I am a sleep scientist working at the Centre for Chronobiology of the University of Basel and its Psychiatric Hospital (UPK) in Switzerland. My research interests center around circadian rhythms and cognitive processing during healthy sleep and in patients with disorders of consciousness due to severe brain injury. My main focus is currently on the effects of natural daylight and artificial light on sleep (for more details see here).
Besides doing research, I also like talking and educating about it. I love doing science communication in German and English and am available as a speaker for events, workshops, or seminars. You find an overview of my outreach activities here. If you would like to chat, just drop me a line. For more information, please find my CV here.
In January 2019 I have moved to Basel, Switzerland, with a mobility grant from the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), where I am working at the Centre for Chronobiology at the University of Basel. Since April 2022, I am an Ambizione fellow of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF). Besides research, also work as a psychologist for insomnia therapy at the Sleep Clinic of the Psychiatric Hospital of the University of Basel.
My background is in psychology and I studied at the University of Würzburg, Germany, between 2007 and 2012. In 2010/11 I additionally studied neurobiology and pharmacology at the University of Cambridge, UK, during a “Junior Year Abroad” at Pembroke College. Throughout my studies I have always been intrigued by how biological and psychological processes interact and I have a strong interest in how medical aspects relate to my research.
In 2013, I moved to Salzburg, where I started my PhD in the Laboratory for Sleep, Cognition and Consciousness Research (head: Prof. Manuel Schabus). During my PhD I became intrigued by circadian rhythms. I obtained my PhD (thesis title: “Circadian Variations in Consciousness – Insights from Healthy Sleep and Brain-Injured Patients”) in December 2016 and then became a post-doctoral researcher at the Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience/Sleep Lab in Salzburg, Austria. Besides research, I taught at the departments of psychology and biology (see below) and I was the scientific coordinator of the Doctoral College “Imaging the Mind” between 01/2017 and 12/2018.
I collaborate with several researchers, among them Dr. Nayantara Santhi (University of Northumbria), Dr. Tristan Bekinschtein and Dr. Maria Niedernhuber (University of Cambridge), and the colleagues from the Salzburg Sleep Lab. In Switzerland, I collaborate with PD Dr. Jakob Usemann (Children’s Hospital of the University of Basel) and PD Dr. Salome Kurth (University of Fribourg), Prof. Martin Röösli (Swiss TPH) as well as Dr. Manuel Spitschan (Max-Planck-Institute Tübingen and Technical University Munich, Germany).
Apart from science, I enjoy teaching a lot and feel this is an especially rewarding part of my job. After all, who and where would today’s scientists be without their teachers? Since autumn 2021, I am a freelance science communication trainer at “Nationales Institut für Wissenschaftskommunikation” (Nawik) in Germany. In the past, I gave university lectures and (empirical) seminars on sleep, consciousness and cognitive neuroscientific methods for psychology and biology students and I have also supervised several master theses.
In 2017 I also taught a ten-day course at a summer academy of the German Academic Scholarship Foundation on “Rhythms of the Body and Mind: Circadian and Sleep-Wake-Dependent Regulation of Physiology and Cognition” in Krakow, Poland. A similar course had been planned for spring 2020, but was cancelled due to the pandemic.