Professor of Sociomedical Sciences

Professor of Psychology

Member, Committee on Global Thought

Ursula M. Staudinger, a lifespan psychologist and an internationally acknowledged aging researcher, joined the Mailman School in July 2013 as Founding Director of the new Robert N. Butler Columbia Aging Center. The Center is a global hub for interdisciplinary aging research and knowledge transfer to policy makers, companies, as well as the general public. Prior to coming to Mailman, 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 was Senior Scientist of the Max Planck Institute of Human Development in Berlin, Germany. Dr. Staudinger’s 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.

Curriculum Vitae


Select Publications

  • Staudinger, U. M., Godde, B., Heidemeier, H., Kudielka, B. M., Schömann, K., Stamov-Roßnagel, C. & Voelpel, S. C. (2011). Den demografischen Wandel meistern: Eine Frage der Passung (pp. 117) [Managing demographic change: A question of fit]. Bielefeld: W. Bertelsmann Verlag.
  • Staudinger, U. M. & Kocka, J. (Eds.) (2010). More Years, More Life. Recommendations of the Joint Academy Initiative on Aging. (Translation of “Gewonnene Jahre”; Aging in Germany Bd. 9). Nova Acta Leopoldina N. F. Bd. 108, Nr. 372. Stuttgart: Wissenschaftliche Verlagsgesellschaft mbH.
  • Staudinger, U. M. (2015). Images of aging: Outside and inside perspectives. Annual Review of Gerontology and Geriatrics, 35(1), 187-210. doi:
  • Lindenberger, U., Delius, J. A. M., & Staudinger, U. M. (in press). Baltes, Paul B. (1939–2006). International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences (2nd ed.).
  • Quality over quantity: Shrinking populations leave a smaller environmental footprint. (2014).

Select Honors and Awards

  • Laureate of the Braunschweig Research Prize, 2014.
  • Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM), since 2014.
  • Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America (GSA), since 2014.
  • Member of the Academia Europaea, The Academy of Europe, since 2014.
  • Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science (APS), since 2011.


  • Habilitation (venia legendi), Psychology, Free University Berlin
  • Ph.D., Free University Berlin
  • M.A., Psychology, Friedrich – Alexander University & Clark University