Participants 2024

Syeda Mona Batool Taqvi
Syeda Mona Batool Taqvi is a highly accomplished M.Phil. research scholar and faculty member at her alma mater. She has a rich professional background in advertising and public relations organizations, and her expertise lies in research methodology, political communication, and advertising. Batool presented her research at the pre-conference of the Pol-comm division during the ICA 73rd annual conference in Toronto, Canada, and was a recipient of a travel grant from the division. She aspires to carry forward her family's legacy of education by becoming an educator to serve and contribute to society.
Karolína Bieliková
As part of the political communication team at Masaryk University's Department of Media Studies and Journalism, my focus is on online political participation in relation to disinformation and fact-checking. I'm also interested in political efficacy and how it influences participation and belief in disinformation. I've worked on several studies, including Political Polarization in Czech Republic, which led to my first publication, and two current studies on active users interacting with disinformation and focus groups with individuals more likely to believe disinformation. I've also participated in a mentorship program organized by the Political Communication section of ECREA.
Linda Bomm
Linda Bomm is a PhD Candidate at the University of Amsterdam researching the link between societal threat perceptions, political attitudes and behavior, and media and elite communication. She is working on two projects investigating the structure and stability of threat perceptions and regulation strategies. Her research includes social psychology, communication science, behavioral insights, and political science. She plans to investigate the influence of threat frames in media and elite communication and regulation of threat in psychophysiological experiments.
Walker Brewer
Walker Brewer (they/them) is a Ph.D. candidate at Northwestern University studying Media, Technology, and Society. Their interdisciplinary research examines power, identity, and political communication in networked media systems, including research on transnational misinformation, visual misinformation's impact on marginalized groups, and misinformation's effects on political opportunities. Brewer earned a BA in Gender and Sexuality Studies and Art History from the University of Chicago and an MA in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from George Washington University.
Zozan Baran
Zozan is a PhD student at the Freie Universität Berlin, exploring hybrid activism in the digital and offline world. She is part of a research consortium, Collaborative Research Center 1265 "Refiguration of Space" and works on “Translocal Networks II: Contested Spaces and Climate Justice on Social Media”. Using mixed methods for her research, she combines in-depth interviews with network and content analysis and qualitative discourse analysis. Her interests lie in contentious politics, climate movement, hybrid activism, and social media. She holds an MA Degree in Sociology from the Freie Universität Berlin and a BA degree in Political Science and International Relations from Bogazici University (Istanbul/Turkey).
Jana Dreston
As a third-year PhD student at the University of Duisburg-Essen, I study the impact of social media news consumption on political participation. I investigate varying modes of news consumption on social media and their contribution to inadequate political news information. Through studies, I aim to understand the mechanisms that influence objective and subjective knowledge, voting intentions, and political discussions. My upcoming project will explore the influence of political interest and news literacy on incidental news processing. My goal is to contribute to understanding social media's role in shaping political knowledge and behavior.
Luisa Gehle
PhD Candidate at the Department of Communication at the University of Mainz, Germany. Being a member of the multinational THREATPIE project, her research is focused on political communication and news use. Besides more general news use habits and their effects on political knowledge, behaviors, and attitudes, she is especially interested in mis- and disinformation. In her dissertation thesis, she aims to methodologically disentangle individuals’ skillful discernment of true and false information from ideologically motivated belief regardless of truthfulness, e.g. in the context of the Russian war in Ukraine. Further, she wants to explore how resilience against disinformation can be built by addressing these two phenomena specifically.
Kim Go-Eun
Go-Eun Kim is a Ph.D. candidate in Communication at the University of Missouri. Her research focuses on political communication, particularly partisan media effects and strategies for addressing social division. She has been recognized for her work, including a Top Student Paper award and a Top Paper award in Political Communication. Currently, she is researching the persuasive impact of AI-generated messages to combat misinformation about scientific facts. She is excited to share her insights and contribute to the Milan Summer School.
Meghan Hopper
Dr Meghan Hopper is a feminist media historian. Her research interests include gendered mediation in election reporting and media coverage of Australian feminism and feminist movements. She has also written on family violence policy in Victoria/Australia. Meghan received her PhD from the School of Media, Film and Journalism at Monash University in 2023; she has degrees from Monash and RMIT Universities and is a graduate of the Women’s Campaign School at Yale University. She teaches at Monash University and works professionally in local government.
Yang Hu
Yang Hu (Ph.D., The Chinese University of Hong Kong) is an Assistant Professor at Faculty of Humanities and Arts, Macau University of Science and Technology. His research primarily focuses on media sociology, journalism studies, political communication, and mediatized migrants. Currently, he is further developing his PhD dissertation, in which he explored how gangpiao (i.e., Chinese mainlanders migrating to Hong Kong) managed their cross-border life, interacted with Hong Kong local society, and had their social and political outlooks negotiated.
Alina Jakob
Alina Jakob is a PhD student at the University of Mainz's Department of Communication. After completing her master’s at LMU Munich, she joined the "TrustMaP2" project in Mainz, funded by the German Research Foundation. Her research focuses on political communication, particularly polarization and misperceptions. Her dissertation examines the media's role in false polarization in the climate change debate within multiparty systems, and she investigates ways to counteract misperceptions and achieve depolarization to find compromises and solutions to conflict.
