Mitko Aleksandrov starts as InChangE postdoc
As part of his postdoc within the collaborative research association InChangE, Dr Mitko Aleksandrov investigates how individuals experience and understand 3D environments. His primary goal is to assess the impact of various factors, such as urbanisation level, weather, familiarity, distractions or level of detail, on people’s orientation, route choice and perception while navigating in indoor and outdoor spaces.
Previously, Aleksandrov completed his PhD at the University of Melbourne, where he investigated individual decision-making during evacuations of tall buildings, emphasising the impact of floor level, route options, crowdedness and instructions on these decisions. Following his PhD, he was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of New South Wales, focusing on strategies to effectively orient and navigate individuals in 3D environments.
Carolin Mezes joins InChangE as Individualisation Fellow
As Individualisation Fellow within the collaborative research association InChangE, Dr Carolin Mezes works on a sociological research project on psychosomatics. Psychosomatic medicine, a medical specialty firmly integrated in the German health system, is an older and a different form of todays individualised medicine and regards individualisation processes of disease and healing in a bio-psycho-social framework. Investigating the contemporary psychosomatic discourse from the perspective of sociology of science, Mezes’ research investigates how different actors understand the relation of the suffering individual to its environment, how they conceive disease symptoms as a product of this relationship and as a response to it, and which therapeutic interventions are supposed to help individuals accordingly.
Before joining InChangE, Mezes completed her doctorate at Marburg University’s Working Group on Political Sociology as part of the interdisciplinary Collaborative Research Centre „Dynamics of Security“ (CRC/TRR 138). In her research, she investigated the knowledge practice of pandemic preparedness monitoring with ethnographical research, documenting the contradictions of preparedness governance that became apparent in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Narcissism and its impact on psychotherapy
Narcissistic personality traits are related to poorer response to psychotherapeutic treatment. This is the result of a German multi-site study with more than 2,000 participants receiving inpatient and outpatient psychotherapy. The findings of the research team at Jena University Hospital and University of Münster involving members of the JICE, now published in the scientific journal The Lancet Psychiatry, can contribute to further individualization of psychotherapy.
World Congress on Behavioural Science at Bielefeld University
The focus of the world’s largest conference on behavioural research, due to take place in a few days from 14 to 20 August at Bielefeld University, is on animal behaviour – its changes and backgrounds. Over 800 registered participants, including top academics from a broad spectrum of fields – from ethology to behavioural genetics to anthropology – will share their research and areas of expertise at Behaviour 2023. The multidisciplinary and international congress is the biennial main conference of the International Council of Ethologists (IEC).
Expeditions to the ends of the Earth
Whether it is polar bears in the Arctic, gorillas in Uganda, or sea lions in the Galápagos, Professor Oliver Krüger undertakes expeditions to faraway locales to observe animals deep in the wild. As a behaviour researcher at Bielefeld University, Professor Krüger seeks to understand how different animal species adapt to shifts in the environment and climate change. One thing he never leaves home without: his camera, to capture those extraordinary encounters.
Individualisation Fellowship: Liliya Doronina joins InChangE
During her Individualisation Fellowship within the collaborative research association InChangE, Dr Liliya Doronina investigates the ecological and genetic basis of changes in social structure, mating system and personality traits in island Arctic foxes. She analyses demographic and genetic data collected during long-term individual-based research of a small wild population of Arctic foxes isolated on an island in the North Pacific for a hundred thousand years.
Previously, Doronina completed her doctorate degree and worked as a postdoc at the Institute of Experimental Pathology of the Center for Molecular Biology of Inflammation at the University of Münster. She used transposable elements to disentangle evolutionary relationships in several mammalian groups. At the same time, she took part in the project "Research on ecology and behavior of the island arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus semenovi) on Mednyi Island (Commander Islands) in the North Pacific".
Nadine Mooren joins InChangE as Individualisation Fellow
As part of her Individualisation Fellowship, Dr Nadine Mooren addresses the topic of individualisation of human life in old age. She investigates the ways in which processes of individualisation are important for understanding human ageing. Additionally, she explores whether and how it is necessary to take into account the diversity of career paths, lifestyles, personal abilities, attitudes and values, also with regard to institutional arrangements.
Before joining InChangE, Mooren researched and taught at the Department of Philosophy at the University of Münster. In the field of Practical Philosophy and Ethics, she dealt with the relationship of anthropology and ethics, the characteristics of human life phases and the question of what differences between childhood, adolescence, adulthood and old age imply for theories of the good life.
