Areas of academic interest

  • Influenza, microbes, and infectious diseases
  • Anthropology of life sciences
  • Preparedness infrastructures
  • Risk and prevention


  • Science and technology studies
  • Urban health / urban anthropology
  • Anthropology of the body
  • Menopause


Academic employment and education

2019 – present  Research fellow, Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices

2018 – 2019     Lecturer, Insitute of Cultural Anthropology and European Ethnology, Goethe-University Frankfurt

2012 – 2018     Assistant professor of Cultural Anthropology and European Ethnology, Goethe-University Frankfurt

2011 – 2012     Research fellow, DFG-project „Von Prävention zu Preparedness: Eine kulturanthropologische Studie über die Globalisierung der Grippe“, Goethe-University Frankfurt

2009 – 2011     Visiting professor, Goethe-University Frankfurt

2008 – 2009     Teaching certificate, advanced training in didactics, University of Gießen

2007 – 2008     Research fellow, Maifor-project „Geschlechtsspezifische Unterschiede in der Prävention kardiovaskulärer Krankheiten: Individuelles Selbstverständnis, Krankheitskonzepte und Gesundheitspolitik“, Institute for the History, Theory and Ethics of Medicine, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz

2008     PhD in Cultural Anthropology/European Ethnology

2005 – 2008     Research fellow, BMBF-Project „Public Health Genetics: Development, Conception, Normative Evaluation“, Institute for the History, Theory and Ethics of Medicine, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz

2001 – 2004     Student Assistant, Institute for Scandinavian Studies, Goethe-University Frankfurt

1998 – 2004     M.A. in Cultural Anthropology/European Ethnology and Scandinavian Studies, Goethe-University Frankfurt, University of Stockholm

1994 – 1997     Nurse training, Central hospital Hanau



European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA)

European Association for the Study of Science and Technology (EASST)

Netzwerk Bios – Technologien – Gesundheit

Netzwerk Gesundheit und Kultur in der volkskundlichen Forschung


Fellowships and grants

  • 2016, Research grant, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), „Biosecurity in practice. The prevention of Dengue and its vector species in Europe as a field of biomedical, technological and political intervention“
  • 2012, Travel grant, Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD)
  • 2012, Travel grant, Freunde und Förderer der Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität
  • 2012, Fellowship, ProProfessur-Programm
  • 2011, Research grant, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), „Prevention and preparedness: anthropological perspectives on the globalisation of influenza“
  • 2010, Fellowship, „Nachwuchswissenschaftler/innen im Fokus”, Goethe-University


Organised conferences and sessions

  • “Epidemic Entanglements: Exploring the interrelation of cities and infectious disease”, interdisciplinary conference, Institute of Cultural Anthropology and European Ethnology, Goethe-University Frankfurt, 24-25 July 2014 (organisation, together with Kevin Hall). The programme can be found here.
  • “(Re)constructing the aging body: Western medical cultures and gender 1600-2000”, interdisciplinary conference, Institute for the History, Theory and Ethics of Medicine, University of Mainz, 26-28 September 2008 (conference secretary)
  • “Biomedical Transformations of Bodies and Selves”, interdisciplinary conference History, Philosophy and Ethics of Medicine: Reconstructions, Concepts, Cultural Practices, Institute for the History, Theory and Ethics of Medicine, University of Mainz, 1 March 2008 (session organiser).
  • “Remaking the Future of Health? In Search for Individual and Public Health in the Age of Genomics”, interdisciplinary conference, Institute for the History, Theory and Ethics of Medicine, University of Mainz, 29-30 June 2007 (organisation: Norbert Paul, Ilhan Ilkilic, Meike Wolf)


Selected conference papers

Vulnerable Borders. Workshop “Vulnerable Beings. A two-part public assembly on the space and time of epidemics”. MAAT Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology, Lisbon. December 2021.

The virus and us – or some reflections about the nature of pandemics. Seminar series “Thinking with Microbes”. Goldsmiths, University of London, London. December 2020.

