes/Laboratories in Japan, to present work and to form collaborations.

2008  British Psychological Society Award For Outstanding Doctoral Research Contributions to Psychology.

2009  British Science Association Fellowship to attend Science Communication Conference, London.

2009  Goldsmiths Early Careers Research Award: Assessing individual differences in specific numerical ability in 16-year olds: Validation study. £3,473.74

2009  Grant from the University of London Scholarship Fund to cover participants costs on a Numerical Ability pilot study.  £2000. 

2009  Royal Society  Fellowship for the attendance of the UK-China-Netherlands Frontiers of Science Symposium and follow up laboratory visits, Beijing, China.

2009  Co-investigator on the MRC programme grant: £1,750,976 2010-2015: ‘Origins of learning difficulties and behaviour problems: from behavioural genetics to behavioural genomics’.

2010 Co-PI on a collaborative grant awarded by Beijing Normal University for the establishment of a long-term collaborative research: Cross-Cultural Study of Children’s Numerical Processing in China and UK. £5,000 awarded for the initial UK assessment.

2010  PI on the British Academy Grant: Cross-Cultural Study of Children’s Numerical Ability: UK-Russia.  £7,027.

2010  PI (Invited Specialist) on the Russian Federal Programme Grant (for Russian Scientists living abroad).  Socio-Cultural and Psychological Determinants of Intellectual Competency and Academic and Professional Success in STEM. 2-year programme grant.  £70,000.

2011-2012 Co-Investigator on the Russian Federal Grant 1.5 ‘Child Emotional Wellbeing: nature and longitudinal dynamic across the school years’: 16 months (01.08.2011-30.11.2012). 2,600,000 roubles (≈£60,000)

2011 Winner of the Goldsmiths Peake Award for learning and teaching

2011-2012 PI (Invited Leading Scientist) on a Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation Large Grant: ‘Genetically-sensitive cross-cultural investigations into individual differences in STEM.’ ~£3mln. (150 mln rubles). 

Professional activities

Chair of the Goldsmiths Psychology Ethics Committee

Member of the Editorial Board of the Theoretical and Experimental Psychology Journal (Teoreticheskaya i Eksperimentalnaya Psihologiya).

Member of the ESRC Peer Review College (2010 – date)

MPhil/PhD Admissions Tutor, Goldsmiths (2010-date)

Member of the Organising Committee of the BPS Developmental Psychology Section Conference, 12-15 September, 2010, Goldsmiths.

Member of the British Psychological Society (BPS)

Member of the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD)

Member of the Behavioral Genetics Association (BGA)

Member of the Association for Psychological Science (APS)

Member of the International Society for Intelligence Research (ISIR)

Member of the American Educational Research Association (AERA)

Reviewer for Wellcome Trust

Reviewer for Attention, Perception, and Psychophysics

Reviewer for Behavior Genetics

Reviewer for British Journal of Educational Psychology

Reviewer for British Journal of Psychology

Reviewer for Developmental Neuropsycholgy

Reviewer for Developmental Science

Reviewer for Educational Research and Reviews

Reviewer for the European Journal of Developmental Science

Reviewer for Human Brain Mapping

Reviewer for Journal of Child Language

Reviewer for Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry

Reviewer for Learning and Individual Differences

Reviewer for Neuropsychologia

Reviewer for Psychological Medicine

Reviewer for Scientific Studies of Reading

Reviewer for Philosophical Psychology

Reviewer for Psychological Science

Keynote lectures

Kovas, Y. (May 2006).  Invited Key-Note Speaker at the International Symposium on school learning and cognitive functions, University of Coimbra, Portugal.  Two talks on Behavioural genetics and learning abilities and disabilities.

Kovas, Y. (July 2008). Invited key-note talk at the International Conference at the University of Antioquia, Medellin, Colombia.  Latest Advances in Genetic Research in Psychology and Psychiatry: Promises, challenges and dangers.  The broad context of the conference: legal and human rights issues.

Kovas, Y. (October 2008). Invited key-note talk at the UK-Japan Frontiers of Science Symposium.  Genetics Basis of Cognition.  Tokyo, Japan.

Kovas, Y. (April 2010).  Outstanding Doctoral Research Award Lecture: ‘Generalist Genes and Mathematics: the latest Quantitative and Molecular genetic results from the TEDS study’ at the Annual British Psychological Society conference, Stratford-upon-Avon.

Kovas, Y. (May, 2010).  Behavioural Genetics and Psychology: what have we learned about Environment? Institute of Psychology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia.

Kovas, Y. (November, 2010).  Behavioural Genetics and Psychology.  Psychological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow.

Kovas, Y. (November, 2010).  Behavioural Genomics and Mathematics.  Festschrift in Honour of Professor Brian Butterworth: ‘Numbers in the Brain’, UCL, University of London.

