About Me

Who I am

I grew up in Germany and studied geography at the Eberhard-Karls University in the beautiful city of Tübingen. In 2003, I embarked on an exchange semester to Australia. I stayed at Flinders University, learning about the true meaning of the words "bush" and "barbie". Somehow, what was originally planned as a 6-month stay turned into an 8-year long adventure. In 2005, I returned to Germany only briefly to complete my studies in Tübingen. A few days after I received my Diplom (Master’s equivalent) in Geography, I was back on the plane to Australia.

In 2006, I began my PhD under the supervision of Prof. Martin Bell in the Queensland Centre for Population Research at the University of Queensland, focusing on internal migration among Australia's retiring Baby Boomer generation. The friendly people, the awesome flora and fauna and the supportive research environment made those 8 years really worthwhile! So many happy memories, and life lessons learnt!

After completing my PhD in 2010, I moved to Austria to begin my research career in Europe. I first stayed at IIASA in Laxenburg for a few months and then moved to the Vienna Institute of Demography (VID) in Vienna. I worked at the VID as a research scholar from late 2010 to early 2016. In 2011, I also became the leader of the 'Migration & Education' research strand at the Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital.

In early 2016, I moved to Groningen in the Netherlands and took up a position as Assistant Professor of Population Geography at the University of Groningen. I'm so grateful to Prof. Clara Mulder and all the great colleagues at the RUG for a great 1.5 years. I've definately learnt a lot, not only about teaching population geography and researching family ties, but also about cheese, tulips and bitterballen.

In September 2017, I returned to my German roots as Research Director for Migration and Mobility at the Federal Institute for Population Research (BiB) in Wiesbaden, Germany. I'm very much looking forward to everything that's still to come, and I feel lucky to be able to work with such a great and growing team. #Aufbruchstimmung

What I do

My research focuses on quantitative human/population geography, especially past, present and future migration. This includes patterns and trends in international migration flows around the world, inter-regional migration flows within countries, as well as internal migration (eg. flows between cities and their hinterlands).

I’m also interested in population projections and the impact of migration on the size and characteristics of population at the local and regional levels, including urban growth and rural population decline. In my research projects, I mainly draw on quantitative models of spatial processes, borrow tools from demography (such as event history and age period cohort models) and use visual exploratory data analysis.

I also strive towards communicating my research effectively and have a growing passion for data visualisation. I believe that working in academia should not be limited to making important discoveries within the ivory tower. It is equally important for the wider community, including policy makers, to understand our work and benefit from it. Migration is a topic where effective and transparent dissemination of research findings is crucial.

I try to share all my publications, presentations, data and tools via ResearchGate, Github and Google Scholar.

Download my CV