„Die Frage ist nicht ob, sondern wann…“ – Gedanken zur kulturanthropologischen Pandemieforschung. Vortragsreihe “Anthropologie in Zeiten der Krise. Konflikte um Ressourcen, Wissen und Deutungsmacht”. Abteilung Kulturanthropologie, University of Bonn. July 2020.

Invasive species and the politics of urban disease. Workshop “Ecologizing Urban Ontologies in the Anthropocene”. Munic Center for Technology in Society and Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, Munic. December 2018.

Microbial menaces: Calculating, imagining and performing potential pandemic futures. 4S conference “TRANSnational STS”, Sydney. August 2018.

Infectious entanglements: Managing potential pandemic futures in Frankfurt. Workshop “Postcolonial perspectives on urban epidemiology”, University of Cambridge. April 2018

Aliens here to stay? Managing invasive mosquitoes in Europe (together with K. Hall). KCE 2017 conference “Knowledge / Culture / Ecologies”, Universidad Diego Portales Santiago de Chile. November 2017

The management of invasive alien species in Europe: making borders matter? (together with K. Hall) Workshop “The Ecopolitics of Cohabitations”, Hannover. September 2017.

Vom Kollaps der Systeme. Notfallplanung im Spannungsfeld ökologisch-ökonomischer Dynamiken. “Wirtschaften” – 41. Kongress der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Volkskunde, University of Marburg. September 2017

Prepare for assimilation! Cyborg preparedness and the nexus of bodies, infrastructures, and a pandemic future (together with K. Hall). CRASSH workshop “Techniques, technologies and materialities of epidemic control”, University of Cambridge. September 2016

Not if, but when: calculating, imagining, and performing pandemic preparedness. 4 S / EASST Conference “Science & technology by other means. Exploring collectives, spaces and futures”, Barcelona. September 2016

Resilient against what? Thinking about the management of a potential pandemic future in London. 14th EASA Biennial Conference “Anthropological legacies and human futures”, University of Milano-Bicocca. July 2016.

H1N1 and the emergence of emergency planning (together with K. Hall). Panel “Microsociality: pathogens and practices”. 114th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, Denver, Colorado. November 2015.

The taming of uncertainty: urban environments and the practices and technologies of pandemic preparedness. 7th Tensions of Europe Conference “Technology and Environment”. KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm. September 2015.

Hot zones. Exercises in biopreparedness and their spatio-temporal assemblages (together with K. Hall). Atelier 16 “Dynamiques d’adaptation et reconfigurations organisationnelles: le cas des épidémies”. Congress of the Swiss Sociological Association, University of Lausanne. June 2015

Globale Bedrohungen, lokale Antworten: Kulturanthropologische Überlegungen zur Influenza-Preparedness. Conference “Grenzenlose Sicherheit? Gesellschaftliche Dimensionen der Sicherheitsforschung“. Fachdialog Geistes- und Sozialwissenschaften in der zivilen Sicherheitsforschung, Berlin. Mai 2015.

Biosicherheitsübungen und ihre raumzeitlichen Arrangements (together with Kevin Hall). Kolloquium “Gesundheit, Körper, Biotechnologie – kulturanthropologische Perspektiven”, Goethe-University Frankfurt. April 2015

Wenn Stadt krank macht. Globalisierte Erreger als Gegenstand städtischer Vorsorgepraxis. Institut für Volkskunde/Kulturanthropologie, Hamburg University. November 2014.

Global threats, local plans: Locating spaces and the public within pandemic planning. International Conference “Becoming Local. Transforming spaces, redefining localities”. Laboratoire Architecture Anthropologie, Paris. October 2014.

(Be-)Reinigungen. Vom Umgang mit dem Unerwünschten. Studienkongress UNIversal, Goethe-University Frankfurt. July 2014.

Global promises, local politics (moderation and comment). Workshop “Global Health and Science & Technology”, Maastricht University. November 2013.

Crafting preparedness: Producing, translating, and standardizing preventive knowledge in the face of catastrophe. International Conference “Producing Knowledge, Governing Populations”, ENS Lyon. September 2013.

