Ursula M. Staudinger, PhD

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Professor of Sociomedical Sciences

Ursula M. Staudinger, Professor of Sociomedical Sciences, is a lifespan psychologist and aging researcher. She is known for her work on the positive plasticity of aging (cognition, personality) as well as research on resilience and on wisdom. Recently she has studied how to better understand the cumulative effects of work on cognitive aging. She received her PhD from the Free University of Berlin, was Senior researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Professor for Lifespan Psychology at Dresden University and Founding Dean of the Jacobs Center on Lifelong Learning and Institutional Development at Jacobs University Bremen. She served as the founding director (2013-2017) of the Columbia Aging Center.

Dr. Staudinger is a member of the German National Academy of Sciences where she served as Vice President and Foreign Secretary from 2007 to 2017. She chairs the board of the Federal Institute for Population Research and is advising governments around the world on issues of population aging. She is a fellow of the Gerontological Society of America GSA, the American Psychological Association APA, and the Association of Psychological Science APS. In 2014, Dr. Staudinger was awarded the Braunschweig Research Prize for her outstanding research on the plasticity of the aging process and its consequences for demographic change. She is also the 2017 recipient of the Seneca Medal that acknowledges outstanding research on aging with international impact. Her works has been published in journals such as Annual Review of Psychology, Psychology and Aging, Journals or Gerontology, Developmental Psychology, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Frontier of Neuroscience or Ageing and Society. As co-chair of the National Academy Network on the future of Aging, she co-authored the Recommendations "More Years, More Life."


Education and Training: 
Dr. phil (PhD), 1988, Free University Berlin, FRG
Dipl.-Psych. (MA in Psychology), 1984, Friedrich-Alexander University, Erlangen, FRG & Clark University, Worcester, MA, USA


Honors and Awards:
Seneca Medal, 2017
Braunschweig Research Prize, 2014
Fellow, The Gerontological Society of America (GSA)
Fellow, Association for Psychological Science (APS)
Fulbright Fellowship, 1980


Selected Publications: 
Hessel, P., Kinge, J. M. Skirbekk, V., & Staudinger, U. M. (2018). Trends and determinants of the Flynn effect in cognitive functioning among older individuals in 10 European countries. Journal  of Epidemiology Community Health. Online First 9 Feb 2018. doi: 10.1136/jech-2017-209979.
Oltmanns, J., Godde, B., Niemann, C., Winneke, A., Richter, G., Voelcker-Rehage, C., Schömann, K. & Staudinger, U. M. (2017). Don’t lose your brain at work – The role of recurrent novelty at work in cognitive and brain aging. Frontiers in Psychology, 8, Article: 117. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00117..
Bonsang, E., Skirbekk, V., & Staudinger, U. M. (2017). As You Sow, So Shall You Reap: Gender-Role Attitudes and Late-Life Cognition. Psychological Science, 28(9), 1201-1213. doi: 10.1177/0956797617708634.
Staudinger, U. M., Finkelstein, R., Calvo, E., & Sivaramakrishnan, K. (2016). A global view on the effect of work on health in later life. The Gerontologist, 56, S281-S292. doi:10.1093/geront/gnw032.
Staudinger, U. M. (2015). Images of aging: Outside and inside perspectives. Annual Review of Gerontology and Geriatrics, 35(1), 187-210. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1891/0198-8794.35.187
Niemann, C., Godde, B., Staudinger, U. M., & Voelcker-Rehage, C. (2014). Exercise-induced changes in basal ganglia volume and cognition in older adults. Neuroscience, 281c, 147-163. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2014.09.033
Skirbekk, V., Stonawski, M., Bonsang, E., & Staudinger, U. M. (2013). The Flynn effect and population aging. Intelligence, 41(3), 169-177.

Ursula M. Staudinger: The Impact of Exercise and Stress on Aging Brains from ColumbiaNews.

For more information, please see her Mailman School of Public Health page.