Niclas Kuper starts as Individualisation Fellow
As a new Individualisation Fellow, Dr Niclas Kuper focuses on understanding the interplay between persons and their contexts and environments – with respect to momentary person-situation dynamics, long-term outcomes and development as well as the broader socio-cultural context in which people are embedded. In his research, he uses various research designs (e.g., ambulatory assessment, online studies, longitudinal studies and laboratory studies) and statistical approaches (e.g., multilevel modeling, meta-analysis, psychometrics and simulation studies). He actively pursues the integration of multiple relevant perspectives from different disciplines and subdisciplines.
Before joining the InChangE, Kuper completed his doctorate degree at the Department of Psychology at Bielefeld University. He worked on dynamic approaches to personality, with a focus on person-situation interactions. Throughout this work, he observed considerable individual differences in the reaction to various situations. With these findings, his research highlights the relevance of person-situation interactions for comprehensive accounts of personality.
InChangE Postdoc Meeting
On Tuesday, 20 June 2023, postdocs and Individualisation Fellows met together with further members of the collaborative project InChangE at "Haus Heuer" in Beelen to present their current research. The participants took the opportunity to extensively exchange about their projects and further future collaborations across the involved disciplines.
Mutations for the preservation of the speciesProfessor Dr. Joseph Hoffman involved in large-scale study
The Bielefeld behavioral scientist Prof Dr Joseph Hoffman was involved in a large-scale study with data on Antarctic fur seals. In a comparative analysis of pedigree-based mutation rates, far-reaching insights into the evolution of mutations in vertebrates could be gained. Individualization enables animal species to better adapt to their environment, which is changing due to climate change, for example. Mutations can also play a role in this. In the interview, Prof Hoffman explains which animals were studied, why knowledge of germline mutation rates is so relevant, and why the time between generations is a factor that should not be underestimated regarding hereditary diseases.
InChangE offers two Individualisation Fellowships for postdocs
In the colloborative project "Individualisation in Changing Environments" (InChangE) funded by the Ministry of Culture and Science of the state of NRW, the Universities of Münster and Bielefeld are exploring the causes, mechanisms and effects of individualisation in changing environments in an interdisciplinary discourse between natural sciences, social sciences and the humanities. The disciplines represented in the joint project are biology, philosophy, sociology, economics, psychology, geoinformatics, psychiatry and health sciences.
To promote excellent academics who are at the beginning of their independent research career, Bielefeld University offers two Individualisation Fellowships for early career researchers. These positions will offer the successful candidates the opportunity to further develop their independent research in the field of interdisciplinary individualisation science and to prepare their application for an individual research grant.
New InChangE member: Jana Seep starts as postdoc
Dr Jana Seep is the newest member of the InChangE research network as a postdoc. She is working on the analysis of semantically annotated trajectories - which combine geometric data with the surrounding context and describe the movements of persons or animals. In her project, she will investigate to what extent the semantic contexts can be used to determine direct causal relationships with the movement decisions made. By doing so, she hopes to better model and understand the movement and orientation of individuals in their environment.
Before joining InChangE, Seep did her doctorate at the Computer Science Department at the University of Münster. She focused on the analysis of semantically annotated motion data and adapted an approach from reverse engineering to model it. In this way, she was able to gain initial insights into possible correlations in the data and use them to calculate both representative behaviour of groups and the groups themselves, taking into account all known environmental influences.
Julia Rötzmeier-Keuper joins InChangE as postdoc
Dr Julia Rötzmeier-Keuper joined the collaborative research association InChangE as a postdoc in April 2023. In her project, she will empirically investigate cooperative and selfish behaviour and explore how this affects the sustainability of individual consumption as well as the potential use of technological developments to shape more sustainable consumption activities.
Rötzmeier-Keuper completed her doctorate in economics at the University of Paderborn in the field of service management. She investigated vulnerable market participants and marginalised consumer groups as well as the role of digital technologies in reducing or avoiding potential vulnerabilities in the market. Before joining InChangE, Rötzmeier-Keuper worked as a postdoc at TU Berlin in the DFG project "DigiSales", in which she investigated the influencing factors and consequences of technostress in digitalised sales work.
Interdisciplinary exchange on individualisationInterview with Prof Dr Angela Schwering und Prof Dr Meike Wittmann on the Individualisation Symposium 2023
Individualisation is the topic addressed by researchers from the natural sciences, humanities and social sciences at the Joint Institute for Individualisation in a Changing Environment (JICE). Every year in April, the JICE, which is supported by the Universities of Münster and Bielefeld, the collaborative research association InChangE and the SFB-TRR 212 jointly organise the interdisciplinary Individualisation Symposium at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research (ZiF) at Bielefeld University. The event focuses on interdisciplinary discourse on individualisation in changing environments as well as and on promoting the collaboration between the research associations. In an interview, the two JICE researchers, Angela Schwering, Professor for Geoinformatics at the University of Münster, and Meike Wittmann, Junior Professor for Theoretical Biology at Bielefeld University, talk about their recent experiences in the research association.