Modern menaces. A paper with an interest in microbial encounters. Joint International Conference der EASA und AAA “Encounters and engagements: Creating new agendas for medical anthropology”, University of Tarragona. June 2013.

What does an anthropologist do in the lab? A brief introduction to anthropological flu research. Institut für Virologie, Marburg University. July 2012.

Viral apocalypses. Preparing for the worst case scenario. 1st Global Conference “Apocalypse. Imagining the End”, Harris Manchester College Oxford. July 2012.

More than human. Conceptualising zoonoses from the perspective of cultural anthropology. Panel “One world, one health? The geographies of making life secure”. Annual Meeting of the Royal Geographical Society, University of Edinburgh. July 2012.

Influenza and the concept of infection: Reflections on bodily boundaries. Conference “Body, (Bio-)Technologies, Power”, Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, University of Belgrade. November 2011.

Prevention and Preparedness: Anthropological Perspectives on the Globalization of Influenza. Conference “After 1918: History and Politics of Influenza in the 20th and 21st Centuries”, University of Rennes. August 2011.

Crossing borders, crossing, species: H1N1 and the politics of risk and prevention. Interdisciplinary Conference “Non-human in anthropology”, University of Prague. December 2010.

Warum Altern weder widernatürlich noch universell sein kann – kulturanthropologische Perspektiven auf den weiblichen Körper und die Medizin. GELB-conference “Gender, Epistemology, Life Sciences and Biopolitics“, Fakultät für Sozialwissenschaft, Bochum. June 2010.

Auch Alter ist ein Ordnungsmuster. Strukturzusammenhänge in der Konzeption medizinischer Risikozuschreibungen. Arbeitstagung der Kommission für Frauen- und Geschlechterforschung der DGV “Intersectionality – Theorien, Methoden, Empirien“, University of Vienna. June 2009.

Altes Eisen oder Voll im Saft? Zur Konstruktion des postreproduktiven weiblichen Körpers. Jahrestreffen der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Gerontologie und Geriatrie “Altern gestalten“, Potsdam. December 2008.

The Aging Body at Risk: Medically Managing Female Menopause. Conference “(Re)constructing the aging body: Western medical cultures and gender 1600-2000”, University of Mainz. September 2008.

„Irgendwas ist immer“. Zur Rationalität gesundheitsbewussten Handelns in der Menopause. Interdisciplinary conference “Frauen ab 50 im Spannungsverhältnis von individuellen Bedürfnissen und gesellschaftlichen Rahmenbedingungen“, Internationales Wissenschaftsforum (IWF) Heidelberg. July 2008.

Local Biologies – Die Menopause als biomedizinische Körpererfahrung. Jahreskonferenz der Schweizerischen Ethnologischen Gesellschaft “Health on the Move“, University of Basel. December 2007.

Sex and Gender in the Prevention of Cardiovascular Diseases: A Medical-Anthropological Approach. Poster presentation. 4th Berlin Symposium “Sex and Gender in Medicine”, Berlin. October 2007.

Public Health Genetics Ressource Center: Communicating Expert Knowledge. International symposium “Remaking the Future of Health? In Search for Individual and Public Health in the Age of Genomics”, University of Mainz. June 2007.

Gene, Gen-Ethik, Kulturen der Genetik – Chancen und Grenzen einer interdisziplinären Zusammenarbeit. 10. Arbeitstreffen des Netzwerks “Gesundheit und Kultur in der volkskundlichen Forschung“, Würzburg. March 2007.

Genetic Exceptionalism – Historical, Epistemological and Social Dimensions and Ethical Implications (together with I. Ilkilic and N. Paul). Poster presentation. 5th NGFN-Meeting, Heidelberg. November 2006.

Von der Heilbarkeit des weiblichen Alterns – Die Wechseljahre in der medizinischen Therapie. Jahrestreffen des Rheinischen Kreises der Medizinhistoriker, Luxemburg. Mai 2006.

Menopause – Wechseljahre – Klimakterium: Die kulturelle Produktion der Menopause. Interdisciplinary workshop “Graue Theorie“, University of Greifswald. July 2005.