Lin Jiun-Chi
Dr. Jiun-Chi Lin (double PhD, 2022, National Sun Yat-sen University and KU Leuven) is a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Marketing Communication (IMC) at National Sun Yat-sen University in Taiwan. His research focuses on the influences of digital media on political parties and democracy, particularly the political impact of social media influencers and the persuasion effects of populist messages on voters' attitudes. Using mixed-method approaches, including content analysis, text mining, and survey experiments, his current work examines how populist messages about the Cross-strait war affect Taiwanese voters' attitudes toward the government, addressing gaps in populism studies and visual advertising.
Maximilian Klesl
I am a PhD researcher at the University of Vienna's Department of Communication, working with the Vienna Media Change and Innovation Lab. My research focuses on election communication and young people's political news consumption. My PhD investigates how digital political socialization agents impact adolescents' trust in institutions and democratic behavior. The 2024 super election year and social media's political focus provide a framework to compare the influence of influencers and celebrities with traditional socialization agents like family, school, and traditional media on adolescents' political attitudes and behaviors.
Margot Lissens
Margot Lissens is a PhD candidate at KU Leuven's School for Mass Communication Research, supervised by Prof. Desiree Schmuck and co-supervised by Prof. Peter Van Aelst (UAntwerpen). Her research focuses on the media effects on young people's political and societal opinions, attitudes, and knowledge, particularly through digital and social media. Her PhD is part of the "POLKNOW" project, exploring how political content on social media influences youth political knowledge. Margot primarily uses quantitative methods like surveys and experimental research.
Anna Theresa Mahon
Anna-Theresa Mayer (M.A., LMU Munich) is a doctoral candidate at the Freie Universität Berlin with a background in Communication Science. She is also a research associate in the research group ‘Digital News Dynamics’ at the Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Soci- ety in Berlin where she explores digital actors’ and users’ understandings and perceptions of journalistic intermediation of news on digital platforms. In her dissertation, she deals with the fulfilment of public value-oriented services by communicating actors on digital platforms. Her research interests include digital journalism, public value creation, and news on social media.
Natalia Messer
Natalia Messer Molina is a doctoral student at HCIAS and the Faculty of Modern Languages, and a member of the HCIAS Doctoral Research Group “Communication and Society in Ibero-America.” She holds a scholarship from the Landesgraduiertenförderungsprogramm of Baden-Württemberg. A Chilean journalist, Natalia has an M.A. in international media studies and a bachelor's in social communication. Since 2014, she has taught courses on podcasting, new narrative media, and digital media in Chilean universities. As a journalist, she has published in international media including BBC Mundo, Deutsche Welle, and WDR Cosmo, as well as in the Chilean press.
Cristina Monzer
Cristina Monzer is currently pursuing her PhD in political communication at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim. Her doctoral research is centered around the development of a theory of cultural resonance in political communication. Cultural resonance specifically pertains to understanding how individuals react to political and media communication within the context of shared cultural knowledge. Her research interests include framing processes, values, moral emotions, and the integration of computational text analysis with qualitative and linguistic research approaches.
Caterina Mosca
Caterina Mosca is a 25-year-old PhD candidate and teaching assistant in political sciences at the University of Namur, Belgium. Originally from Abruzzi, she holds a bachelor's degree in political sciences from the University of Florence and a master's degree in international relations from the Free University of Brussels. Her research began with an internship on EU migration policies, which inspired her academic career. Caterina focuses on minority groups and social dynamics, aiming to address discrimination and violence. She is curious and open-minded, valuing diverse discussions for personal growth.
Sadiya Munir
Sádiya Munir is a PhD candidate in Communication Studies at the Catholic University of Portugal, funded by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT). She holds a Master's in Political Science and International Relations and a Bachelor's in International Relations. As a researcher at CECC, she has worked on the ABIDE project. She recently presented "Is soft news good news? News avoidance and its ambivalences" at the Lisbon Winter School. Her PhD thesis examines news consumption and avoidance among Portuguese young adults (18-24). Her interests include media and politics, political communication, and democracy.
Claire Roney
Claire Roney (she/her) is a first-year PhD candidate with the Political Communication Research Group (POLCOM) at the University of Vienna, supervised by Univ.-Prof. Dr. Sophie Lecheler and Dr. Jana Egelhofer. Her research focuses on how science communication adapts to polarized and politicized debates, using both qualitative and quantitative methods to explore the communication of scientific uncertainty and its societal effects. Claire's background includes freelance journalism in health and science, and a research administrative role at the La Jolla Institute for Immunology. She holds a Master's in Journalism, Media, and Globalization, and dual Bachelor's degrees in Journalism and Global Politics.
Wies Ruyters
Wies Ruyters' research aims to bridge the gap between computer science and political communication to enhance the understanding of political communication in the digital age. Wies is a PhD candidate at Wageningen University and Research (WUR). Her dissertation, part of the VICI project on political dissatisfaction mobilization led by Prof. Dr. Rens Vliegenthart, focuses on discontent framing, which involves populist communication, uncivil language, and disinformation. She leverages her Data Science master's degree from Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) and her passion for political communication and interdisciplinary research.