How finch parents influence their chick’s gut microbiomeNew episode of research_tv with Prof Dr Barbara Caspers on a recent study
Genes or the environment: which has a stronger effect on the development of an individual? A study by behavioural ecologists suggests that the question needs to be asked differently: at what points in life do genes have a stronger influence on the individual, and when the environment? In the new episode of research_tv, they report their conclusions.
The study is part of the Bielefeld research on individualisation in changing environments. Bielefeld University is cooperating on this topic with the University of Münster – in the JICE, the collaborative research association InChangE funded by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, and the Collaborative Research Centre NC³ (CRC/TRR 212) funded by the German Research Foundation DFG.
How is climate change accelerating species extinction?Article with Prof Dr Caroline Müller on the effects of climate change on animals and plants
Rising temperatures and more frequent and longer periods of drought are changing the living conditions of animals and plants. Food chains are breaking down and species are becoming extinct—with consequences for the entire ecosystem. „In extreme cases, climate change is causing populations to decline and animal species to become extinct,“ says Professor Dr Caroline Müller from Bielefeld University. The academic heads the Chemical Ecology research group at the Faculty of Biology. „Studies show that with a rise in global temperatures of 1.5 degrees, the extinction risk of animals and plants increases by 4 per cent—but with a rise of 3 degrees, this risk increases to as much as 26 per cent.“
InChangE offers 5 Individualisation Fellowships
In the joint project "Individualisation in Changing Environments" (InChangE) funded by the Ministry of Culture and Science of the state of NRW, the Universities of Münster and Bielefeld are exploring the causes, mechanisms and effects of individualisation in changing environments in an interdisciplinary discourse between the natural sciences, the social sciences and the humanities. The disciplines represented in the joint project are biology, philosophy, sociology, economics, psychology, geoinformatics, psychiatry and health sciences.
To promote excellent academics who are at the beginning of their independent research career, Bielefeld University and the University of Münster are offering a total of five Individualisation Fellowships (18 months, salary level TV-L E14, 100 %) for external researchers. These positions will offer the successful candidates the opportunity to further develop their independent research in the field of interdisciplinary individualisation science and to prepare their application for an individual research grant.
InChangE Summer SchoolRelevance of different life phases for individualisation
Individual differences do not only exist in humans, but in all organisms. But when and how do they emerge during the lifetime? From 20 to 23 September, the InChangE Summer School 2022 brought together PhD students and postdocs to address these questions in an interdisciplinary discourse between natural sciences, social sciences and humanities. Together with invited speakers, the participants explored the relevance of different life phases for individualisation in keynote talks, group sessions and in-depth discussions from the perspective of various disciplines.
New InChangE postdoc: Olena Orlova
Dr Olena Orlova has recently started as a postdoc in the research association InChangE. She will focus on mathematical modeling of causes and consequences of individualisation in changing environments. Her research goal is to investigate the role of individualisation in ecological and evolutionary processes as well as in economic processes such as digital transformation of the markets with the help of individual-based models on the intersection of biology and economics and to intensify cross-fertilization between the two disciplines.
Olena holds a PhD degree in Applied Mathematics from the University of Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne and in Economics from Bielefeld University, and is also trained in systems analysis and IT. Her previous research focused on investigating relationships between individuals’ preferences, individuals’ interactions and specific interactional structures. In particular, she studied the impact of heterogenous individuals’ preferences on the formation of interactional networks. Before joining InChangE, Olena was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Hagen, where she worked with dynamic models with heterogeneous agents in environmental economics. She also has four years of practical experience outside academia, in modeling and management in the financial industry during the turbulent years of the global financial crisis.
InChangE Workshop: Interdisciplinary understanding of environment
On 16 August 2022, members of the joint project InChangE came together for a workshop on the understanding of the concept of environment within the involved disciplines. The event was organised by the project participants Prof. Dr Marie Kaiser, Anton Killin, PhD and Prof. Dr Annette Malsch as part of the methodological cross-sectional project to further develop interdisciplinary conceptualisation and synthesis. Through presentations from various disciplines – including philosophy, biology, geoinformatics, sociology, economics and health sciences – and detailed discussions, the participants exchanged views on the respective conceptual understanding of the different disciplines.
Jakub Krukar is a new InChangE postdoc
Dr. Jakub Krukar has recently joined the research association InChangE as a postdoc. He is a researcher and lecturer in spatial cognition – a branch of cognitive science studying how people think about, think in, and think with space.
