About Me

From October 2009 until September 2013, I took part in the Bachelor's programme in Bioinformatics at the Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen. There I wrote my Bachelor thesis on "Bigramm-Alignierung und ihre Anwendung in der historischen Linguistik" (engl. "Bigram Alignment and its Application in Historical Linguistics").

I continued my studies in Bioinformatics at the University of Leipzig and graduated in January 2016. Partly in parallel, I started my doctorate at the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences in June 2015.

Research Interests

As the title of my Bachelor thesis already suggests, I feel at home in the combination of both, Bioinformatics and Linguistics, called Phylolinguistics. This topic was extended in my master thesis entitled "Alignment of Words - Bioinformatics Approaches in Comparative Linguistics".

The first contact with Linguistics was at the Studienkolleg 2012/13 with the title "Sprache als Schnittstelle zwischen natürlicher und kultureller Evolution" (engl. "Language as Interface of Natural and Cultural Evolution"). As a bioinformatician, I instantly liked the idea of putting together both, the tools bioinformaticians have at their disposal and the evolutionary idea in linguistics. Hence, I applied as a student assistant at the EVOLAEMP - Language Evolution: The Empirical Turn where I learned a lot about current research in this field. I continued working on this topic in Leipzig as research assistant and even in my Master thesis I was able to put the main focus on Phylolinguistics.

In addition to this very interesting topic, I am also interested in Theoretical Computer Science. Here, especially formal grammars used to describe recusion formulas in dynamic programming algorithms provide an interesting approach on how to look at problems in computer science.

Another very special role in my interests still remains in language as evolutionary factor in human evolution since the "Studienkolleg". Special because I cannot combine this topic with my current research yet. Here, particularly books of M. Tomasello or T. W. Deacon had a big influence as they represent both communicative and cognitive approaches.

But also evolution itself seems to have gained increasing importance throughout my studies. In particular I am interested in the overall principles and their detection given a data set; any data set. Starting from well understood data such as in comparative biology and linguistics to systems where we can only imagine evolutionary processes playing a role such as tracing ideas and concepts of a religion with 2500 years of recorded tradition provide a lot of room for questions and controversial discussions.