Kovas, Y. (April, 2011).  ‘Current Behavioural Genetic Investigations in Psychology: Number sense example.’  Psychological Institute of the Russian Academy of Education, Moscow.

Kovas. Y. (November, 2011).  Behavioural Genetics, Cognition, and STEM.  Tomsk State University. 

Conferences

Conference Organisation and Chairing

- Member of the Organising Committee of the BPS Developmental Psychology Section Conference, 12-15 September, 2010, Goldsmiths.

 - Member of the Organising Committee of the International Society for the Study of Individual Differences, 26-28 July, 2011, Institute of Education

- Elected Programme Committee Member of the International Society for Intelligence Research Meeting (2011)

- Chaired a Symposium: The Origins of Individual Differences in Mathematics: Longitudinal Multivariate Investigations in the UK, US, and Canada.  Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Montreal, Canada (April, 2011).

- Chair of the Symposium ‘Individual Differences in Mathematics: Interdisciplinary and Cross-Cultural Investigations’ at the International Society of the Study of Individual Differences, London, UK (July, 2011).

- Co-Chair of the Symposium ‘Behavioural genetics of individual differences in personality, cognition, ability, motivation and behaviour’ at the International Society of the Study of Individual Differences, London, UK (July, 2011).

- Chair of the First International InLab Meeting, 29 July, 2011, London.

- Chair of the International Symposium on Cross-Cultural genetic and environmental Investigations.  3-7 November, 2011, Moscow.

- Chair of the symposium: New insights from twin research into individual variation in intelligence, motivation and achievement at the 12th Annual Conference ISIR, December, 2011, Cyprus.

- Elected Programme Chair of the International Society for Intelligence Research Meeting (2012)

Television and video output

-The Observer (August 7, 2005) ‘Twins hold key to unravelling maths gene’
-BPS Research Digest (October 2005): ‘Most genes that influence maths ability also affect reading’

-Today Programme BBC Radio 4 (31.07.07).  Commentary on Brain Training

- Research covered in the BBC1 ‘The Secret Life of Twins’ programmes. (31 September-1 October 2009)

- 2011 Interviews and articles in a wide range of Russian media covering the winners of the Mega Grant. 

- TEDx Talk and u-tube dissemination (in Russian)

Papers presented

Kovas, Y., Hayiou-Thomas, M.E., Oliver, B., Dale, P.S., Bishop, D. V. M., Plomin, R.  (June 2004).  Diverse language skills in 4 ½ year old twins:  Genetic and environmental origins of ability, disability, and sex-differences. Poster Presentation at the 25th annual Symposium on Research in Child Language Disorders in Madison, Wisconsin.

Kovas, Y., Harlaar, N., Petrill, S.A., & Plomin, R. (June 2004).  Mathematics, Reading, and IQ: A Multivariate genetic Analysis in 7-year-old Twins.  Talk at The 34th Annual Meeting of theBehaviour Genetic Association in Aix-en-Provence, France.

Kovas, Y., Hayiou-Thomas, M.E., Oliver, B., Dale, P.S., Bishop, D. V. M., Plomin, R.  (July 2004).  Diverse language skills in 4 ½ year old twins:  Genetic and environmental origins of ability, disability, and sex-differences.  Talk at the Child Language Seminar at UWE, Bristol, UK.

Plomin, R., & Kovas, Y. (October 2004).  Harvard Conference on Creating Usable Knowledge in Mind, Brain, and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Kovas, Y., Harlaar, N., Petrill, S.A., & Plomin, R. (April 2005).  Mathematics Performance, Reading Performance, and General Cognitive Ability: A Multivariate genetic Analysis of Twin Data.  Paper Symposium:  ‘Gene-Environment Processes and the Overlap Between Reading, Math, Language, and General Cognitive Skills’ at The Biennial Meeting of theSociety for Research in Child Development Atlanta, Georgia.

Kovas, Y., Harlaar, N., Petrill, S.A., & Plomin, R. (May 2005).  ‘Generalist genes’ and mathematics in 7-year-old twins Talk at The 17th Annual Convention of theAmerican Psychological Society in Los Angeles, CA.

Kovas, Y. (July 2005).  Genetics and neuroscience of mathematical ability and disability in Children.  Talk at the Institute on Mind, Brain, and Education at the Ettore Majorana Center for Scientific Culture, Erice, Italy.

Kovas, Y. (October 2005).  ‘Generalist Genes’ and Mathematics.  Implications for Molecular Genetic Investigations.  Talk at The XIIIth World Congress for Psychiatric Genetics in Boston, MA.

Kovas, Y. (March 2006).  ‘Generalist Genes’ and Mathematics.  Talk at the Numeracy and Literacy seminars at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, London.

