Principle Investigator

Dr. Tina Lonsdorf holds a Diploma in Psychology from the University of Giessen (Germany) and a PhD in Clinical Neuroscience from Karolinska Institutet (Stockholm, Sweden). She is head of the research group since 2013 (as part of the transregional Collaborative Research Center “Fear, Anxiety, Anxiety Disorders) and is currently funded by an Emmy Nöther Independent Junior Research group (“Fear Profiles“) awarded by the German Research Foundation.  

Her research combines topics of Biological Psychology, Affective and Cognitive Neuroscience as well as Differential Psychology and Diagnostics with a strong clinical-translational focus. Major research interests include defensive responding under threat and stress, the impact of childhood maltreatment and adverse life events on defensive and emotional responding as well as neuro-functional plasticity. One line of research investigates adaptive resonding across the life-span with a focus on sensitive periods for adaptive change.

A second major interest is to promote the robustness and replicability in the field (meta-research) with a focus on overcoming measurement challenges in experimental Biological and Neuroscientific Psychology. Supporting the latter aim, Tina has been the spokesperson of the European Network for the “Interdisciplinary Study of Fear Learning, Extinction and the Return of Fear (EIFEL-ROF)” since 2015″ and serves as deputy spokesperson of the Special Interest Group on ‘Open and Reproducible Science’ (IGOR) in the German Psychological Association (Section for Biological Psychology). Since 2020 she is part of the program committee of the DFG funded Priority Program META-REP (SSP 2317, A Meta-scientific Program to Analyse and Optimize Replicability in the Behavioral, Social and Cognitive Sciences) and a PI in the Research Training Group “Emotional Learning and Memory“.


Open positions


We have an open position in a DFG funded project for a post-doctoral researcher (100%, 3yrs) or PhD student (75%, 3yrs) starting 12/2022 (or later). Interviews have already taken place.



Are you interested in large datasets, coding and tool devleopment? We have an open position in a project funded by the Volkswagen Stiftung starting 2/2023 (or later). Please reach out if you are interested.


Post doctoral researcher


Dr. Mana Ehlers (previously a PhD student in Vancouver, Canada, with Rebecca Todd) joined us as a post-doc in July 2019 and is working on the project FEAR PROFILES.  She is also leading a project together with Tina to build up a homogenized, living and dynamic database of fear conditioning datasets (based on open data and our own data) that will allow for live meta-, mega-, and multiverse analyses.



PhD students


Maren Klingelhöfer-Jens has performed her Master thesis work in our group and is since August 2018 a PhD student in our group on a project that was part of the transregional CRC “Fear, Anxiety, Anxiety Disorders” and focused on the impact of life adversity on fear and anxiety. Maren employs a prospective, longitudinal approach in a large imaging sample that she continues to work on.



Alina Koppold joined the team in April 2019 and works as a PhD student on the project FEAR PROFILES. She is working on measuring freezing like behavior in humans in collaboration with Karin Roelofs (Donders Institute).

Alina studied Psychology at the University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt and did her Master thesis project at the Charite in Berlin and is a trained systemic therapist. 


Alexandros Kastrinogiannis will joined the team as a PhD student in May 2019 working on the project FEAR PROFILES. He is focusing on a costly approach-avoidance paradigm implemented in virtual reality.

Alex studied Cognitive Science in Osnabrück and did his BA thesis as a collaboration with the EmotionLab in Stockholm (PI: Andreas Olsson) before doing a master in Cognitive Neuroscience in Barcelona.


Julia Ruge started her PhD project in September 2022 in the newly founded Research Training Group ‘Emotional Learning and Memory’ at the University of Hamburg and the University Medical Center Hamburg. Julia holds a Master degree in Psychology from the Georg-August-University in Göttingen and has previuosly been working as reserach assistant in Breme in the BRISE project.



Study Psychologist


We are glad that Alena Russmann has joined the lab in October 2022 as a study psychologist and lab manager.


Research interns


Alexander Nowicki is a Bachelor student of Psychology at the bin Alexander und mache zur Zeit meinen FernUniverstiät in Hagen. He is also working on this PhD thesis in chemistry at the university of Hamburg.  He supports the fear profiles team since october 2022. He will continue to support our team as a Bachelor student in January 2023.



