I am a freelancer in science editing, communication, and advocacy. Before I spent 7 years as a postdoc, following a PhD in neuroscience from Bielefeld University in Germany.

ORCID orcid.org/0000-0002-7818-8993
Academic CV


Background

My scientific background is in neuroethology. In my active research years, I studied specific, naturally occurring animal behaviors and the neuronal mechanisms that control this behavior. My research included audio-vocal behavior in toads, visual depth perception in birds, olfactory learning in mice, and running in mice.

In 2018 I left the academic research career as it wouldn’t provide me with the personal and professional growth I was looking for. I would have needed to work under these conditions for several more years to have a chance at successfully applying for a leading position in academia.

Besides freelancing as a science editor, I have begun to also work in science communication. Since early 2018 I run a podcast, and I am now specializing in podcasting as a science communication medium. I have further contributed scripts for web videos for professional YouTube channels, and am dabbling in video production, myself.


Academic Competences

  • Scholarship
    • wrote four first-author research article manuscripts, and about 10 personal funding applications in USA, Germany, Portugal, and EU
    • served as a peer reviewer for established scientific journals
    • served as an administrative assistant for a successful application of a multi-lab ‘Research Group’ which was then funded by the DFG
    • attended writing workshops for scientific publications and funding applications at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (USA) and the Champalimaud Foundation (Portugal).
  • Academic Presentation
    • talks at lab and department level
    • talks for job interviews or as a visitor in other labs
    • poster presentations at conferences
  • Teaching, Supervising, and Mentoring
    • tutored BS and MS students individually and in small groups in practical courses, laboratory internships, and during their theses work.
    • supervised rotating graduate students, and summer students
    • taught methods to new lab members
    • advised graduate students in research questions.

Science Communication Competences

  • podcasting
    • producing and hosting a podcast since February 2018
  • public speaking
    • presented talks to lay audiences at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
    • guest on science communication podcasts
    • organizing member of “Demystifying Science” series targeting lay audiences
  • web video
    • produced several videos on scholarship, podcasting, and neuroscience
  • social media
    • contributor to twitter rotating curation accounts
    • managed the social media accounts for SciComm projects, and March for Science

Research Skills

  • Behavioral Tracking I am experienced in offline manual and automated, machine learning-based tracking methods of animal locomotion.
  • Electrophysiology – I performed single-channel extracellular recordings in anesthetized and awake animals and chronic multichannel recordings in behaving animals. I further learned in vivo loose patch electrophysiology with following neurobiotin cell fills for anatomical classification.
  • Imaging I conducted wide-field imaging of intrinsic signals, and of fluorescent calcium signals in transgenic mice.
  • Genetic Manipulations I conducted side projects using viral microinjections in the brain for cre-dependent expression of channelrhodopsin and DREADD receptors.
  • Establishing Experimental Setups – I have extensive experience in setting up behavioral and physiological experiments since every project I worked on demanded the establishment of new methods in the laboratories. For example, I established a setup to track locomotion in mice under infrared conditions, while recording with multi-channel electrophysiological probes, and optogenetic stimulation, while working with Megan Carey at the Champalimaud Foundation.
  • Coding – I routinely program custom systems for semi-automatic stimulation control, data acquisition, and data analysis, using LabView, and Matlab, which I also use for data visualization.

Academic Positions

  • Aug 2015 – July 2018. Postdoctoral Researcher, Carey Lab, Champalimaud Rersearch, Lisbon, Portugal
    Study subject was the role of the deep cerebellar nuclei in locomotion with electrophysiology and optogenetics.
  • Jan 2011 – July 2015 Postdoctoral Fellow, Shea Lab, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, NY, USA
    I studied the role of noradrenaline in olfactory learning in mice and noradrenergic activation during courtship in male mice.

Education

  • Jan 2007 – Dec 2010 Doctoral student, Bielefeld University, GermanyThesis “Optic Flow in Behavior and Brain Function of the Zebra Finch”
    adviser: Prof. Dr. HJ Bischof; co-advisor: Prof. Dr. M Egelhaaf
  • Oct 1999 – July 2006 undergraduate studies in biology,
    degree “Diplombiologe” awarded by the University of Cologne, Germany
    Thesis “Grundlagen des Wechselrufens der Anuren.”
                  (‘Basics of alternating courtship calls in anurans’)
    adviser: Prof. Dr. W Walkowiak