I am a Sociologist with a focus on the Sociology of Education, Life Courses, Social Inequality, and Quantitative Methods. During the past years, I also gained deep interdisciplinary insights into Education Sciences, Education Psychology, and Economics of Education. On this page you find information about me, my research projects and my publications.
I took my M.A. in Sociology with minors in English and German from the Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf and gained my PhD from the Radboud University in Nijmegen as a member of ICS graduate school. I was Research Fellow and Project Director at Mannheim Centre for European Social Research (MZES) and Junior Research Group Leader at LEAD Graduate School & Research Network. I gained my habilitation and venia legendi in Sociology from Eberhard Karls University Tübingen. At present I am senior lecturer at the Institute for Sociology at the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz University Hannover, and external affiliate of LEAD.
Currently, I am especially interested in non-linear educational pathways which comprise transitions between vocational training, higher education and the labour market. An increasing proportion of individual life courses is de-standardized, which opens a broad playground for innovative research questions. Some of these I have already answered, for example where dropouts end up after leaving higher education. Or, why „non-traditional students“ in Germany leave higher education without a degree more often than traditional students and if they feel sufficiently prepared for the challenges of higher education.
Moreover, I engage in research examining the relevance of family background and school context for inequalities in education. How can teachers contribute to reducing educational disadvantages and is the perception of teacher support independent of social background? Which strategies and mechanisms of social inequality are in place during early childhood? And how do parents make sure that their children get the best preparation already before entering the educational system? Do grandparents and welfare states play a role in maintaining inequality?
For most of my research, I apply quantitative approaches, using large national and international education and life course surveys, such as NEPS, PISA, SHARE, and the Family Survey Dutch Population.