I took my highschool degree in Sindelfingen (Germany), then travelled to Norway, the US, India and Nepal before beginning my studies at the Free University of Berlin. I graduated from there in 1998 with a Diploma in Psychology and started my PhD studies at the University of Würzburg. Roland Neumann, Fritz Strack, Jens Förster, Michael Häfner, Roland Deutsch and Ravit Nussinson were my main collaboration partners during that period.
I then continued in Würzburg as an Assistant Professor and received funding from the German Science foundation for projects on need states and on facial mimicry. From 2006-2008, I spent a postdoc at Utrecht university and worked with Henk Aarts on goals, predictability and the need for control.
From 2008-2012, I worked at CIS, Iscte-IUL as a researcher with a Ciencia contract. There, I mainly worked on Relational models Theory by Alan Fiske (together with Sven Waldzus, Rodrigo Brito and others) and supervised Cláudia Simão's PhD project on gratitude and relational models. I also participated in a European project on Food-risk communication across Europe (FoodRisK), collaborating at ISCTE with Luisa Lima and supervising Rui Gaspar as a postdoc in the project.
In 2012, I started as Associate Professor at University of Oslo and as Visiting Professor at ISCTE-IUL where I continued teaching in the Master and PhD program, supervising Master students and collaborating on various projects. I currently mainly work on the social emotion "kama muta" (see www.kamamutalab.org), together with Alan Page Fiske, Thomas Wolfgang Schubert, Janis Heinrich Zickfeld, Johanna Katharina Blomster, Patricia Arriaga, Hanne Weie Oddli, Jota Pizarro Carrasco, Jonna Katariina Vuoskoski, Evi Petersen, Ravit Nussinson, Cláudia Simão and several international collaborators and students. I also work on intervention projects to increase sustainable behavior, together with Aslak Fyhri and Ingeborg Storesund Hesjevoll at the Transport-Economic Institute in Oslo.