Current Research and Research Interests

I am a postdoc researcher and lecturer ("Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin"). In my recently submitted (09/2017) and defended (01/2018) doctoral dissertation titled "The Role of (Deliberate) Metaphor in Communicating Knowledge in Academic Discourse", I analyze 23 academic lectures from four different disciplines (biology, chemistry, philosophy, and psychology) that I videotaped at a US-American college. The qualitative analysis of the role of metaphor in knowledge communication in this relatively large corpus (for a manual metaphor analysis) focuses on the recent concept of deliberate metaphor (Steen 2008, 2010, 2015, 2017), but is still rooted in Conceptual Metaphor Theory (Lakoff & Johnson 1980). By combining cognitive and discourse aspects of metaphor in its actual use, my thesis contributes to both Cognitive Linguistics and Applied Linguistics.

Conceptual Metaphor Theory (combined with discourse analytical approaches to language use and cognition) constitutes one of my primary research interests. Before I began working on my PhD project, I investigated emotion metaphors in expert-lay-communication (link). Psychological and linguistic aspects of emotions are also among my general research interests. In my postdoctoral research, I want to broaden my scope to (the Teaching of) English as a Foreign Language.

Other Academic Activities

Oct 1-6, 2015

Visiting Researcher at the Metaphor Lab Amsterdam, Amsterdam, NL

July 14-17, 2015

Participation in the ESRC Summer School in Corpus Approaches to Social Sciences (CASS Summer School), Lancaster University in Lancaster, GB

Nov 28-19, 2014 Co-organizer of the Workshop for PhD students of English: Linguistics, Applied Linguistics & Literature

Oct 18-19, 2013

Co-organizer of the workshop Science and Metaphor at Flensburg University

Jan 21-25, 2013

Participation in and presentation at the VU Metaphor Lab Winter School 2013: The Next Level, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, NL

Sept 26-28, 2012

Visiting scholar at the Metaphor Lab, VU Amsterdam, NL

Since Sept 2012

Co-editor of the international journal

June 4-7, 2012

Participation in the VU Metaphor Lab Summer School: Metaphor Identification and Analysis, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, NL

International Collaborations


with Gudrun Reijnierse (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, NL): project (Deliberate) Metaphor in Academic Discourse.


with Tom H. Smith (independent researcher, Boulder, CO, USA): Edited Volume Making Science Accessible: Metaphor guiding the conduct of science, science education and popularization.


with the Metaphor Lab at the Vrieje Universiteit Amsterdam, NL: regular visits as a Visiting Scholar to investigate the role of (deliberate) metaphors in the communication of knowledge in higher education under the supervision of Gerard Steen.


with Svetlana Mishlanova & Kate Isaeva (Perm State University, Russland): project Webinar (online seminars on the internet via video-conference): Metaphor in Discourse.


Travel Grant to attend and present at the 2013 Metaphor Festival in Stockholm, Sweden, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), August 2013.

Travel Grant to attend and present at the Corpus Linguistics 2011 conference, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), July 2011.

University Stipend for Ph.D students, Flensburg University, 07/2010 - 04/2012.