My research addresses the microscopic, precise spiking dynamics in neural networks, the level of mesoscopic collective dynamics as well as emergent large-scale phenomena such as control and learning of behavior. The long-term aim is a theoretical understanding of the complex dynamics and the resulting computations of neural systems. For this goal, it is essential to join strict mathematical approaches and perspectives from neurophysiology and neurobiology and to apply and to further develop methods from computer science and theoretical physics.
I studied theoretical physics at the universities of Kaiserslautern, Munich and Jena, and received my diploma with a thesis in gravitational theory from the university of Jena in 2004. From 2004 to 2008, I conducted research at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization in Göttingen, first as PhD student then as postdoctoral researcher in the group of M. Timme and in the department of T. Geisel. In 2008, I was awarded the Otto Hahn Medal of the Max Planck Society and a Swartz Postdoctoral Fellowship from Harvard University. From 2008 to 2010, I was as an independent Swartz fellow at Harvard University working together with H. Sompolinsky. Thereafter (2010 to 2015), I continued my research as an assistant professor (first tenure track then tenure) in the Neuroinformatics department at the Donders Institute at Radboud University Nijmegen. In 2014, I was awarded the Bernstein Award. Since 2015, I am conducting research at the Center for Theoretical Neuroscience of Columbia University as a Fellow of the Max Kade Society New York. In summer 2016, I have joined the FIAS Frankfurt.