Dr. Lena Ackermann


About me

I joined the BRC in September 2020 as a postdoc with a focus on outreach and science communication. The question that guides my work is how we can build bridges between science and practice.

At the BRC, researchers do amazing work to unravel the mysteries of early development. My goal is to make our research results accessible and understandable for different target groups: students, early childhood professionals, and, of course, parents and caregivers. I’m involved in a number of outreach activities, including the BRC Science Slam, a summer school, different lectures and events, and the Kletskoppen child language festival. I also manage the BRC twitter account and aim to build networks with partners from industry and practice.

Before coming to the BRC, I obtained my PhD from the University of Göttingen in Germany. In my PhD, I investigated why children learn the words they do: Some children can name all the animals at the zoo, while others know their backhoes from their bulldozers. I found that children learn words best when they are interested in an object. Working at the BRC allows me to combine my expertise in developmental science with my passion for communication and community building.


Ackermann, L., Lo, C.H., Mani, N., & Mayor, J. (2020): Word learning from a tablet app: Toddlers perform better in a passive context. PLOS ONE, 15(12), e024051. [pdf]

Ackermann, L., Hepach, R., & Mani, N. (2019): Children learn words easier when they are interested in the category to which the word belongs. Developmental Science, 23(3), e12915. [pdf]

Mani, N., & Ackermann, L. (2018): Why do children learn the words they do? Child Development Perspectives, 12(4), 253-257. https://doi.org/10.1111/cdep.12295