Svenja Scholz
Svenja Scholz is a PhD student in Media and Communication Studies at the University of Helsinki. Her research focuses on political communication and the digital transformation of the European public sphere. Her dissertation examines EU institutions’ social media strategies and their alignment with platform logic. With experience in communications roles at international organizations, including an EU institution and a diplomatic mission, Svenja has also contributed to research on European identity during the Euro crisis. She holds a Master of Social Science from the University of Helsinki and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Düsseldorf.
Luna Staes
Luna Staes is a third-year PhD candidate in social sciences at the University of Antwerp, part of the M²P (Media, Movements, and Politics) research group. Funded by the Research Foundation of Flanders (FWO), her research examines the impact of protest on public opinion in the hybrid media system. Luna explores how social movement organizations use social media to gain public support, what makes protest messages go viral, and how these messages shape public opinion. Her work intersects communication sciences and political sociology, pioneering the study of online protest communication. She has presented her research at international conferences and also investigates how politicians respond to online protests.
Nico Spreen
Nico Spreen is a research associate and PhD student in communication science at the Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media. His research interests include political communication and science and environment communication. He studies citizens' political information behavior, populist communication, and media coverage, with projects on emotions in political information seeking, digital news use, and German news coverage of the Ukraine war. In science communication, he focuses on food biotechnology and the circular bioeconomy, researching biotech food acceptance, myth-busting strategies, and media coverage of the circular bioeconomy.
Pamina Syed Ali
Pamina Syed Ali earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Mannheim, Germany, and went on to obtain her master's degree in 2019 from the University of Vienna, Austria. Following this, in 2022, she joined the "International and Comparative Media Research" group at the University of Zürich, Switzerland, to pursue her PhD. Her research interests include uncivil online discourse, political campaigning, comparative research, and computational communication science. In her dissertation, she focuses on multi-platform and cross-national analyses of political online incivility.
Laurence Vardaxoglou
Laurence is a PhD candidate at Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and the Paris School of Economics, and a research director at Verian. His research focuses on the impact of misinformation on public opinion and behavior, using survey data and experimental methods. During the 2022 French presidential election, he studied the effects of far-right misinformation and false election fraud claims. Laurence graduated from the London School of Economics and began his career in communication strategy at WPP agencies in London, later joining Ogilvy in Paris. He has advised clients like the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and French government ministries on communication and public opinion.
Gemma Walker
Gemma Walker is a first-year PhD student at the School of Politics and International Studies at the University of Leeds. Her research interests include text-as-data, populism, and political communication. Her proposed research explores the language complexity used by populist versus non-populist politicians, examining whether simpler language benefits electoral representation and affects the deliberativeness of political speeches. The main aim of her thesis is to determine if populist communication has led to a decline in debate quality and whether there is always a trade-off between language simplicity and deliberation.
Lucía Márquez Martínez holds a Bachelor's in Journalism from the University of Valencia and a Master's in Communication and Sociocultural Issues from Rey Juan Carlos University. She is pursuing a PhD on "Precariousness and Media Narratives about Work" at the University of Valencia. Her research examines media narratives on working conditions and precariousness, and their impact on social perceptions and political messages. Lucía has taught Political Communication, Institutional Communication Strategies, and Journalism Theory at the University of Valencia. She was a visiting researcher at Cardiff University in 2023 and has contributed to various media outlets over the past decade.
Christian Schwaderer is a PhD student in Political Science at the University of Innsbruck, supervised by Prof. Lore Hayek. His research focuses on government communication and online discourses during crises, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. He studies how online platforms facilitate public information exchange when traditional channels are disrupted and how government messages influence online narratives. Using text-as-data and quantitative methods, his dissertation examines information transfer between governments and online discourses in Europe, aiming to shed light on the evolving nature of crisis communication and its impact on public perception.
Bruna Almeida Paroni is a PhD student at the University of Urbino “Carlo Bo” in Italy. Her research focuses on misinformation, digital content manipulation, and their impact on Brazil's political and social landscape. She also examines the relationship between Evangelical churches, authoritarianism, and far-right discourse in Brazil. Since 2023, she has collaborated with the Mapping Italian News research team. Bruna holds a Master's Degree from the University of Perugia, where she studied Jair Bolsonaro's political discourse on Twitter and populism in Brazil. She has taught Portuguese at the University of Perugia and has a Bachelor's Degree in Linguistics from the University of Sao Paulo.
Costanza Azzuppardi
Costanza Azzuppardi is a PhD candidate in Political Science and Sociology at Scuola Normale Superiore. She holds a BA in Political Science and International Relations, an MA in Global Politics and Euro-Mediterranean Relations from the University of Catania, and a postgraduate degree in International Functions and Development Cooperation from SIOI. She has also worked as a social media manager for NGOs. Her research focuses on Italian climate justice movements' visual communication on Instagram, exploring how they express their identity and challenge legacy media representations, showcasing young people's direct communication through visual content.

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