About Me

and my Research

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I am a postdoctoral researcher at the Technische Universität Berlin, a PostDoc alumni from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) in Berlin 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 habitats’ 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 increasingly in the psychological benefits of nature and wildlife on 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. Currently, I have the wonderful opportunities to be a member of  IUCN SSC Bat Specialist Group Human Dimensions of Bat Conservation”  and to collaborate with “Bats without Borders“; an NGO dedicated to conserving bats, biodiversity and healthy ecosystems within southern Africa’s changing landscape.

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

International Association for Society and Natural Ressources (IASNR) Coordinator European Hub, Review Editor on the Editorial Board of Human-Wildlife Conflict and Coexistence (specialty section of Frontiers in Conservation Science), Guest Editor for the SI “Women in Human Wildlife Dynamics“, Frontiers in Conservation Science and “Human-Bat Interactions and Sustainable Conservation” in Sustainability, Reviewer for e.g. Conservation Biology, Biological Conservation, Human Dimensions of Wildlife and Journal of Urban Ecology.  

Education

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.