Kovas, Y. (April 2006).  Generalist Genes and Learning Disabilities: Implications for math, reading, & language development.  Talk at the Learning and Brain Conference, Harvard.   

Kovas, Y. (May 2006).  Invited Speaker at the International Symposium on school learning and cognitive functions, University of Coimbra, Portugal.  Two talks on Behavioural genetics and learning abilities and disabilities.

Kovas, Y. (October 2006).  How general are genes for cognitive abilities.  SNP-set analysis.  Molecular Genetics.  XIV World Congress on Psychiatric Genetics.  Cagliari, Italy.

Kovas, Y. (March 2007).  Generalist Genes and Learning Disabilities: Implications for Neuroscience.  Invited participant in the International Networking Seminar in Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuro-imaging of Development for Young Scientists, Paris.  British Council Initiative.

Kovas, Y. (March 2007).  School Readiness at 4 years and Mathematical Ability at 10 years of age: A Longitudinal Twin Study.  2007 Biennaial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Boston, USA.

Kovas, Y. (June 2007).  The origins of Individual differences in Mathematical Ability.  37th Annual Meeting of the Behavior Genetics Association, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Kovas, Y. (June 2007).  The Abnormal is Normal: The same genetic and environmental factors affect normal variation in mathematical ability and common mathematical disability.  12th International Congress of the International Society for Twin Studies, Ghent, Belgium.

Kovas, Y. (August 2007).  Overlap and specificity of genetic and environmental influences on mathematics and reading disability in 10 year-old twins.  1st Stavanger Reading and Writing Conference, Norway.

Kovas, Y. (October 2007).  XV World Congress on Psychiatric Genetics.   New York.  Common Genetic Effects on Mathematical and Reading Disability.

Kovas, Y. (February 2008).  Genes and Behaviour Gordon Conference.   Il Ciocco, Italy.  Pleiotropy, Polygenicity, and Learning Disabilities.

Kovas, Y. (March 2008).  Invited talk at the Department of Education and Professional Studies, King’s College, London.  The Origins of Individual Differences in Mathematical Ability.

Kovas, Y. (July 2008). Invited key-note talk at the International Conference at the University of Antioquia, Medellin, Colombia.  Latest Advances in Genetic Research in Psychology and Psychiatry: Promises, challenges and dangers.  The broad context of the conference: legal and human rights issues.

Kovas, Y. (October 2008). Invited key-note talk at the UK-Japan Frontiers of Science Symposium.  Genetics Basis of Cognition.  Tokyo, Japan.

Kovas, Y. (October 2008). Invited Talk to the Keio Twin Project research group.  Keio University.  Tokyo, Japan.  The Genetic and Environmental Origins of Learning Abilities and Disabilities in the Early School Years. 

Kovas, Y. (October 2008). XVI World Congress on Psychiatric Genetics.   Osaka, Japan.  Oral Presentation: Genetic and environmental aetiology of nicotine and alcohol use and abuse in a population-based Sri-Lankan Twin sample.

Kovas, Y. (October 2008).  Invited talk at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, London.  Genetic and Environmental Effects on mathematical ability and disability: the latest quantitative and molecular genetic results from the TEDS study. 

Kovas, Y. Hanscombe, K., Haworth, C., Davis, O., & Plomin, R. (May 2009).  The etiology of the relationship between mathematical and spatial ability in school Children.   Presented at the Association of Psychological Science 21st Annual Convention.  San Francisco, U.S.

Kovas, Y. (June 2009).  Genetic and Environmental Effects on Mathematical Ability and Disability: The Latest Quantitative and Molecular Genetic Results from the TEDS Study.  Presented the talk and chaired a session at the Athens Institute for Education and Research 3rd Annual International Conference on Psychology.  Athens, Greece.

Kovas, Y. (June 2009).  Significant overlap (generalist genes) between a broad range of neuropsychological traits.  Presented the talk as part of the specially organised symposium: ‘Genetics of a massively-modular evolved mind’at the 39th Annual Meeting of the Behaviour Genetics Association.  Minneapolis, U.S.

Kovas, Y. (November 2009).  Poster: How Specific are Maths QTLs?: behavioural Genomic Analysis.  World Congress for Psychiatric Genetics, San Diego, US.

Kovas, Y. (November 2009).  Royal Society Fellowship (China): Invited Poster on Behavioural Genomics of Maths at the UK-China-Netherlands Frontiers of Science Symposium. 

Kovas, Y. (November 2009).  Invited Talk: ‘Genetic and Environmental effects on Mathematical Ability and Disability: the latest Quantitative and Molecular genetic results from the TEDS study’ at the State Key Laboratory for cognitive Neuroscience and Learning, Beijing Normal University.

