Postdoctoral Fellows are in the early stage of their academic career and plan to develop and implement an independent research project. Find out more about our Postdoctoral Fellowships here.

Ariane Bertogg

History and Sociology

Contact

Phone: +49 7531  88-5692

Room: Y 228

Post office box: 216

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Responsibilities

Affiliated with the Department of History and Sociology

Project: Time, Space, and Ties. Multi-Dimensional Contextual Influence on Older Europeans? Participation in Employment and Family Caregiving

Against the background of rising life expectations and welfare budget retrenchments, the societal participation of older people is gaining political and societal importance. The concept of "Productive Ageing" includes various paid and unpaid activities, such as employment, volunteering, informal elder care and grandchild care. Despite a large share of older men and women being engaged in one or several productive activities, we can observe considerable gender differences in activity patterns. Previous studies have indicated that micro-level theories only partly suffice to explain these differences found. Rather, comparative research indicates that the decisions to take up or leave these activities are highly context-sensitive. However, most studies look at individuals linkages in a rather isolated way, and comparative studies often do not go beyond providing descriptive evidence about country differences. Last but not least, the causal direction of the linkages between several activity types often remains unclear.
The proposed project thus addresses the following two research questions: (1) What contextual dimensions influence the participation of men and women in activities in the public and private domain in their second half of life? (2) How does the influence of different contextual dimensions interact?

Postdoctoral Fellow since 04/2020

Publications on KOPS

Jacob Bloomfield

Literature

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Responsibilities

Affiliated with the Department of Literature

Project: Tutti Frutti: Little Richard, Sex, Gender, and Transgression in America and Europe

The project investigates the career of pioneering musician Little Richard; specifically, how he became the most prominent black rock and roll artist of the 1950s, achieving then-groundbreaking popularity with the white mainstream in the United States and Britain, while predicating his persona on male effeminacy. The project probes how Richard's global popularity was achieved amidst a backdrop of pervasive cultural anxieties in mid-twentieth-century America and Britain about the links between gender variance and transgressive acts, behaviours, and categories of identity. This research offers new insights into the wider history of how gender variance and sexual difference were perceived in the Anglosphere; giving special consideration to the particular dynamics at play when theatrical gender variance was displayed by a young African American man in this period and how cultural anxieties regarding gender variance manifested themselves among different races, cultures, and nationalities.

Postdoctoral Fellow since 07/2020

Julia Ditter

Literature

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Responsibilities

Affiliated with the Department of Literature, Arts and Media

Project: Energy Infrastructures and the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Press

This project examines representations of energy infrastructures in the Anglophone periodical press of the nineteenth century, focusing in particular on British and Antipodean periodical publications. The project contributes to the endeavour to understand the social, material and affective foundations of the (Western) reliance on fossil fuels by examining another age of energy transition, the nineteenth century, and exploring the foundations of dominant understandings of fossil energy. I posit that the periodical press of the nineteenth century played a central role in the creation of systems and epistemologies of energy that continue to structure our understanding of and relationship with energy today. Through a reading of the mass medium of the periodical press, I examine the role literary and cultural production play in mediating energy transition and reflecting on the process through which fossil fuels have come to form the energetic and ideational infrastructure of our lives in the West: from institutions, political systems and global networks to cultural practices, social formations and literary forms.

Postdoctoral Fellow from 06/2024

Gabriella Gall

Biology

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Responsibilities

Affiliated with the Department of Biology

Project: Exploring the effect of early experience on individual vocal flexibility and group functioning

Most studies in collective behaviour focus on the mechanisms of coordination, such as how individuals make group decisions on where or when to move and which individuals are able to exert the highest influence on these decisions. Less attention has been given to understanding the development and fitness consequences of coordination efficacy.  Furthermore, despite the fact that many social species are known to use vocalizations during coordination, how such signalling behaviour mediates coordination remains poorly understood. During this project I will investigate the use of vocal signals to coordinate group movement and activity in pheasants (Phasianus colchicus), which exhibit marked changes in group structure throughout the year. By using captive reared pheasants, released into the wild when mature, I can manipulate individual’s development, state and group compositions, and post-release track their associations and survival using novel bio-logging technology. Specifically, I ask 1) how vocal signalling develops across an individual’s lifetime, 2) how signals influence group structure and coordination and 3) how early experience influences individual signalling and survival.

