Photo of Dr Anne Sophie Meincke (Spann)

Dr Anne Sophie Meincke (Spann)


I was born and grew up in Northern Germany. As a schoolgirl, I spent most of my time on and behind our local theatre’s stage. However, rather than becoming a professional singer (which many people wanted me to do), I enrolled at the Christian Albrecht University in Kiel at the Baltic Sea to study German Literature and Language (both modern and medieval), Philosophy, Pedagogics and Ancient Greek.

After intermediate exams in 2001, I moved to the other side of the country, to Munich, where I continued studying German Language and Literature of the Middle Ages, Modern German Literature and Philosophy at Ludwig Maximilian University. I also attended philosophy courses at the Jesuit’s Munich School of Philosophy. In 2003, I obtained my master’s degree with German Language and Literature of the Middle Ages as major subject. My master's supervisor was consternated when I, after the final exam, declaired that I did not plan a career in this subject but rather wanted to become a philosopher. I never regretted my decision. I later published a monograph on the narrative coherance of medieval narrative texts which derived from my master thesis and a journal artical on fictionality in late medieval German narrative texts.

With a scholarship from the German National Academic Foundation, I started preparing my philosophical PhD thesis on personal identity. From 2008 to 2010, I was a teaching and research assistant at Ludwig Maximilian University and taught a variety of courses, especially essay writing courses. I completed my PhD thesis supported by a scholarship from the Ludwig Maximilian University.

It was on the very same day in November 2011 that I submitted the thesis and took up my position as a Research Fellow in the research project “Powers and the Identity of Agents” at the Leopold Franzen University in Innsbruck, Austria. This project, funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), explored the ontological commitments of dispositional realism and its impact on our understanding of persistence, personal identity and agency.

I organized three conferences during my three-years appointment in Innsbruck. The last was an interdisciplinary workshop with John Dupré on the natural foundations of free will (“Determinism/Indeterminism in Nature”). Given the considerable overlap of our research interests, I was happy to accept John’s offer to join his ERC-funded research project “A Process Ontology for Contemporary Biology” which pursues the ambitious goal of enhancing biology by metaphysically spelling out the processual nature of living systems.

In December 2014, I was awarded the City of Innsbruck’s 2014 Prize for Scientific Research. Immediately after the ceremony I entered my car and drove to Exeter. Since then you can find me together with my colleagues in the ‘Process Biology Office’ in Byrne House. I maintain collaboration with my colleagues in Innsbruck as an external collaborator in the interdisciplinary research project “Agency and (Quantum) Physics”.