Kovas, Y., Doherty, S.J., Hanscombe, K., Davis, O.S.P., & Plomin, R.  (December 2009).  Common genetic effects on mathematical and spatial abilities:  Behavioural genomic investigation.  Presented the talk at the 10th Annual Conference of the International Society for Intelligence Research.  Madrid, Spain.

Kovas, Y., (January 2010).  Invited talk ‘Genetic and Environmental effects on Mathematical Ability and Disability: the latest quantitative and molecular genetic results from the TEDS study.  Faculty of Science, Salzburg University, Austria.

Kovas, Y. (April, 2010).  Invited talk ‘Genomic research into Mathematical Ability and Disability.  Beijing Normal University, China.

Kovas, Y. (April 2010).  Outstanding Doctoral Research Award Lecture: ‘Generalist Genes and Mathematics: the latest Quantitative and Molecular genetic results from the TEDS study’ at the Annual British Psychological Society conference, Stratford-upon-Avon.

Kovas, Y. (May, 2010).  Invited participant and discussant in the NIH/NICHD Maths Network Grantees Meeting, NIH, Washington DC.

Kovas, Y. (May, 2010).  Invited talk ‘Behavioural Genetics and Psychology: what have we learned about Environment?’.  Institute of Psychology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia.

Kovas, Y., Doherty, S.J., & Plomin, R. (June, 2010). One step forward, two steps back: explaining the slow progress with understanding the origins of individual differences in mathematics.  Talk at the 13th International Congress on Twin Studies, Seoul, Korea.

Kovas, Y., Doherty, S.J., Hanscombe, K., & Plomin, R. (June, 2010). Hidden Shapes and Jigsaw Puzzles.  Talk at the 40th Annual Meeting of the Behavior Genetics Association, Seoul, Korea.

Tosto, M. & Kovas, Y. (September, 2010).  The relationship between specific numerical abilities and mathematical Achievement: a validation study in 16 year olds.  Talk given as part of the Symposium: ‘Genetic and Environmental Influences on Developmental Difficulties’.  BPS Developmental Psychology Section Conference, London.

Luo, Y., Kovas, Y., Haworth, C.M.A., & Plomin, R. (September, 2010).  A longitudinal Twin Study of Self-Evaluation and its Cross-lagged Influence to Mathematics Achievement.  Poster Presentation given at the BPS Developmental Psychology Section Conference, London.

Kovas, Y. (November, 2010).  Behavioural Genetics and Psychology.  Invited Talk at the Psychological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow.

Kovas, Y. (November, 2010).  One Step Forward, two steps back: explaining the slow progress with understanding the origins of individual differences in mathematics.  Invited Talk at the Whitehead Lectures in Cognition, Computation, and Culture.  Goldsmiths, University of London.

Kovas, Y. (November, 2010).  Behavioural Genomics and Mathematics.  Invited Talk at the Festschrift in Honour of Professor Brian Butterworth: ‘Numbers in the Brain’, UCL, University of London.

Tosto, M.G., & Kovas, Y. (November, 2010).  Specific numerical abilities and mathematical performance in 16 year old UK students.  Invited poster at the Festschrift in Honour of Professor Brian Butterworth: ‘Numbers in the Brain’, UCL, University of London.

Kovas, Y., Tosto, M., & Plomin, R. (December, 2010).  Predictors of Mathematical Achievement: the nature of the association.  Talk at 11th Conference of the International Society for Intelligence Research.  Alexandria, Virginia, U.S.

Kovas, Y. (January, 2011).  Genes and Maths: Latest findings from the Twins Early Development Study.  Invited Lecture at the Cognitive Neuroimaging Research Unit, INSERM-CEA, Paris, France.

Tosto, M., Kovas, Y., & Plomin, R. (January, 2011).  Beyond IQ: Heritability of Pure Maths.  Poster presented at the Twenty-ninth European Workshop on Cognitive Neuropsychology. Bressanone, Italy.

Kovas, Y., Luo, Y., Haworth, C., & Plomin, R. (April, 2011).  Self-Evaluation and Mathematical Achievement:  The study of the Cross-Age association in the UK twins.  Talk at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Montreal, Canada.

Kovas, Y. (April, 2011).  ‘Current Behavioural Genetic Investigations in Psychology: Number sense example.’  Invited Talk at the Psychological Institute of the Russian Academy of Education, Moscow.

Kovas, Y. (June, 2011).  Comorbidity between Mathematics and Reading Difficulties from a Genetic Perspective:  Findings from the Twins Early Development Study.  Talk in the ‘Understanding comorbidity between dyslexia and other developmental disorders’ symposium at the Dyslexia: Beyond Boundaries 8th British Dyslexia Association International Conference, UK.

