My Academic Work
I am currently a PhD candidate at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zürich, and the Federal Research Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL), Birmensdorf.
My doctoral project is designed to investigate the psychological factors governing human relations to so called "problematic" wildlife. I am interested in the deeper mental causes of people's ambivalent attitudes towards wildlife such as wolves, corvids or spiders: These animals are repudiated by some and romantizised by others. My project is funded by the 2015 research prize of "Deutsche Wildtier Stiftung".
I studied psychology and ethology in Kiel, Germany. I have worked at the Max-Planck-Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt, Germany, and as a counselling psychologist at two schools. Prior to starting my doctorate at ETH, I enjoyed postgraduate courses in Environmental Science and Management at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies in Newhaven, CT. My futher academic interests include synaesthesia-/ideasthesia research, environmental ethics and the philosophy of mind: In particular, I'm interested in transscific encounters and communication.
Humans and Wildlife
- Jürgens, U.M. & Hackett, P. (2017). The Big Bad Wolf: The Formation of a Stereotype. Ecopsychology, 9(1), 33-34.
- Jürgens, U.M. (2016). Achim und die Saatkrähen oder Menschen in der Mitwelt – Ein bedeutsames Urteil. NABU Kreisverband Verden e.V. Mitteilungen 2016, 32-37.
Animal Rights and Environmental Ethics
Synästhesia and Ideasthesia
- Jürgens, U.M. & Nikolic, D. (2014). Synaesthesia as an Ideasthesia – cognitive implications. In: Synesthesia – Learning and Creativity. Edited by J. Sinha. Synaisthesis: Luxembourg.
- Rothen, N., Nikolic, D., Jürgens, U.M., Mroczko-Wasowicz, A., Cock, J. & Meier, B.(2013). Psychophysiological evidence for the genuineness of swimming-style-colour synaesthesia. Consciousness and Cognition, 22 (1), 35-46.
- Jürgens, U.M. & Nikolic, D. (2012). Ideasthesia: Conceptual processes assign similar colours to similar shapes. Translational Neurscience, 3(1), 22-27.
- Nikolic, D., Jürgens, U.M., Rothen, N., Meier, B. & Morczko, A. (2011) Swimming-style synesthesia. Cortex, 47(7):874-879.
- Nikolic, D. & Jürgens, U.M. (2011) Sinfonie in Rot. Gehirn & Geist, 6/2011: 58-63.
- Animals and Language. February 2017 for Entresol, Zürich.
- Bad Wolf, Good Wolf: Why an animal touches us so deeply. January 2016 for den Naturschutzbund Deutschland auf der Wolfsbotschafterkonferenz, Berlin.
- Human-Wildlife Relations: From Conflict to Coexistence. July 2015 for KORA – Koordinierte Forschungsprojekte zur Erhaltung und zum Management der Raubtiere in der Schweiz, Bern.
- Grapheme colour synaesthesia: Similar shapes take similar colours. March 2010, UK Synaesthesia Association conference, Brighton.
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