I am a Senior Lecturer (tenured) in Comparative Politics with a specialization in the study of elections, political parties, and public opinion at Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand), and the Director of the Internet, Social Media, and Politics Research Lab (ISPRL) at VUW, which publishes the New Zealand Social Media Study (NZSMS). I am also the academic lead of VUW’s newly established Policy Hub which connects policy makers with researchers to support evidenced-based policy-making and helps developing a governing for the future strategy for New Zealand.
Before joining VUW, I have been the DAAD Visiting Assistant Professor in Cornell’s Department of Government and a Faculty Affiliate of the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research at Cornell University for four years from 2015 to 2019. I have received my PhD. from the University of Mainz (Germany) in 2014. Besides my PhD. studies in Political Communication at the University of Mainz, I taught comparative politics and method classes at the University of Mannheim from 2009 to 2015.
My research focuses on the relation between media and politics and in particular on the role of (social) media in election campaigns. I am specifically interested in mis- and disinformation on social media, as well as persuasive and mobilizing campaign effects on voters in electoral contests.
I am a member of the board of the German Society for Electoral Studies (DGfW) and in this capacity part of the team which conducts the German Longitudinal Election Study (GLES), as well as one of the PIs of the New Zealand Election Study (NZES).
Apart from that, I am one of the lead editors of the Journal of Elections, Public Opinion, and Parties (JEPOP), an editorial board member of Electoral Studies, and a Research Associate at He Whenua Taurikura, the Centre of Research Excellence for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism in New Zealand.
I work closely with public service and for example serve as a member of the Advisory Panel (Multi-Stakeholder Group) to the Department of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet on behalf of the New Zealand Government to strengthen the country’s capacity to identify and address mis- and disinformation and explore the case for a non-government entity to lead long term work on disinformation.