Ursula M. Staudinger, PhD

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Columbia Aging Center Director
Robert N. Butler Professor of Sociomedical Sciences

A lifespan psychologist and an internationally recognized aging researcher, Ursula Staudinger is the Founding Director of the Columbia Aging Center.  In her role here, Dr. Staudinger also leads the International Longevity Center (ILC) USA, part of the fourteen-member, multinational ILC - Global Alliance consortium that seeks to help societies address longevity and population aging in positive and productive ways. She is the Robert N. Butler Professor of Sociomedical Sciences and a Professor of Psychology.

Previously, Dr. Staudinger was the Vice President of Jacobs University Bremen in Germany and Founding Dean of the Jacobs Center on Lifelong Learning and Institutional Development at Jacobs University Bremen, an interdisciplinary research center investigating productive aging, with a focus on education and the labor market. Earlier in her career, she was a Professor of Developmental Psychology at the Technical University Dresden and a Senior Scientist of the Max Planck Institute of Human Development in Berlin, Germany.

Her research focuses on the opportunities and challenges of increases in average life expectancy. She investigates the potentials of aging by studying the plasticity of the aging process (e.g. cognition or personality), as well the development of life insight, life management, and wisdom over the life span. Her findings have yielded helpful advice for living, work, and education during this time of unprecedented demographic change.

Dr. Staudinger serves as Vice President and Foreign Secretary of the Germany National Academy of Sciences.  She received her PhD from the Free University Berlin. 


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:
Braunschweig Resarch Prize, Laureate, 2014
The Gerontological Society of America (GSA), Fellow, 2014
Association for Psychological Science (APS), Fellow, 2014
Fullbright Fellowship, Fellow, 1980


Selected Publications: 
Scheibe, S., Sheppes, G., & Staudinger, U. M. (in press). Distract or reappraise? Age-related differences in emotion-regulation choice. Emotion.
Wink, P., & Staudinger, U. M. (in press). Wisdom and psychosocial functioning in later life. Journal of Personality, n/a-n/a. doi: 10.1111/jopy.12160
Freund, A., & Staudinger, U. M. (in press). The value of "negative" appraisals for resilience. Is positive (re) appraisal always good and negative always bad? Behavioral and Brain Sciences.
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 on Vimeo.

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