Home Institutions

University of California, Berkeley 

International Computer Science Institute, Berkeley 


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

Human Technology Centre, German Excellence Initiative at RWTH Aachen University

MetaNet Project (Multilingual Metaphor Repository), Sponsored by Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), US Department of Defense


Scientific Board Memberships

European Forum Alpbach, Vienna. Corresponding Member Scientific Advisory Board

Institute for Media and Communications Policy, Berlin. Corresponding Research Fellow


Other Selected Public Outreach Partnerships

Open Society Foundations, Brussels

Demos, London

Cevea, Copenhagen

Friedrich Ebert Foundation, Berlin

Heinrich Böll Foundation, Berlin and Washington, DC


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. 

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.