Kovas, Y. Tick, B., & Plomin, R. (June, 2011).  Scrutinizing the Teacher Effect using Twin Methodology.  41st Behavioural Genetics Association Annual Meeting, Newport, US.

Kovas, Y. (July, 2011).  Genetics, Genomics, and Mathematics: the latest Quantitative and Molecular genetic results from the TEDS study.  Invited talk at the Imaging and Cognition Genetics Conference.  Solstrand, Norway.

Kovas, Y., Tosto, M., Petrill, S.P., & Plomin, R. (July, 2011).  Number Sense is Innate, but is it heritable?: Putting numerical cognition under the genetic microscope.  Symposium Presentation.  ISSID, London, UK.

Tosto, M., Kovas, Y., Petrill, S.P., & Plomin, R. (July, 2011).  ‘Do Individual Differences in Number Sense predict specific mathematical outcomes?: A genetically sensitive investigation into the aetiology of the relationship.  Symposium presentation.  ISSID, London, UK.

Tikhomirova, T.N., Malykh, S.B., Zhou, X., Wei, W., Rodic-Bjedov, M., Ismatulina, V., Sabirova, E., Tosto, M., & Kovas, Y. (July, 2011).  The Maths Race or Everyone Counts?: Cross-Cultural Perspective on Cognitive Underpinnings of Individual Differences in Maths. Symposium Presentation.  ISSID, London, UK.

Kovas, Y. (August, 2011).  What is special about Mathematics?: Twin investigation into genetic and environmental sources of variation in ‘number sense’.  Psychobiological Development Session.  15th European Conference on Developmental Psychology.  Bergen, Norway.

Kovas. Y. (November, 2011).  Chair of the International Symposium on cross-cultural genetic and environmental investigations.  Moscow.

Kovas. Y. (November, 2011).  Behavioural Genetics, Cognition, and STEM.  Invited Talk at Tomsk State University. 

Kovas. Y. (December, 2011). Cross-Cultural Investigation of the genetic and environmental influences on fluid intelligence in 12 year-old twins.  12th Annual Conference ISIR, Cyprus.

Kovas. Y. (December, 2011). Genetics, Genomics, Culture, and Mathematics: the latest results from twin and cross-cultural studies.  Invited talk at the University of Leicester.

Professional development

Behavioural Genomics Summer School (Quantitative Genetic Module), SGDP, Institute of Psychiatry, London.

International workshop on methodology of twin and family studies (Quantitative Genetics Course).  University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado.

Behavioural Genomics Summer School (Molecular Genetic Module).  SGDP, Institute of Psychiatry, London.

International workshop on methodology of twin and family studies: the Advanced course (Molecular Genetics).  University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado 

Summer Institute in Cognitive Neuroscience (fellowship).  DartmouthMedicalSchool, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH.  Obtained practical experience with methods in anatomy and functional imaging and their application to issues in cognitive neuroscience.

International School on Mind, Brain, and Education at the EttoreMajoranaCenter for Scientific Culture, Erice, Italy.

Behavioural Genomics Summer School (Microarrays, Gene Expression, SNPs).  SGDP, Institute of Psychiatry, London.

Workshop on Neuroscience in Education.  Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, UCL, London. 

Celebrating Difference/Promoting Diversity Series:  Supporting the dyslexic student workshop.  Goldsmiths.

Attending workshops and training sessions for advanced genome-wide association analyses (SGDP, IOP)

Cultural effects on the mental number line.  One-day workshop at YorkUniversity.

Regular participation in the London Mathematics Education Research Seminar Series (King’s College) and Genomic Series (SGDP). 

Neuroscience and Special Education Seminar.  The Schools Network.  The Specialist Schools and Academies Trust.

Research interests

- Director of InLab (International Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Investigations into Individual Differences in Learning): directing interdisciplinary, international research focusing on the individual differences in STEM related fields.  Goldsmiths. www.inlab.co.uk

- Leading the Mathematics Research in the Twins’ Early Development Study, SGDP.  Quantitative and Molecular Genetic Investigations of the origins of individual differences in mathematical ability and disability.

- Co-Director of the Russian-British Laboratory of Behavioural Genetics, Moscow.

- Director of the Laboratory for Cognitive Investigations and Behavioural Genetics, Tomsk State University.

- Leading the first genetically sensitive study into ‘number sense’ and its relation to mathematical ability and disability. TEDS.

- Leading PROGRESS: Progress in Education through Gene-Environment Interaction Studies.  Russian School Twin Registry.

- Visiting Research Fellow at the SGDP Centre, King’s College, London

- Leading the Mathematics Research in the Twins’ Early Development Study, SGDP.  Quantitative and Molecular Genetic Investigations of the origins of individual differences in mathematical ability and disability.

- Leading the first genetically sensitive study into ‘number sense’ and its relation to mathematical ability and disability. TEDS.

