and my Research
I am a guest professor in urban ecology at the Freie Universität Berlin, a PostDoc alumni from the Technische Universität Berlin and Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) with a Ph.D. in Urban Ecology from the University of Melbourne and German Diplom in Biology from the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. Since my PhD, I am passionate about combining ecological research with social science theories. I strongly believe that conservation is much more effective when we also understand people since, as we all know, most threats to nature and wildlife are caused by human behaviour. So, I love to come from ‘both sides’: from the ecological as well as from the social science perspective to find solutions for ‘shared urban landscapes’ in which nature, wildlife and people can coexist and thrive. When it comes to wildlife, my major passion are bats. When it comes to human-nature interactions in urban areas, I am interested in landscape preferences, understanding drivers of acceptance (e.g. biodiversity management strategies), communication for conservation (e.g. photo stimuli, storytelling) and in my new project in health relationships between urban wildlife and people. Working with vibrant colleagues and students, I also enjoy conversations around ethics in conservation (acknowledging that our approach to science is never free from our own values).
Since I can remember, I was always passionate about wildlife, conservation and the natural world around us. Hence, as soon as I had the chance, I volunteered for environmental NGOs. In my academic life, I always try to stay closely connected with NGOs and I was fortunate to work together with and in international NGOs, including the Jane Goodall Institute Germany, German Animal Welfare Federation, WEMA HOME e.V. (Trophée des Femmes award in 2006 for my role in the restoration project in Benin, West Africa) and Earthwatch Australia and was holding board roles in the Jane Goodall Institute Germany and WEMA HOME e.V.. Knowing also these both ‘worlds’, I enjoy building bridges between NGOs and academia and to learn from each other.
I am an avid traveler and appreciate learning more about other cultures and the conservation issues that people in other parts of this world hold. Given my passion for conservation and travels, I was fortunate to work in amazing parts of the world, including West Africa, India, New Zealand and Australia.
Other Academic Activities
Co-leader of the IUCN SSC Bat Specialist Group “Human Dimensions of Bat Conservation” | the GBatNet working group “Social-ecological interactions at the human-bat interface” | the European Hub of the International Association for Society and Natural Ressources (IASNR).
Associate Editor for the journal Human Dimensions of Wildlife | Review Editor on the Editorial Board of Human-Wildlife Conflict and Coexistence (specialty section of Frontiers in Conservation Science) | Reviewer for e.g. Conservation Biology, Biological Conservation, People and Nature and Journal of Urban Ecology.
Ph.D. (Urban Ecology). Australian Research Centre for Urban Ecology, c/o School of BioSciences, University of Melbourne. Thesis title: ‘The Shared Habitat – Understanding and Linking Needs of Insectivorous Bats and People at Urban Wetlands.’
German Diplom in Biology (Approximately equivalent to a Master’s Degree). Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich.
Studies in the Master’s Degree Psychology and Pedagogy (2 semesters). Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich.