I studied at the University of Cologne and then completed a MA by research in Linguistics at SUNY Buffalo.

For my PhD I moved to the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen and began fieldwork on Saliba, an Oceanic language of Papua New Guinea.

In 2000 I started a two-year postdoctoral project at the University of Melbourne and since 2002 I have been a member of the Linguistics Program here at Monash University.