Research interests

Academic me is interested in a wide variety of subjects, ranging from linguistics to biology to computer science to philosophy of science and anywhere in between. Interdisciplinary research in general is close to my heart.

I started out in what may be deemed “classical” linguistics, doing a Bachelor in linguistics at Paderborn University, Germany, where I quickly developed an interest especially for topics related to psycholinguistics and generative syntax. Eventually, I stumbled upon language evolution. For my Bachelor’s thesis, supervised by Katharina Rohlfing and Eyke Hüllermeier, I looked at interactions between mothers and 3-month-old children and developed a method for distinguishing between meaningful and meaningless patterns in these interactions.

Mainly as a means to explore language evolution further, I followed with a Master in Cognition and Language (CCiL), jointly organised by Universitat de Barcelona, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, and Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. I wrote my Master’s thesis with Cedric Boeckx and Iza Romanowska, in which I created an agent-based model to investigate the role of self-domestication, globularisation, and population size in the development of modern linguistic complexity.

Currently, I am enrolled in a Master in Cognitive Science at Osnabrück University. From my 5th Bachelor semester onwards, I have received a scholarship from the German Academic Scholarship Foundation (Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes).


Ruland, Marcel; Andirkó, Alejandro; Romanowska, Iza; Boeckx, Cedric (2020): An agent-based model of the gradual emergence of modern linguistic complexity. bioRxiv 2020.11.12.380683; doi:

Presentations and talks

Ruland, Marcel; Romanowska, Iza; Andirkó, Alejandro; Boeckx, Cedric (2021): The artificial past: Adventures in agent-based modelling and archaeolinguistcs. Talk at the Computational and Digital Archaeology Laboratory seminar series. Cambridge University.
Ruland, Marcel; Andirkó, Alejandro; Boeckx, Cedric (2019): Agent-based modelling and ordered steps towards modern linguistic complexity. Presentation at the Protolang conference. Lisbon, Portugal.
Rohlfing, Katharina; Ruland, Marcel; Henzgen, Sascha (2018): Applying frequent pattern mining to multimodal behavior in interaction: Visualizing significant patterns. Presentation at the European Conference on Data Analysis. Paderborn, Germany.


10/2019 – 07/2021 Universität Osnabrück, Osnabrück (DE)
Master in Cognitive Science
10/2018 – 07/2019 Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona (ES)
Master in Cognitive Science and Language (CCiL)
10/2017 – present German Academic Scholarship Foundation
scholarship recipient
10/2015 – 07/2018 Paderborn University, Paderborn (DE)
Bachelor in Linguistics
10/2008 – 06/2011 Frankfurter Schule für Bekleidung und Mode, Frankfurt am Main (DE)
Apprenticeship Diploma (Gesellenbrief), in Hairdressing
07/2007 – 07/2008 Akademie für Tonkunst, Darmstadt (DE)
Principal Study Piano

Workshops and conferences visited

09/2019 Protolang 6, Lisbon (PT)
5 day conference and workshop on the evolution of language, where I gave a talk about my Master’s thesis
08/2018 Complementarity, Rot an der Rot (DE)
13 day workshop on the concept of complementarity in physics and other sciences
07/2018 European Conference on Data Analysis, Paderborn (DE)
3 day conference, where I gave a talk about my Bachelor’s thesis
04/2018 Evolang XII, Toruń (PL)
4 day conference and workshop on the evolution of language
04/2018 Foundations in Mathematics – Modern Views, Munich (DE)
4 day conference and workshop on the philosophy of mathematics
03/2018 The Algorithmisation of the World, Roggenburg (DE)
7 day workshop on automatisation across a variety of different fields
03/2018 Paradoxes in Mathematics, Göttingen (DE)
3 day workshop on mathematical paradoxes and the role of intuition in science
09/2017 Protolang 5, Barcelona (ES)
4 day conference and workshop on the evolution of language




Osnabrück, Germany