My academic journey began with my undergrad at the University of Toronto where I was accepted into the molecular biology program. In my first semester (potentially my first class), I knew that molecular bio was not for me and switched to a dual degree in psychology and neurobiology. This led me to the University of Geneva, Switzerland, where I completed both my Master’s and PhD in neuroscience under the supervision of the wonderful Prof. Sophie Schwartz. By utilizing a basic experimental approach alongside multiple collaborators and via various projects, we broadly aimed to identify various mechanisms that impact human behaviour. This included studying mainly the reward system (e.g., via reinforcement learning tasks) and social cognition (e.g., social interactions and social feedback) in healthy participants as well as psychiatric patients with social deficits (i.e., borderline personality disorder).
The skills and broad knowledge base that I developed made me an oddly suitable candidate for what would become my future line of research, investigating the (neural) mechanisms involved in sustainable behaviour. I began my first postdoc with Prof. Tobias Brosch, where we developed a series of (large) experiments to investigate the impact of various individual-level mechanisms (e.g., trait affect, psychological core values, etc.) on the neural correlates of reward value and how they interact to influence real-world pro-environmental behaviour. To continue this line of research, I was awarded a fellowship from the Swiss National Science Foundation to go to New York University and study with Prof. Jay Van Bavel. We are currently in the process of investigating the impact of group-level mechanisms (e.g., social identity and social norms) on sustainable behaviour, climate change mitigation, and polarization.
More recently, I moved to the University of Vienna as a senior scientist. I am currently a proud member of the Social Cognitive and Affective Neurosciences (SCAN) Unit led by Professor Claus Lamm. From neurons, to individuals, to groups, we investigate the antecedents of climate-relevant decisions and behaviours. In this position, I am currently co-leading The International Collaboration to Understand Climate Action, a project that involves over 250 collaborators across more than 60 countries and tests the efficacy of 11 behavioural interventions designed to promote climate change mitigation. In addition, I am currently advising and/or collaborating on multiple other Big Team Science projects, including The Global Social Media Experiment, Trust in Science and Science-Related Populism (TISP) Project, The Strengthening Democracy Project, and the ENIGMA-Environment working group.