Krukar's background and approach are interdisciplinary, with an MA in psychology, a PhD from a department of architecture, and postdoctoral experience in geoinformatics. He applies cognitive psychology methods in the fields of geoinformatics, architecture, and human-computer interaction. His previous projects focused on studying visitor behaviour inside art galleries, designing wayfinding technologies to support in-car navigation as well as improving algorithms for designing user-centric buildings.
Niels Boissonnet joins InChangE as postdoc
Dr Niels Boissonnet has recently started as a postdoc in the research association InChangE. He is trained in Economics, Mathematics, Philosophy and Psychology and completed a PhD in Economics on the concept of preference change. In this work, he proposed a model accounting for deliberate preference change. After his PhD, he started adopting a revealed preference approach to account for different psychological mechanisms which entail preference reversals. In his InChangE project, he aims to provide a framework to better integrate moral concerns into individual preferences and to question philosophically models of economic agents.
New InChangE member: Marisol Herrera-Rivero starts as postdoc
Dr Marisol Herrera-Rivero has joined the research association InChangE as a postdoc this month. She will investigate molecules and biological pathways that play critical roles in major psychiatric conditions including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression. With her work, she aims to advance the understanding of genetic underpinnings of psychiatric disorders from disease susceptibility to treatment responses and thus contribute to pave the way towards personalized medicine.
Herrera-Rivero completed her PhD in Biomedical Sciences at Universidad Veracruzana, Mexico, focusing on the exploration of peripheral biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease. Afterwards, she has specialized in the use of molecular biology techniques, omics bioinformatics and statistical data analyses to study diverse complex traits and polygenic diseases. In particular, she studies genetic factors and gene-environment interactions that contribute to shape different susceptibilities, disease courses and treatment responses in neurological and psychiatric conditions. Additionally, she focusses on other phenotypes that represent serious health threats, such as conditions affecting the heart and vasculature. She has published literature reviews, book chapters and research articles in recognized scientific journals, and collaborated with various renowned national and international research groups.
How it happens that humans and animals individualiseArticle about the research within JICE and InChangE
Individual differences exist not only in humans, but in all organisms. The JICE Institute at Bielefeld University and University of Münster is investigating the role that individualization plays under changing conditions. Since the end of November 2021, the new research network InChangE has been coordinated under the umbrella of the institute. The network is funded by the Ministry of Culture and Science of North Rhine-Westphalia through its profile-building program. It is intended to combine the methods and knowledge of natural sciences, humanities and social sciences in order to systematically investigate individualization. InChangE ties in with the Transregio Collaborative Research Center NC³ (SFB/TRR 212) of the two universities, which has been researching individual ecological niches since 2018. What leads to the individualization of humans and animals? Four Bielefeld academics report on this from the perspective of their research.
Individualisation Symposium 2022Network Meeting: JICE, InChangE & SFB-TRR 212
The JICE, the joint project InChangE and the SFB-TRR 212 invited to the joint "Individualisation Symposium 2022" in the Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Bielefeld on 5 April. The event focussed on the interdisciplinary discourse of natural sciences, social sciences and humanities on individualisation in changing environments and on promoting the collaboration between the research associations.
"Individual differences can be found even in an ant colony".Barbara Caspers and Jürgen Gadau on the strengths and goals of the JICE – Symposium on 5 April
At the Joint Institute for Individualisation in a Changing Environment (JICE), researchers from natural sciences, social sciences and humanities examine individualisation. They focus on the interplay between the individual and the environment. The JICE, which is supported by the University of Münster and Bielefeld University, builds on the Transregio Collaborative Research Centre SFB-TRR 212. Christina Hoppenbrock asked the JICE Directors Prof. Dr. Barbara Caspers (Bielefeld University) and Prof. Dr. Jürgen Gadau (University of Münster) about the strengths and goals of the new association, which invites all members and interested persons to a symposium at the University of Bielefeld on 5 April.
Open postdoc positon at the Mental Health Clinic
We are looking for you to join the Mental Health Clinic as soon as possible on a project-limited basis until 31 October 2024.
Full-time, remuneration according to TV-L E13, depending on qualifications and assignment of duties.
The Universities of Bielefeld and Münster have set themselves the goal of empirically investigating the topic of individualization in changing environments in an interdisciplinary discourse between life sciences, humanities and social sciences (project InChangE).
To this end, researchers from biology, health sciences, philosophy, psychology, medicine and psychiatry, economics and sociology are working together and are funded by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. We are looking for creative and curious postdocs to support us in this very interdisciplinary endeavor.