- Leading the UK-China-Russia cross-cultural study into the individual differences of ‘number sense’ and its relation to mathematical ability and disability.  Goldmsimths University (UK); State Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning, Beijing Normal University (China); Institute of Psychology, Russian Academy of Sciences (Russia).

- Aetiology of individual differences in learning abilities and disabilities and of covariation and comorbidity between learning abilities and disabilities. Generalist and specialist genes.  Twins’ Early Development Study.

Selected publications

Number of items: 42.

Article

Rodic, Maja, Zhou, Xinlin, Tikhomirova, Tatiana, Wei, Wei, Malykh, Sergei, Ismatulina4, Victoria, Sabirova, Elena, Davidova, Yulia, Grazia Tosto, Maria, Lemelin, Jean-Pascal and Kovas, Yulia. 2014. Cross-cultural investigation into cognitive underpinnings of individual differences in early arithmetic. Developmental Science, pp. 1-10. ISSN 1363-755X [Article]

Tosto, M.G., Hanscombe, K.B., Haworth, C.M.A., Davis, O.S.P., Petrill, S.A., Dale, P.S., Malykh, S., Plomin, R. and Kovas, Yulia. 2014. Why do spatial abilities predict mathematical performance? Developmental Science, 17(3), pp. 462-470. ISSN 1363-755X [Article]

Tosto, M.G., Petrill, S.A., Halberda, J., Trzaskowski, M., Tikhomirova, T.N., Bogdanova, O.Y., Ly, R., Wilmer, J.B., Naiman, D.Q., Germine, L., Plomin, R. and Kovas, Yulia. 2014. Why do we differ in number sense? Evidence from a genetically sensitive investigation. Intelligence, 43, pp. 35-46. ISSN 0160-2896 [Article]

Greven, C.U., Kovas, Yulia, Willcutt, E.G., Petrill, S.A. and Plomin, Robert. 2014. Evidence for shared genetic risk between ADHD symptoms and reduced mathematics ability: A twin study. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines, 55(1), pp. 39-48. ISSN 00219630 [Article]

Kovas, Yulia and Butterworth, Brian. 2013. Understanding Neurocognitive Developmental Disorders Can Improve Education for All. Science, 340(6130), pp. 300-305. ISSN 0036-8075 [Article]

Docherty, Sophia J., Kovas, Yulia and Plomin, Robert. 2011. Gene-Environment Interaction in the Etiology of Mathematical Ability Using SNP Sets. Behavior Genetics, 41(1), pp. 141-154. ISSN 0001-8244 [Article]

Haworth, C. M. A., Wright, M. J., Luciano, M., Martin, N. G., de Geus, E. J. C., van Beijsterveldt, C. E. M., Bartels, M., Posthuma, D. , Boomsma, D. I. , Davis, O. S. P., Kovas, Yulia, Corley, R. P., DeFries, J. C. , Hewitt, J. K. , Olson, R. K., Rhea, S-A., Wadsworth, S. J. , Iacono, W. G. , McGue, M. , Thompson, L. A. , Hart, S., Petrill, Stephen A., Lubinski, D. and Plomin, Robert. 2010. The heritability of general cognitive ability increases linearly from childhood to young adulthood. Molecular Psychiatry, 15(11), pp. 1112-1120. ISSN 1359-4184 [Article]

Ball, Harriet A., Siribaddana, Sisira H., Sumathipala, Athula, Kovas, Yulia, Glozier, Nick, McGuffin, Peter and Hotopf, Matthew. 2010. Environmental exposures and their genetic or environmental contribution to depression and fatigue: a twin study in Sri Lanka. BMC Psychiatry, 10(1), p. 13. ISSN 1471-244X [Article]

Ball, Harriet A., Siribaddana, Sisira H., Kovas, Yulia, Glozier, Nick, McGuffin, Peter, Sumathipala, Athula and Hotopf, Matthew. 2010. Epidemiology and symptomatology of depression in Sri Lanka: A cross-sectional population-based survey in Colombo District. Journal of Affective Disorders, 123(1-3), pp. 188-196. ISSN 01650327 [Article]

Docherty, Sophia J., Kovas, Yulia, Petrill, Stephen A. and Plomin, Robert. 2010. Generalist genes analysis of DNA markers associated with mathematical ability and disability reveals shared influence across ages and abilities. BMC Genetics, 11(1), p. 61. ISSN 1471-2156 [Article]

Docherty, Sophia J., Davis, O. S. P., Kovas, Yulia, Meaburn , Emma, Dale, Philip S., Petrill, Stephen A., Schalkwyk , Leonard and Plomin, Robert. 2010. A genome-wide association study identifies multiple loci associated with mathematics ability and disability. Genes, Brain and Behavior, 9(2), p. 234. ISSN 1601-1848 [Article]