Postdoctoral Fellow since 05/2021

Eduardo Luersen

Literature

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Room: 226

Post office box: 216

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Responsibilities

Affiliated with the Department of Literature

Project: Cloud gaming atlas: from Earth's metabolism to the longing for radiant infrastructures

The project seeks to expand my research agenda into the realm of cloud gaming infrastructure while advancing further into the study of the interdependencies between digital technologies and the living environment. This is an important theme considering the still underexplored relations of gaming with the climate crisis. For this same reason, it is important to conceptualize how the infrastructure of digital media relates to natural systems. The emergence of planetary-scale remote gaming is historically coinciding with a broader cultural shift to "planetarity", in which issues related to the mitigation of anthropogenic climate change, renewable energy sources, and environmental regeneration are more clearly recognized as an issue of the commons. Thus, this research project will seek to assess the continuum between technology and nature in the infrastructure of cloud gaming, while also taking into account how the industry is preparing to manage the environmental problems associated with its escalation.

Postdoctoral Fellow since 06/2022

Noelia Martínez Doallo

Law

Contact

Phone: +49 7531  88-5696

Room: Y 226

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Responsibilities

Affiliated with the Department of Law

Project: Biomedical Research Involving Human Subjects. Is There a Duty to Participate?

Several pitfalls hinder the advance of biomedical research involving human subjects, namely: the mistrust of some societal sectors, certain ethically questionable interests of the pharmaceutical industry, and restrictive legal regulations that impede the participation of entire human collectives, as children or the disabled.
Yet, the performance of biomedical research ideally aims to improve the life quality of the society as a whole, a potential that has been wasted. For the latter reason, some authors have argued the existence of a moral duty to participate in biomedical research, as a mean to do our fair share within the community. However, it is unclear that everybody effectively benefits and shares the risks of this activity to the same extent.
Today more than ever, to foster —and, in the best case scenario, attain— a healthy and secure society makes necessary to agree upon some fundamental cornerstones regarding social justice and burden sharing. This implies to look into and assess the different responses provided to the issue of mandatory participation in biomedical research, in order to strike a fair balance between the aforesaid scientific activity and human flourishing. The ultimate aim of this project is to resort to theories of justice for offering a feasible proposal to accomplish such a lofty goal.

Postdoctoral Fellow since 05/2021

Angelo Javier Neira Albornoz

Computer and Information Science

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Responsibilities

Affiliated with the Department of Computer and Information Science

Project: Understanding the Environmental Fate of Organic Pollutants on Soils: Correlational and Causal Evidence on Sorption Coefficients.

The environmental fate of organic pollutants on soils is linked to sorption coefficients, i.e., the distribution between the retained and the aqueous concentration of pollutant in chemical equilibrium. Consequently, sorption coefficient data are used as scientific evidence for knowledge generation and decision-making in global and local contexts, such as agriculture and environmental health. The interpretation of these data is generally based on correlational evidence, which depends on experimental designs (i.e., methods for data production and processing) and assumptions (explicit or not). However, the inherent complexity of soil dynamics together with the diversity of pollutant-soil combinations, experimental designs, and scale-dependent findings, affect the validity of correlational evidence as a reliable way to interpret data and use them in contexts of environmental concern. For instance, the link between correlational and causal evidence depends on the presence of confounding variables and hidden processes due to uncontrolled, unknown and unavoidable sources of variability during the studies. In this sense, the aim of this project is to build a reliable evidence-based framework able to represent the sorption process and the environmental fate of organic pollutants on soils for better practices, with the intention of supporting scientists and decision-makers to simplify future experimental research, fill knowledge gaps and use reliable data for regulatory purposes.

ZUKOnnect Fellow from 07/2022 until 06/2023
Postdoctoral Fellow from 04/2024

Daniela Roessler

Biology

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Affiliated with the Department of Biology

Project: Hungry eyes: an experimental framework testing eye camouflage in active predators

Eyes are highly conspicuous. They can convey various information, for example about the position of an animal’s head or where it is looking. Exploiting said information, many species have evolved exaggerated eye spots or “fake eyes”, such as those commonly found on butterfly wings, to deter predators. Equally widespread across the animal kingdom are distinct facial markings such as dark stripes which seemingly conceal or disrupt the eyes. To date, research thereof has focused on the function of eye camouflage from an anti-predator perspective. However, avoiding detection is not only beneficial for prey. Especially for actively foraging predators, evading visual detection by their prey offers strong selective advantages. Numerous species of jumping spiders exhibit striking eye masking patterns and have been shown to use eyes as important cues in the recognition of other (predatory) jumping spiders. Being both highly visual prey and predators with rich cognitive abilities, these spiders offer a unique dual model system. Using common species of jumping spiders, I am going to 1) test how different eye masking patterns influence predator recognition, 2) test the effect of eye masks on foraging success and 3) document the developmental onset of eye mask expression in different species. I will use 3D printing technology as well as novel 3D video tracking methods to quantify natural behavior in these charismatic animals.