Ann-Kathrin Knak is a master student at the University of Osnabrück and interested in Open science. She has joined the lab as an intern in October 2022 and focuses on open science (primarily open data) as well as neuroscientifically oriented research. She is currently figuring out automatized routines for harmonization of diffrent data sets.



Konstantin Döhr is supporting out team since October 2022 as a research intern. He is primary working in the Fear Profiles project.


Master and Bachelor students


Elodie Dammann is a master student in psychology at the University of Hamburg and  supports our team since April 2022. Her thesis project focuses on the assocation between childhood adversity on the acquistion and generalization of conditioned fear.

Student Assistants


Jonathan Kirner  is a Bachelor Student of Psychology at the University of Hamburg since 2018. He supports the Fear Profiles project since 05/2022!



Larissa Gehring is a Bachelor student of Psychology at the Hamburg Medical school and supports our team since January 2022.


Malin Ramm has been a BA student in the lab working on a thesis project on the impact of life adversity on brain morphological measures in 2020. We are glad she stayed in the lab as a student research assistant mainly working with Mana. Since 10/2021 she is a Master student of Psychology at the University of Lübeck but we are glad that she continues to support our team romotely with participant recuitment and our open database project. She is also working on her Master thesis project in our group.



Fenya Thyke supports our team since 05/2022.


Carline Quattara is a Student of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy at the Hamburg Medical School and will support our team from January 2022 on.


Marthe Perl is a Bachelor Student of Psychology at the Fernuniversität Hagen since 2020. She supports our team since 08/2022.


Foto Annemieke Schoene

Annemieke Schöne completed her bachelor’s degree at RWTH Aachen University, and is now a master student of psychology at the University of Hamburg. Her main focus is the field of neuroscience and clinical psychology. She supports our team  from January 2022 on.



Kai Schüren was a master student at the University of Amsterdam and  supported our team from January 2022 until September 2022. His thesis project focuses on the neurobiological and neuroendocrine correlates of acute trauma exposure. The project is a collaboration with Dr. Sarah Biedermann (Section for Psychosocial Medicine at the UKE) as well as with the Emergency Room, the Section for Forensic Medicine as well as the police department. Kai is now a PhD student in Lars Schwabes group at the University of Hamburg in the DFG funded research training group “Emotional Learning and Memory.




Samuel Sander is a master student at the University of Giessen and supported our team as an intern between 1.3.2022 and 1.5.2022. All the best for the future!


Maren Schlereth is a Master Student of psychology at the University of Hamburg and has supported our team as a research intern from February 2021 to May 2021. We are glad that she continued to support us as a student assistant afterwords – also remotely when doing an exchange semester in Stockholm, Sweden. She mainly worked with Alina on freezing-like behavior in the fear profiles project and supported us with projects in R. She is now working on her master thesis and we wish her all the best!



Sophie Caroni has been a research intern in our group when spending an Erasmus  Exchange semester at the University of Hamburg. She supported our team since October 2021 until the end of January 2022 and mainly worked with freezing-like behavior in the FEAR PROFILES project. She is a master student at the University of Fribourg/Switzerland. Thank you for your support and all the best!

Marie Springub, BA student at the University of Hamburg, conducted her BA-thesis project in Marens project on chronic stress, hair cortisol and the reinstatement of fear in 2021.  All the best for the future!


Daniel Irline worked as a research intern in the lab (07/21-10/21) and supported Mana with data acquistion and analyses of a fear conditioning paradigm. He now continues his Master studies at the University of Hamburg with Tania Lincoln.  All the best for the future!

Vivian Mohr, a Bachelor Student of Psychology at the University of Hamburg supported our team as a research intern from November 2020 until March 2021. During her internship she worked with Alina on a project investigating freezing-like behavior (body sway) during  a threat imminence task and a systematic literature review using different R packages. We were glad that she is continued here work with us for here Bachelor thesis project on freezing-like behavior and decision-making under threat. All the best for the future!

Linus Krause supported our team throughout 2021 as a research assistant and mainly supported Alex with anapproach-avoidance task in virtual reality as well as the generation of automatized code-books (using the R package “codebook”) as well as Tina with an inventory of publicly available data in fear conditioning research. He has now changed his study topic from Psychology to Data science and has moved to the University of Konstanz. Enjoy data science and good luck with everything!