Ball, Harriet A., Sumathipala, Athula, Siribaddana, Sisira H., Kovas, Yulia, Glozier, Nick, McGuffin, Peter and Hotopf, Matthew. 2009. Genetic and environmental contributions to depression in Sri Lanka. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 195(6), pp. 504-509. ISSN 0007-1250 [Article]

Kovas, Yulia, Doherty, Sophia, Davis, Oliver, Meaburn , Emma, Dale, Philip S., Petrill Stephen, Stephen, Schalkwyk , Leonard and Plomin , Robert. 2009. Generalist genes and mathematics: The latest quantitative and molecular genetic results from the TEDS study. Behavior Genetics, 39(6), pp. 663-664. ISSN 0001-8244 [Article]

Kovas, Yulia, Giampietro, Vincent, Viding, Essi, Ng, Virginia, Brammer, Michael, Barker, Gareth J., Happe, Francesca and Plomin, Robert. 2009. Brain correlates of non-symbolic numerosity estimation in low and high mathematical ability children. PLoS ONE, 4(2), e4587. ISSN 1932-6203 [Article]

Haworth, C., Kovas, Yulia, Harlaar, Nicole, Hayiou-Thomas, Marianna E., Petrill, S., Dale, Philip S. and Plomin, Robert. 2009. Generalist genes and learning disabilities: a multivariate genetic analysis of low performance in reading, mathematics, language and general cognitive ability in a sample of 8000 12-year-old twins. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 50(10), pp. 1318-1325. ISSN 0021-9630 [Article]

Petrill, S., Kovas, Yulia, Hart, S., Thompson, L. and Plomin, R.. 2009. The Genetic and Environmental Etiology of High Math Performance in 10-Year-Old Twins. Behavior Genetics, 39(4), pp. 371-379. ISSN 0001-8244 [Article]

Ball, Harriet A., Sumathipala, Athula, Siribaddana, Sisira H., Kovas, Yulia, Glozier, Nick, McGuffin, Peter and Hotopf, Matthew. 2009. Genetic and environmental contributions to depression in Sri Lanka. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 195(6), pp. 504-509. ISSN 0007-1250 [Article]

Greven, C., Harlaar, N., Kovas, Yulia, Chamorro-Premuzic, Tomas and Plomin, R.. 2009. More Than Just IQ: School Achievement Is Predicted by Self-Perceived Abilities-But for Genetic Rather Than Environmental Reasons. Psychological Science, 20(6), pp. 753-762. ISSN 09567976 [Article]

Siribaddana, S. H., Kovas, Yulia and Fernando, D. J. S.. 2008. Quantitative ultrasound of bone and calcium intake in suburban males in Sri Lanka. International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases, 11(4), pp. 407-413. ISSN 17561841 [Article]

Siribaddana, Sisira H., Ball, Harriet A., Hewage, Suwin N., Glozier, Nick, Kovas, Yulia, Dayaratne, Dark, Sumathipala, Athula, McGuffin, Peter and Hotopf, Matthew. 2008. Colombo Twin and Singleton Study (CoTASS): A description of a population based twin study of mental disorders in Sri Lanka. BMC Psychiatry, 8(1), p. 49. ISSN 1471-244X [Article]

Davis, O. S. P., Kovas, Yulia, Harlaar, Nicole, Busfield, P., McMillan, A., Frances, J., Petrill, Stephen A., Dale, Philip S. and Plomin, Robert. 2008. Generalist genes and the Internet generation: etiology of learning abilities by web testing at age 10. Genes, Brain and Behavior, 7(4), pp. 455-462. ISSN 16011848 [Article]

Haworth, Claire M. A., Kovas, Yulia, Dale, Philip S. and Plomin, Robert. 2008. Science in elementary school: Generalist genes and school environments. Intelligence, 36(6), pp. 694-701. ISSN 01602896 [Article]

Kovas, Yulia, Dale, Philip S., Haworth, Claire M. A. and Plomin, Robert. 2007. The genetic and environmental origins of learning abilities and disabilities in the early school years. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 72(3), pp. 1-144. ISSN 15405834 [Article]

Kovas, Yulia and Plomin, Robert. 2007. Learning abilities and disabilities: generalist genes, specialist environments. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 16(5), pp. 284-288. ISSN 0963-7214 [Article]

Plomin, Robert, Kovas, Yulia and Haworth, Claire M. A.. 2007. Generalist genes: genetic links between brain, mind, and education. Mind, Brain, and Education, 1(1), pp. 11-19. ISSN 17512271 [Article]