Postdoctoral Fellow since 06/2021

Daniel Skibra

Philosophy

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Post office box: 216

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Responsibilities

Affiliated with the Department of Philosophy

Project: Reassessing Desire for Mode and Content

The dominant paradigm in contemporary philosophical theorizing about intentional states like belief and desire analyzes them as representational states. In turn, these representational states are to be understood as being comprised of a content (the information being represented) and a psychological mode (the relation to the content characteristic of the mental state), thus separating the representation from how it is represented. Philosophy has found this ?mode-content schema" attractive for a number of reasons; particularly for how it allows the analysis of mental states to interface with questions about language and communication. But the dominant way of understanding the schema constitutes a dramatic oversimplification. This is best illustrated by focusing on the case of desire, which has more complex representational features than adherents of the schema tend to appreciate, and presents difficult challenges to the schema. The project will mount a defense of the mode-content schema for desire, but will do so while acknowledging its limitations. It will set out a new account of desire, making precise how desire represents its content, and giving an appropriate characterization of desire's psychological mode. Such an account will manage to navigate the considerable challenges currently facing an adequate implementation of the mode-content schema.

Postdoctoral Fellow since 03/2023

Katerina Suverina

History and Sociology

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Responsibilities

Affiliated with the Department of History and Sociology

Project: Biopolitical Violence and a Society of Hope: HIV/AIDS in the Late USSR

In 2023, no cultural, social, or even medical history of the late Soviet and Russian HIV/AIDS epidemic has been written. HIV/AIDS remains a silenced figure in Russia’s contemporary public and academic discourses. At the same time, for most people in the country, an HIV-positive status has only one meaning: terrible stigma. When was this stigma created: at the beginning of the epidemic in the 1980s––or in the 1990s, after the collapse of the USSR, when intravenous drugs proliferated? Who were the main actors who contributed to the spread of this stigma and violent attitudes towards HIV-positive people? How did different actors of the Soviet system help to create a discourse of inverted care and the culture of stigma? What kind of impact did HIV/AIDS have on health governance, politics, and society in general? How did the stigmatized image of HIV-positive people contribute to the spread and consolidation of conspiracy theories, fear, and almost pervasive dehumanization during the late Soviet period?

Postdoctoral Fellow from 10/2024

Nihan Toprakkiran

Politics and Public Administration

Contact

Phone: +49 [0] 7531 88 - 5666

Room: Y 227

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Responsibilities

Affiliated with the Department of Politics and Public Administration

Project: Immigrants in Germany as External Voters: Explaining Support for Home-Country Populism

This project analyses the determinants of the political behaviour of immigrants as external voters, that is in their capacity as voters in the elections of their countries of origin. Empirically it focuses on Turkish, Polish and Italian immigrants living in Germany, which are all eligible to vote externally. In particular, it is interested in finding out how the level of integration and the rights of immigrants within the same country of residence affect their propensity to support populist parties in the country of origin.

Postdoctoral Fellow since 04/2019

See detailed profile: https://scikon.uni-konstanz.de/personen/profile/nihan.toprakkiran/

Publications on KOPS

James Wilson

History and Sociology

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Room: 226

Post office box: 216

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Responsibilities

Affiliated with the Department of History and Sociology

Project: Colonialism, the "Counter-Crusade" and the early development of Crusader studies

Medieval Arabic chronicles constitute a key source base for Crusader studies. Despite this, many historians rely upon nineteenth century translations of several vital Arabic literary sources. This project will reverse-engineer the traditional methodology of Crusade historiography. Rather than relying on these translated materials, it examines the extent to which colonial attitudes influenced their compilation, whilst simultaneously reviewing the legacy of this editorial process upon some of the key approaches, narrative structures and conclusions of modern Crusader studies. Accordingly, this project explores the latent challenges that anachronous editorial practices present to those engaging with difficult texts from the medieval past.

Postdoctoral Fellow since 06/2022

Abena Yalley

Literature & Politics and Public Administration

Contact

Phone: +49 7531  88-5639

Room: Y 228

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Responsibilities

Affiliated with the Departments of Literature & Politics and Public Administration

Project: “Abuse and humiliation” in the delivery room: The horror of obstetric violence in Ghana

Obstetric violence in a major health problem in both developed and developing countries (World Health Organisation (2015). However, the reality in those countries outside Europe, US, Canada and Australia is understudied. This research project examines the correlation between women's experiences of obstetric violence and the low facility-based deliveries and the high maternal mortality rate in Ghana. The quantitative (cross-sectional) research methodology will be used to collect and analyse data. The research findings will enable the Ghana government and other international organisations, such us the World Health Organisation (WHO) to understand the magnitude of the abuse and humiliation women face during delivery and its implications on women's health. This will assist stakeholders in developing policies and frameworks to curb the problem of obstetric violence in Ghana.

ZENiT Fellow from 06/2024

Postdoctoral Fellow since 09/2020

ZUKOnnect Fellow from 08 until 10/2019