I studied mathematics and physics at the Ruhr University Bochum and received my Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Leipzig in 2001. In 2003 and 2004 I was a postdoctoral fellow at the Santa Fe Institute (SFI) and at the Redwood Neuroscience Institute (now the Redwood Center for Theoretical Neuroscience at UC Berkeley). After my postdoctoral stay in the U.S. I became a faculty member of the Mathematical Institute of the Friedrich Alexander University in Erlangen where I earned my habilitation in mathematics. Since September 2005, I have worked at the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences in Leipzig where I am heading the Information Theory of Cognitive Systems research group. I am also affiliated with the University of Leipzig as Honorary Professor. In July 2014 I became a part-time resident Professor at SFI, spending time both in Santa Fe and Leipzig.