Kovas, Yulia, Petrill, Stephen A. and Plomin, Robert. 2007. The origins of diverse domains of mathematics: Generalist genes but specialist environments. Journal of Educational Psychology, 99(1), pp. 128-139. ISSN 0022-0663 [Article]

Haworth, C., Kovas, Yulia, Petrill, S. and Plomin, R.. 2007. Developmental Origins of Low Mathematics Performance and Normal Variation in Twins from 7 to 9 Years. Twin Research and Human Genetics, 10(1), pp. 106-117. ISSN 1832-4274 [Article]

Haworth, C., Harlaar, Nicole, Kovas, Yulia, Davis, O. S. P., Oliver, Bonamy, Hayiou-Thomas, Marianna E., Frances, J., Busfield, P., Mcmillan, A., Dale, Philip S. and Plomin, Robert. 2007. Internet cognitive testing of large samples needed in genetic research. TWIN RESEARCH AND HUMAN GENETICS, 10(4), pp. 554-563. ISSN 1832-4274 [Article]

Kovas, Yulia, Haworth, C., Petrill, S. and Plomin, R.. 2007. Mathematical Ability of 10-Year-Old Boys and Girls: Genetic and Environmental Etiology of Typical and Low Performance. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 40(6), pp. 554-567. ISSN 0022-2194 [Article]

Kovas, Yulia, Haworth, Claire M. A., Harlaar, Nicole, Petrill, Stephen A., Dale, Philip S. and Plomin, Robert. 2007. Overlap and specificity of genetic and environmental influences on mathematics and reading disability in 10-year-old twins. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 48(9), pp. 914-922. ISSN 0021-9630 [Article]

Kovas, Yulia, Butcher, L. M., Harlaar, Nicole and Plomin, Robert. 2006. How general are genes for general cognitive ability? SNP- SET analyses. American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics, 141B(7), p. 703. ISSN 1552-4841 [Article]

Hayiou-Thomas, Marianna E., Kovas, Yulia, Haarlar, Nicole, Plomin, Robert, Bishop, Dorothy V. and Dale, Philip S.. 2006. Common aetiology for diverse language skills in 41/2-year-old twins. Journal of Child Language, 33(02), pp. 339-368. ISSN 0305-0009 [Article]

Kovas, Yulia and Plomin, R.. 2006. Generalist Genes: Implications for Cognitive Sciences. Opinion. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 10(5), pp. 198-203. ISSN 13646613 [Article]

Kovas, Yulia, Harlaar, Nicole, Petrill, Stephen A. and Plomin, Robert. 2005. Generalist genes and mathematics. American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics, 138B(1), p. 18. ISSN 1552-4841 [Article]

Kovas, Yulia and Plomin, R.. 2005. Generalist genes and learning disabilities. Psychological Bulletin, 131(4), pp. 592-617. ISSN 00332909 [Article]

Kovas, Yulia, Hayiou-Thomas, Marianna E., Oliver, Bonamy, Dale, Philip S., Bishop, Dorothy V. and Plomin, Robert. 2005. Genetic influences in different aspects of language development: The etiology of language skills in 4.5 year-old twins. Child Development, 76(3), pp. 632-651. ISSN 00093920 [Article]

Kovas, Yulia, Harlaar, N., Petrill, S. and Plomin, R.. 2005. ‘Generalist genes’ and mathematics in 7-year-old twins. Intelligence, 33(5), p. 473. ISSN 01602896 [Article]

Kovas, Yulia, Harlaar, Nicole , Petrill, Stephen A. and Plomin, Robert. 2004. Mathematics, reading and IQ: A multivariate genetic analysis in 7-year-old twins. Behavior Genetics, 34(6), p. 646. ISSN 0001-8244 [Article]

Kovas, Yulia, Haworth, C. M. A., Harlaar, Nicole, Petrill, Stephen A. and Plomin, Robert. 2004. The origins of individual differences in mathematical ability. Behavior Genetics, 37(6), pp. 768-769. ISSN 0001-8244 [Article]

Oliver, Bonamy, Harlaar, Nicole, Hayiou-Thomas, Marianna E., Kovas, Yulia, Walker, S., Petrill, S., Spinath, F., Dale, Philip S. and Plomin, Robert. 2004. A Twin Study of Teacher-Reported Mathematics Performance and Low Performance in 7-Year-Olds. Journal of Educational Psychology, 96(3), p. 504. ISSN 0022-0663 [Article]

Book Section

Kovas, Yulia and Plomin, Robert. 2008. Genetics of learning abilities and disabilities: implications for cognitive neuroscience and translational research. In: Jonathan Reed and Jody Warner-Rogers, eds. Child neuropsychology: concepts, theory, and practice. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 46-57. ISBN 9781405152662 [Book Section]

This list was generated on Sat Oct 25 00:14:47 2014 BST.


Content last modified: 09 Oct 2014

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