Rachel Sjouwerman joined our team in late 2014 and defendet her PhD thesis (“Framing Fear”) in July 2019.We were lucky that Rachel continued her work on individual differences in defensive responding and experimental boundary conditions of return of fear in the group until she moved back to her mothercountry in 9/2021 and now works at the University of Maastricht (NL)  as post-doc with Johan Vlaeyen. She was our R plotting queen and we have all learned a lot from her.  Good luck with the new project and all the best!

Charlotte Dermandt joined us as a Bachelor student of Cognitive Science in Osnabrück and has been working with Alex on an approach avoidance paradigm in Virtual Reality in 2020. We are glad that she continued working on ther BA thesis project with us after the internship.

Vincent  Keyaniyan joined the lab as a research intern on April 1st – in the middle of the COVID-19 shut-down for an internship until
August 2020 as a Bachelor student of Psychology at the  Medical School Hamburg. After his internship he did his Bachelor thesis project in the group on within-subject stimulus discrimination over time together with Maren and Tina.

     Sabrina Ilius was a 6-month full time research intern and also did her Master thesis with us after her internship. We are happy she saied in Hamburg and is now a PhD student with Nina Alexander at HafenCity University of Hamburg. Sabrina is still involved in writing a manuscript with our team and we are glad to still have her on board.

     Karoline Rosenkranz has supported our work in the context of the CRC 58 (SFB TRR 58) on Fear, Anxiety and Anxiety Disorders between 2016 and 2020 as a study psychologist. She has tested 500 participants! Wow! Karoline is now a clinical psychologist.

     Mareike Clos has been a post-doc in the group. She has been continuing Maren’s work during her maternal leave and now works as a data scientist. Good luck with this new path.

     Johannes Fuß has been a study physician and has supported our work in the context of the CRC 58 (SFB TRR 58) on Fear, Anxiety and Anxiety Disorders between 2016 and 2019.

     Kevin Rozario has been a research assistant and supporting most of our experimental work between 2017 and 2019. He is now a PhD student at the Helmholz-Centre for Environmental Research in Leizpig! Good luck with your Phd!

     Hannes Per Carsten was a full time research intern in our group and also did his Master thesis project with us. He is now a PhD student in the lab of Prof. Anja Riesel, University of Hamburg. We are happy to see that he continues his work on defensive responding with a clinical-translational focus and stays in contact! Good luck!

Dr. Manuel Kuhn jointed the lab from the University of Vienna (Aus) as a PhD student (2013-2017) and we were lucky that he stayed in the laba as a post-doc (2017-2019) before he moved to work as a post-doc with Alex Shackman at the University of Maryland in July  2019. Manuel is now a post-doc at McLean/Harvard Mecial School with Diego Pizzagalli. Good luck in the US and with everything the future may bring. We are glad that we still collaborate with him because he miss him in the lab.

Dr. Robert Scharfenort (PhD student 2013-2016) now works as a clinical Psychologist.

Dr. Gaetan Mertens (Guest PhD student, 2013) visited the lab as a PhD student with Jan DeHouwer (University of Ghent). He is now an Assistant Professor at the University of Tillburg, Netherlands.

Dr. Sarah Biedermann (Study Physician, 2016)

Dirk Schümann (Study Psychologist, 2013-2015)

Laura Kürbitz (Study Psychologist, 2015-2016)


Research interns and student assistants

Alex MacRae-Korobkov (DAAD rise student, 2017)

Max Schießl (research intern, 2018)

Maike Möller (research intern, 2015)

Moritz Held (reserach intern, student assistent, 2016-2017)

Nina Akmann (research intern, 2021)

Jana Hofacker (research intern, 2015)

Johanna Niehaus (student assistant, 2013-2017, bachelor student 2015)

Janne Nold (student assistant, 2016-2017, research intern 2020)

Habibia Schiller (student assistant, 2018-2019)

Stella Schmotz (student assistant, 2016-2017)

Philip Leja (student assistant, 2014-2015)

Sophia Ehrentraut (student assistant, 2020-2021)

Gina Rinoldi (student assistant, 2020-2021)