I am a postdoctoral researcher at the Leibniz-Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) near Berlin, Germany, where I develop living lab approaches in agricultural research. As participatory modeler, I explore how non-research partners can effectively contribute to model development that helps researchers better understand the world of agricultural decision making and management. I also coordinate a team that develops pilot studies using agro-ecosystem living labs. Living labs are research partnerships in which researchers and other stakeholders, such as farmers, environmental organizations, or policy makers, are equal partners throughout the process. It can help accelerate innovation in agriculture and transition towards more sustainable and resilient farming practices in the face of climate change.
Previously, I was a postdoctoral researcher with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and at Texas A&M University, in interdisciplinary projects that studied the impacts of climate change on grasslands and cattle production in the U.S. Great Plains.
During my dissertation research at the University of Oklahoma, I conducted collaborative, actionable research in the south-central U.S. that helps winter wheat producers prepare for unseasonal climate and strengthens the ability of farmers and ranchers to adapt to climate change.
I grew up on a farm in rural eastern Germany. Before moving to the U.S. for my doctoral research in 2012, I earned a graduate degree in geography from Dresden University of Technology (Germany), minoring in meteorology and cartography.
During graduate school in Germany I discovered photography and journalism as a way to tell stories. My interest in science communication continued throughout my dissertation along with a desire to bridge academic disciplines in climate research. I co-founded the Early Career Climate Network, a professional organization for early-career climate researchers, wrote regular science blogs, hosted a science podcast, and educated school classes through Skype A Scientist about agriculture and sustainable food production in the face of climate change.