IAPS Activities

Happy New Year! As we move into 2019 we see many developments in restorative environments research, as shown by the conferences, publications, and PhD completions below. Henk Staats (pictured above with Silvia Collado) celebrated his retirement on Wednesday 16 January with a ‘symposium by friends’ in Leiden, with inspiring talks by Silvia Collado, John Thøgersen, and Terry Hartig. Thank you Henk for your contribution to the restorative environments domain!


Upcoming deadlines:

Upcoming conferences:

We look forward to members meeting up at these various conferences. Please let us know of any other events that would interest fellow members, and if you would like to advertise a call for contributions to a symposium using our website and Twitter.

New Publications by Members

If you have recently published and would like this added to the iapsREN library and communicated in the next letter, please email us.


PhD vacancy: Blue-green prescribing for a healthier population and a healthier water environment

Deadline: 31 January 2019
Location: Dundee, United Kingdom
Description: This PhD introduces a new concept, ‘blue-green prescribing’, to emphasise both the specific health benefits that water environments (e.g. rivers, coastline) can offer and the fact that the water environment is most significantly impacted by pharmaceuticals. The project would combine the use of medicine-free interventions and the use of environmental criteria into a proposal for blue-green prescribing guidelines for Scotland to deliver an integrated approach that benefits in tandem human and environmental health.


Congratulations to Dr. Matt P. Stevenson and Dr. Mikel Subiza-Pérez, who passed their doctoral defences in January 2019.

Matt’s doctorate in Landscape Architecture and Planning was completed at the Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark. His PhD thesis, “Green Matter: How exposure to natural environments improves cognitive functioning in children with and without Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder” included 1) a meta-analysis assessing the current evidence for restoration-related cognitive gains using meta-analysis; 2) a RCT involving typically-developing children, including eye-movement recording during restoration walks; 3) a comparison between nature and medication to improve cognitive performance in ADHD; and 4) a theoretical proposal to extend explanations of how natural environments affect cognitive functioning, particularly in children. The PhD thesis is currently not available online, but can be obtained by contacting Matt via email.

Mikel’s doctorate in Psychology was completed at the Department of Social Psychology and Methodology of Behavioral Sciences, University of the Basque Country, San Sebastián, Spain. His PhD thesis, “Bonding and Restorative Potential of Urban Spaces“, used experimental and survey designs to assess the restorative potential of urban squares and the relationship between restorative experiences and place bonding. The main results of this work indicate that urban squares are suitable scenarios for cognitive and affective restoration and that place attachment is positively linked to restorative outcomes. Mikel’s thesis will be available soon in the digital repository of the University of the Basque Country.

Member Spotlight

The picture included in the newsletter was taken at University of Zaragoza (Spain) in June 2017, while Henk Staats (Leiden University, The Netherlands) was doing a research stay with Silvia Collado. Both researchers have worked together for years and shared their interest in the benefits of children’s experiences in nature, especially the restorative effects. Silvia and Henk have shown through their studies that direct and visual contact with nature has positive effects on children’s and adolescents’ psychological restoration and pro-environmentalism, and are keen on continuing this work in the near future. To learn more, visit Silvia’s webpage and Henk’s webpage.

Contact iapsREN

You can contact the iapsREN Convening Committee via the following emails: