Our Response to COVID-19

Dr. Sophia von Lieres


Sophia von Lieres was born and raised in Munich, Germany, earned a BSc and MSc in Psychology at the University of Trier in Germany, and has been a resident of the headquarters of the NGO ‘Mata Amritanandamayi Math’ in Kerala since 2006. After she received her Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Leipzig, Germany, she worked as a researcher for one of the NGO’s projects, Amrita Self-Reliant Village (SeRVe), focusing on the quality of life and protective factors of village people throughout India. Her Ph.D. research was on the psychological effects of the 2004 Asian tsunami and coping strategies of the tsunami survivors in rural Kerala, India. Currently, Sophia von Lieres is working as an assistant professor at the Center for Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equality (CWEGE) at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham University, Amritapuri, India, which hosts a UNESCO Chair for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment. She is also the Head of Research at the School of Social and Behavioural Sciences at Amrita, which includes CWEGE and the Department of Cognitive Sciences and Psychology. Apart from teaching courses on psychology and research methodology, she is guiding graduate and doctorate students’ research projects aimed at improving living conditions in rural India. Her research interests include the quality of life and protective factors of people living in rural India and factors that improve adaptive psychological coping and mental health of rural Indian women. Moreover, she is investigating the evolutionary advantages of neurodiversity and its cross-cultural manifestation.



von Lieres, J. S., Abraham, A. K., & Raveendran, R. (2020). How effectively do community health workers spread health awareness via women’s self-help groups in rural India?. Malaysian Journal of Public Health Medicine, 20(Special1), 299-304.

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Suresh, V., Fishman, R., von Lieres, J. S., & Rao, B. R. (2022). Impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on the economic situation and food security of rural households in India. Journal of Agribusiness in Developing and Emerging Economies, 12(3), 491-509.

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Bavani, M., von Lieres, J. S., Sowndaram C. S., & Prasad, R. (forthcoming). Online guided Integrated Amrita Meditation (IAM®) to improve mental well-being and reduce perceived stress during COVID-19 in South India. Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine.

von Lieres, J. S. (2017, 8th-10th March). Quality of life and mental health in rural India. Paper presented at the International Conference on Nurturing Global Mental Health – A Paradigm Shift, Department of Social Work, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Ettimadai Campus, Coimbatore, India.


von Lieres, J. S., Raveendran, R., & Abraham, A. (2018, 5th-6th December). Evaluation of a microfinance program in rural Uttarkashi, India: Do self-help groups empower women and increase quality of life?. Paper presented at the 5th International Conference on Science & Social Research (CSSR 2018), Institute of Research Management & Innovation (IRMI), Universiti Teknologi Mara, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia.


von Lieres, J. S. (2020, 26th December). Enhancing psychological resilience after the 2004 tsunami in Kerala, India. Paper presented at the International Symposium Tsunami Disaster Risk Reduction (DDR) 2020: Tsunami Risk Reduction and Community Resilience, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Amritapuri, India.


von Lieres, J. S. (2019). Mental well-being and protective factors in vulnerable groups: Victims of the 2004 tsunami in Kerala, South India, and disadvantaged rural populations in North India. In E. Witruk & D. S. Utami (Eds.), Traumatic Experiences and Dyslexia. Beiträge zur Pädagogischen und Rehabilitationspsychologie [Studies in Educational and Rehabilitation Psychology], Vol. 8 (pp. 45-58). Berlin, Germany: Peter Lang


Valsan, V., Viswanath, A., & von Lieres, J. S. (2023). Creating a sustainable waste management system as a service-learning project at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham University, In M. Singh, P. Bhatt, W. Singh, & K. S. Pareek (Eds.), Community engagement in higher education. From theory to practice. Routledge.

von Lieres, J. S. & Gopakumar, C. (2022). The impact of social media use on young adults’ quality of life during the COVID-19 pandemic in South India. 2022 IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference (GHTC) (pp. 318-324). IEEE.





February 2015 to September 2018: joining Amrita SeRVe (Self-Reliant Village) project as a research officer
Best paper award in 2018 at the CSSR 5th International Conference on Science & Social Research, Malaysia

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