Applications can be submitted until 16 April 2022.
Anton Killin joins InChangE as postdoc
Anton Killin, PhD has started as a postdoc in the cross-sectional project "Concept Formation and Synthesis" of the research association InChangE this month. In the project, he will aim to identify the conceptual differences and commonalities regarding individualisation between the involved disciplines and to develop a common vocabulary for the interdisciplinary research area.
Killin is a philosopher of science and an evolutionary theorist. He has published on the evolution of music and language, cognitive and cultural evolution, and topics in the philosophy of music, philosophy of biology and philosophy of archaeology. The new member of InChangE earned his PhD from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, and has completed postdoctoral fellowships at the Australian National University, Florida International University and Mount Allison University. He has also completed a research fellowship at the National Library of New Zealand and has taught courses at Victoria University of Wellington and Massey University. He is co-editor of Explorations in Archaeology and Philosophy with Sean Allen-Hermanson (Springer 2021) and, with Adrian Currie, the "Creativity in Art, Science, and Mind" topical collection for the European Journal for Philosophy of Science.
Open postdoc positon at the Institute of Geoinformatics
Postdoctoral Research Associate
(salary level TV-L E 13, 100%)
for the externally funded project Individualisation in Changing Environments (InChangE) at the earliest possible date. The position is fixed-term until 31 October 2024.
Applications can be submitted until 18 February 2022.
InChangE Workshop: Interdisciplinary understanding of individualisation
Participants of the joint project InChangE met for a workshop on Thursday, 13 January 2022, to exchange views on how "individualisation" is understood and interpreted in different scientific disciplines.
The event was organised by the project members Prof. Dr. Marie Kaiser and Prof. Dr. Annette Malsch and took place in a hybrid format: Some participants came together in Building X at Bielefeld University, observing current safety regulations, while others joined virtually.
During the workshop, speakers from various disciplines provided insightful insights into the understanding of the term "individualisation" in their respective fields - including biology, philosophy, psychology, health sciences, sociology, economics, medicine and psychiatry. In addition, detailed discussions focused on the differences and similarities in the understanding of the term between the different disciplines.
Research initiative of the Universities of Bielefeld and Münster gets funded
The Ministry of Culture and Science (MKW) of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia funds the expansion of innovative research areas with the programme "Profilbildung" to make them visible and competitive. As the MKW has now announced, nine research initiatives have been selected for the first round of funding - including the new research association "Individualisation in Changing Environments" (InChangE) of the Universities of Münster and Bielefeld.
Individual differences exist not only in humans, but in all organisms. However, individualisation has so far been researched mainly within individual disciplines. The joint project InChangE will combine the methods and knowledge of natural sciences, social sciences and humanities to investigate this topic systematically and experimentally.
The research of InChangE is hosted by the Joint Institute for Individualisation in a Changing Environment (JICE), which was founded by the Universities of Bielefeld and Münster in March 2021.
The JICE explores individualisation in changing environments
Determining one's own lifestyle, detaching oneself from the requirements of the community and having the freedom to choose from various behavioural options: All this is part of individualisation. Not only humans can and must make their own decisions and act independently in their lives. Animals also behave individually and, for example, develop behavioural preferences. The new Joint Institute for Individualisation in a Changing Environment (JICE), founded by the University of Bielefeld and the University of Münster, explores the role of individualisation under changing environmental conditions. Scientists from eight disciplines will investigate the causes and consequences associated with individualisation.
The Universities of Bielefeld and Münster have been cooperating to investigate individualisation since 2018. The Transregional Collaborative Research Centre NC³ (CRC-TRR 212) examines how animals individually create their own distinctive niche and adapt to their environment. Biologists and philosophers are working together on an interdisciplinary understanding of individualisation. The JICE builds on the work of the Collaborative Research Centre and focuses on implications of individualisation for living beings - both humans and animals. It brings together scientists from biology, psychology, sociology, health sciences, medicine, philosophy, economics and geosciences.
The JICE is jointly run by both universities. The steering committee consists of the professors Dr. Oliver Krüger (behavioural research), Dr. Barbara Caspers (behavioural ecology) and Dr. Caroline Müller (chemical ecology) from Bielefeld University and the professors Dr. Joachim Kurtz (evolutionary biology), Dr. Helene Richter (behavioural biology and animal welfare) and Dr. Jürgen Gadau (evolutionary biology) from the University of Münster. The new institute will promote research on individualisation under changing conditions: for example, through joint conferences and seminars and through scholarships for young scientists who specialise in research on individualisation. In addition, the JICE aims at initiating joint collaborative projects.