Bio

Born 1981 in Hamburg, Germany, where I grew up with my parents, grandmother and two siblings as the middle child. 

Undergraduate and graduate studies in Sociology, Journalism, and Linguistics at the Hamburg University, with an emphasis on transparent journalism and healthy democratic discourse. Main study focus at the time: Third Reich propaganda and the impact of money and politics on media reporting. Other research foci: sociology of youth prison systems, sexism in temporary movie culture, and racism. 

B.A. in Linguistics and Media Culture from Hamburg University. Further training degree in Communication Psychology and Mediation from the Schulz v. Thun Institute at the University of Hamburg.

Visiting scholar at "La Sapienza" University in Rome, conducting research on Italian public discourse under then-prime minister Silvio Berlusconi. Visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, doing research on US-American public discourse under the Bush administration after 9/11. 

Graduate studies and doctoral research at the Linguistics Department at the University of California, Berkeley. Research in Cognitive Linguistics, using conceptual discourse analyses and behavioral methods. Main focus: morality at the basis of political judgment and attitude formation, systemic causal reasoning as a determiner of global warming and social inequality beliefs, frame-semantics & framing effects, conceptual metaphor, and pragmatic functions of gesture. Graduate and undergraduate level teaching at the University of California, Berkeley at the Department of Linguistics and Department of Cognitive Science. Co-organizer of the 2013 Berkeley International Gesture Pragmatics Conference and 35th Berkeley Linguistics Society Conference, Head of Cognitive Linguistics Reviewing Committee for the Berkeley Linguistics Society Conference 2010-13.  

M.A. and Ph.D. from the Linguistics Department at the University of California, Berkeley. Research at the International Computer Science Institute, Berkeley (2013-2015) and the University of California, Berkeley (since 2013), focusing on innovative theory work on embodiment, metaphor, and moral cognition, and conducting theory-driven conceptual discourse analyses, behavioral studies (survey studies & experiments), and brain imaging studies (fMRI) in collaboration with other scholars.

Stipends: University of California, Berkeley Block Grant Fellowship, Graduate Division Summer Grant, Dean Normative Time Fellowship, and Departmental Research Grant, and German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Visiting Scholar and Postdoctoral Research Fellowships, amongst others. Guest lecturing at the University of California, Merced, San Francisco State University, University of Milan, Copenhagen University, University of Innsbruck, and RWTH Aachen University, amongst others. 

Primary research collaborations: Brain and Creativity Institute, University of Southern California; Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto; Interactive Cognition Lab, University of California, Merced; International Computer Science Institute, Berkeley (MetaNet Project, by IARPA, US Department of Defense).

Scientific research and publishing in German, Italian, and English. Co-Founder and Co-Editor of the international scientific journal Moral Cognition and Communication. Corresponding Scientific Board Member at the European Forum Alpbach and Senior Fellow at the Institute for Media and Communication Policy. Public political commentary in Huffington Post, Spiegel Online, Kronen Zeitung, Konkret, The European, and Carta, amongst others.     

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