People & Activities


Two spokespersons, two working group coordinators per working group, and one financial officer have been elected to represent the Leibniz PostDoc Network.

For the period of 2019-2020, there are four working groups that focus on current topical issues within the network. They suggest and implement next steps concerning the following topics:

  1. Postdoc survey
  2. Public communication and advocacy
  3. Network growth and outreach
  4. Career development and working conditions

The core topics covered in the working groups may change over time, new topical focuses can be suggested at every annual meeting and will be voted on. Working groups are open to all postdocs in the Leibniz Association. If you want to join a working group, please do so by contacting the spokespersons and the working group coordinators.


Dr. Gitta Heinz
German Rheumatism Research Center Berlin (DRFZ)

Gitta studied molecular medicine at the University Ulm and the Charité University Medicine Berlin and graduated 2009 with a Master’s thesis at the German Rheumatism Research Center (DRFZ) Berlin. After six months as visiting researcher at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm (Sweden), she started her PhD at the Helmholtz Zentrum München, which she completed in 2015. She investigated the role of an RNA-binding protein in T helper cell activation. Since 2015 Gitta has been working as postdoctoral researcher at the DRFZ Berlin. For her, being part of the Leibniz PostDoc Network means exchange with other postdocs and shaping postdoctoral career development within the Leibniz Association.

Dr. Lydia Repke
GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences (GESIS)


Lydia studied political and administrative sciences at the Universität Konstanz, Germany, including a research stay at Boğaziçi Üniversitesi in Istanbul, Turkey. She graduated from the double master’s degree program European Master in Government of the Universität Konstanz and the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain, where she afterwards also obtained her doctor’s degree with a focus on cultural psychology and social networks (2017). Throughout her studies, she was funded by the German Academic Scholarship Foundation. In 2018, she started working as a postdoctoral researcher in survey research and questionnaire design at GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences (GESIS). Lydia has been spokesperson of the Leibniz PostDoc Network since 2018. Together with her colleagues of the network, she wants to work on creating equal rights and opportunities across all Leibniz Institutes.

Working Groups

WG 1 – Postdoc Survey

Dr. Johannes Breuer
GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences (GESIS)


Johannes studied media studies at the University of Cologne and received his Ph.D. in psychology also from the University of Cologne. He works as a postdoc in the team Data Linking & Data Security at GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences (GESIS). His research interests include the use and effects of digital media, the methods of media (effects) research, data management, and open science. For him, being involved in the Leibniz PostDoc Network represents an exciting opportunity to network with other postdocs across institutes and disciplines, and to discuss topics of common interest for postdocs, such as working conditions or career paths.

Dr. Gundula Zoch
Leibniz Institute for Educational Trajectories (LIfBi)

Gundula is a postdoctoral fellow at the Leibniz Institute for Educational Trajectories (LIfBi) in Bamberg. Previously she studied sociology and economics at the University of Leipzig and received her doctorate from the University of Bamberg. Her research interests include family sociology and research on social policy and labour market participation as well as quantitative methods. She is involved in the Leibniz PostDoc Network to provide a framework for young researchers to exchange their ideas, experiences and goals and thus learn from each other and gain new ideas and insights.

WG 2 – Public Communication and Advocacy

Dr. Gregor Kalinkat
Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB)


Gregor is an animal ecologist at the Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB) in Berlin. He currently works in a project that aims to develop and test street lightings that reduce negative effects on insects funded via BfN (German Federal Agency for the Protection of the Environment).

Dr. Elizabeth Pavez Loriè
Leibniz Institute for Environmental Medicine (IUF)

Elizabeth works at the Leibniz Institute for Environmental Medicine (IUF) in Düsseldorf and is part of the research group Environmentally-induced Skin and Lung Aging. In that group she has focused on sun-induced skin carcinogenesis and skin aging by exploring this environmental effects on state of the art skin equivalents and using a unique experimental sun source. Beside from her research she mentors students and teaches at the Heinrich-Heine Universität (HHU). She was part of establishing the postdoc community initiative and Postdoc Career Program at her current institute. Before that, she has been involved in organizing information evenings and events for researchers as well as developed links between researchers and school. She finds that the existence of a postdoc network within the Leibniz Association is an important key for postdocs and researchers to have a voice in the debate concerning the national and international research climate and work together to not only connect scientist with each other, but to connect science to society.

WG 3 – Network Growth and Outreach

Dr. Felix Victor Münch
Leibniz Institute for Media Research | Hans-Bredow-Institut (HBI)


Felix is an early career researcher in computational social science with a PhD from the Digital Media Research Centre at QUT (Brisbane, Australia). Currently he works as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Leibniz Institute for Media Research | Hans-Bredow-Institut (HBI) in Hamburg. With a B. Sc. in Physics (LMU, Munich, Germany), an M. A. in Journalism (LMU and German Journalist School, Munich, Germany) and work experience in online media brand communication as an online media concepter, user experience designer, and strategist, his main fields of interest were recently network science methodologies, social media analytics, big data, data science, and theories regarding the public sphere.

Dr. Johanna Callhoff
German Rheumatism Research Center Berlin (DRFZ)

Johanna has been working as a statistician at the German Rheumatism Research Centre Berlin (DRFZ) since 2011. Her research focuses on health services research for persons with musculoskeletal diseases.

WG 4 – Working Conditions

Dr. Steve Doo
Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT)


Steve received his bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology and Music Performance from the University of California, Davis in 2008, and a master’s degree in Marine Biology from Northeastern University through the Three Seas Program in 2011.  Steve received his PhD from the University of Sydney, Australia in 2017 where he studied the ecophysiology and sediment production of large benthic foraminifera on coral reefs. He then started and completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship at California State University, Northridge, studying the effects of climate change on coral reef ecosystem function. He is currently a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Leibniz Center for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT) with Prof. Dr. Hildegard Westphal. As a tropical ecologist, Steve has had the opportunity to perform research in many locations including the Great Barrier Reef (Australia), French Polynesia, Taiwan, Japan. He is especially excited to join the Leibniz PostDoc Network to help increase resources available and networking opportunities for international researchers moving to Germany.

Dr. Sina Fackler
Leibniz Institute for Educational Trajectories (LIfBi)

Sina is an educational researcher at the Leibniz-Institute for Educational Trajectories (LIfBi). Prior to that, she did her B.A. at the University of Munich in Education and Communication Sciences and gained first research experience as a student research assistant and tutor. She then finished her studies at the University of Oxford, where she gained her M.Sc. in Educational Research Design and Methodology and completed her DPhil (PhD) also in Oxford in December 2018, where she specialized in quantitative research methods and secondary data analysis of large-scale social science data. For her PhD, Sina investigated predictors of teachers’ self-efficacy using the TALIS study of the OECD. Through the PostDoc Network she hopes to meet other postdocs in- and outside of her field and provide information for international postdocs to land smoothly in the German academic system.

Financial Officer

Dr. Glòria Martrus Zapater
Heinrich Pette Institute, Leibniz Institute for Experimental Virology (HPI)

Glòria was born in Barcelona, Spain, in 1983. She completed her master’s degree at the Universitat de Barcelona in 2007, focusing on constructing adenoviral-derived vectors to fight pancreatic cancer. She moved for her thesis to the Irsicaixa AIDS Research Center (Badalona, Spain) where she studied the viral genome recoding of HIV-1 and its impact on viral replication. Currently, she is working at the Heinrich Pette Institute, Leibniz Institute for Experimental Virology (HPI, Hamburg) analyzing HIV-1 latency mechanisms and human liver immunology.