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 humans' relationships 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 New Haven, CT. My futher academic interests include synaesthesia-/ideasthesia research, environmental ethics and the philosophy of mind: In particular, I'm interested in transspecific encounters and communication.
Humans and Wildlife
- Jürgens, U.M. & Hackett, P. (2021). Wolves, Crows, and Spiders: An eclectic Literature Review inspires a Model explaining Humans’ similar Reactions to ecologically different Wildlife. Frontiers in Environmental Science, section Conservation and Restoration Ecology.
- Jürgens, U.M. & Hackett, P. (2017). The Big Bad Wolf: The Formation of a Stereotype. Ecopsychology, 9(1), 33-34.
- Jürgens, U.M. & Koop, B. (2017). Should Northern Ravens be hunted? No! Written comment in hunters' journal "JÄGER" 10/2017, page 18.
- 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.
- Jürgens, U.M. (2018). Human and nonhuman Animals: Equals in Uniqueness. Animal Sentience2018.23(2).
- Jürgens, U.M. (2017). How human-animal relations are realized: From Respective Realities to Merging Minds. Ethics & the Environment, 22(2), 25-58. [This essay was published 2017 by Indiana University Press in Ethics & the Environment, 22(2), pages 25-58. No part of it may be reproduced,stored in a retrievalsystem,transmitted,or distributed in any form,by any means,electronic,mechanical,photographic,or otherwise,without the prior permission of Indiana University Press. For education reuse,please contact the Copyright Clearance Center. For all other permissions,contact IU Press here].
- Jürgens, U.M. (2016). Menschen, Tiere: Individuen jenseits der Projektionen. Gasteditorial. TIERethik, 8. Jahrgang 2016(2). 7-12.
- Jürgens, U.M. (2016). Universal Modes of Awareness? A „pre-reflective“ Premise. Animal Sentience2016.116.
- Jürgens, U.M. (2016). An Animal – Many Persons? Animal Personhood in face of the Modularity of Mind. International Journal of Social Science Studies, 4(9)19-26.
- Jürgens, U.M. (2016). Begegnungen - Wie treten wir mit Tieren in Beziehung? Tierärztliche Umschau. 6/ 2016. 224-229. (Manuskript auf Anfrage)
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.
- "Wolves are not dangerous for humans" Interview by Gudrun Trautmann for "Südkurier". 20.3.2021. Read.
- Conflicts between rooks and people: Couples therapy needed. Interview by Markus Hofmann for the online-journal "Die Flugbegleiter". Read.
- Learning from the pandemic - Can humans and nature find common ground? Discussion on radio SWR2 SWR2-Forum, Host: Gregor Papsch. May 27, 2020. Listen.
- The Big Bad Wolf Episode 2 of Podcast "On the green fence", Deutsche Welle, Neil King and Gabriel Borrud. September 1, 2019. Listen.
- Why crows are fascinating Discussion on radio SWR2 SWR2-Forum, Host: Gregor Papsch. December 7, 2018. Listen.
- Close to the pulse of nature. Interviewed by Eva-Maria Träger, Psychologie heute. Published September, 12, 2018
- They are back! Wolves in Germany Discussion on radio SWR2 "Forum", Host: Gregor Papsch. November 15, 2017. Listen.
- Humans and Wolves Interviewed by Manuela Dessau-Schumacher, radio SWR4, November 15, 2017.
- We must discuss our nature-related values! Interviewed by Susanne Gilg, Badische-Zeitung. Published October 11, 2017.
- Humans' fear of wolves Interviewed by Justus Randt, Weser-Kurier. Published in the Dossier „Der Wolf kommt“ April 29, 2017.
- Things we can't control frighen us. Interviewed by Nadja Armbrust, National Geographic Deutschland. Published Deceber 1, 2015.
- A different perspective on "Problem Birds". Interviewed by Ralf Wendt for Radio Corax. Broadcasted January 16, 2015.
- Ideasthesia. Interviewed by Anna Corves for dasGehirn.info. Published Februar 28, 2012.
- Recent developments in synaesthesia reasearch. Interviewed by Arvid Leyh for Braincast.. Published Juli 5, 2011.
- 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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