I am Assistant Professor of Political Behavior and Digital Media in the Department of Political Science at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, and part of the university’s Digital Society Initiative. Before joining the University of Zurich in April 2020, I was Assistant Professor of Computational Social Science at the Center for Data and Methods in the Department of Politics and Public Administration at the University of Konstanz, Germany. I hold a PhD in Computational Social Science from ETH Zurich and was a postdoctoral researcher at the Graduate Institute Geneva and the University of Maryland.
In my research, I combine a substantive interest in political science with the development and refinement of quantitative methodologies for social science research. In the past years, the main focus of my research has been on understanding the influence of new digital (online) media for political behavior. This includes research on biased media coverage but also on the role of individuals’ perceptions for how such content ultimately affects behavior. My main methodological interests are related to leveraging experimental and observational data from digital media. I am also interested in the use of computational (agent-based) modeling approaches to capture systemic complexity and in the analysis of highly-resolved geographical data. Together with colleagues, I have also developed and currently maintain a number of software packages for data analysis and visualization that are available as open source tools to the research community.
I have recently received InnoSuisse funding for a joint project with colleagues at the Digital Democracy Lab, at ETH Zurich and sotomo that combines natural language processing and machine learning to support a civil society initiative led by Alliance F to counter online hate speech (StopHateSpech). Together with a colleague in Germany, I also have a current project on automated detection of media bias in news media articles that combines state-of-the-art deep learning approaches from computer science with longstanding insights from the social sciences (WIN). I am also currently involved in a multi-institutional research project on modeling early risk indicators to anticipate malnutrition (MERIAM) working together with researchers at the University of Maryland, the Graduate Institute in Geneva and the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University. Further details may be also be found under Research.