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 and part of the transregional Collaborative Research Center “Fear, Anxiety, Anxiety Disorders.                                                                                                                     Major research interests include affective neuroscience – in particular fear/anxiety and stress as well as individual differences. A second major interest is to promote the standardization and homogenization of methods in the field (meta-research). 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″.



Post-doctoral researcher

Rachel Sjouwerman holds a Master in Cognitive Neuroscience from Utrecht University (Netherlands) and joined our team in late 2014 and defendet her PhD thesis (“Framing Fear”) in July 2019. We are lucky that Rachel now has her own grant that allows her to continue her work on individual differences in defensive responding and experimental boundary conditions of return of fear in the group.



Mana Ehlers (previously a PhD student in Vancouver with Rebecca Todd) joined us as a post-doc in July 2019 and is working on the project FEAR PROFILES. 



Mareike Clos, previously a Post-Doc with Tobias Sommer at the Institute of Systems Neurocience in Hamburg, supports our group since September 2019. Mareike works in the context of the Collaborative Research Center 58 “Fear, Anxiety, Anxiety Disorders” on a project on life adversity and fear conditioning.


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. Maren’s project is part of the transregional CRC “Fear, Anxiety, Anxiety Disorders” and focuses on the impact of life adversity on fear and anxiety. Maren employs a prospective, longitudinal approach in a large imaging sample.

Maren is currently on maternal leave until 05/2020.

Alina Koppold joined the team in April 2019 and works as a PhD student on the project FEAR PROFILES. Alina studied Psychology at the University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt and did her Master thesis project at the Charite in Berlin.


Alexandros Kastrinogiannis will joined the team as a PhD student in May 2019 working on the project FEAR PROFILES. Alex studied Cognitive Science in Osnabrück and did his BA thesis as a collaboration with the EmotionLab in Stockholm before doing a master in Cognitive Neuroscience in Barcelona.


Study psychologists

Karoline Rosenkranz joined us as a part-time (50%) study psychologist in 2016. She holds a Master in Psychology from Göttingen University (Germany) and is responsible for data acquisition and data processing in our multi-center project within the Collaborative Research Center ‘Fear, Anxiety, Anxiety Disorders’ in which she is responsible of collecting data from 500 participants (approx. 300 of which she has already collected).

Study Physician

Dr. Johannes Fuß supports our group since 2016 as a part-time (50%) study physician. He is responsible for medical screening of participants prior to MRI studies, drawing blood samples and supporting studies involving drug administration. The other 50% of his time you can find him treating patients at the Department of Sexual Medicine or performing reserach to study human behaviours by simulating real-world scenarios (e.g., with virtual reality).

Master student

Hannes Carsten, formerly a 3-month  full-time research intern working in the group, is now a master student. He works primarily with Rachel on her post-doc grant project on individual differences.

Research Intern (full time)

Sabrina Ilius is a masters student of Psychology in her final year (University of Trier). She recently joined the lab as a full time research intern (October 2019-Feb 2020) and will conduct her master thesis with us after her internship.

Student Assistants

Kevin Rozario is a Master student in Psychology and has been supporting our team since 2016.

Smilla Weisser is a Master student in Psychology and is supporting our team since 2019.


Dr. Manuel Kuhn (PhD student 2013-2017, post-doc in the lab 2017-2019). Since July 2019, Manuel is a post-doc with Alex Shackman)

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 a Post-doc with Iris Engelhard at the University of Utrecht.

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)

Jana Hofacker (research intern, 2015)

Johanna Niehaus (student assistant, 2013-2017)

Janne Nold (student assistant, 2016-2017)

Habibia Schiller (student assistant, 2018-2019)

Stella Schmotz (student assistant, 2016-2017)

Philip Leja (student assistant, 2014-2015)