Lab Members


ACE-lab Members

Director Sarah Bro Trasmundi, Associate Professor, PhD

Fields of Research

  • Cognitive ethnography
  • Distributed cognition
  • Embodied interaction

Sarah Bro Trasmundi (née Pedersen) is Associate Professor at the University of Southern Denmark. She has been a visiting scholar at (i) Department of Education, Gothenburg University, where she worked together with Professor Per Linell, (ii) Department of Cognitive Science, University of California San Diego, hosted by Professor David Kirsh, (iii) Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioural Sciences, Stanford University, hosted by Professor Michael L. Anderson, (iv) Department of German, University of California, Berkeley, hosted by Professor Claire Kramsch, (v) Department of Computing, Goldsmiths University of London, where she worked with Professor Mark Bishop.

Currently she works with cognitive ethnography and embodied interaction on a large research project The Ecology of Psychotherapy: Integrating Cognition, Language, and Emotion (EPICLE). She is the director of the Advanced Cognitive Ethnography Lab at Department of Language and Communication. 

Selected publications

Trasmundi, S. B. & Linell, P (2017). Interactivity, extended dialogism and cognitive event analysis: finding problems to solutions in emergency medicine. Pragmatics & Cognition; 24 (1): 64–92.

Trasmundi, S. B. (2016). Distriburet kognition og distribueret sprog: Analyse af kognitive events i en akutmedicinsk social praksis. NyS 50: 55-85

Pedersen, S. B. (2015). The Cognitive Ecology of Human Errors in Emergency Medicine: An Interactivity-based Approach. PhD-dissertation. Odense: University of Southern Denmark.

Co-founder Johanne Stege Philipsen, Postdoctoral fellow, PhD

Fields of research 

  • Embodied Interaction
  • Cognitive Ethnography
  • Gesture
  • Collective Creativity


Johanne Stege Philipsen is a Postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Language and Communication at SDU. Johanne has a background in Linguistics and Cognitive Semiotics from Aarhus University, and has done work in fields of Semiotics, Interaction studies, and Cognitive ethnography. Her main area of research is micro-analytic studies of face-to-face interaction with special interests including tactility, embodiment, gesture, joint problem solving, ecological cognition and collaborative idea generation processes.

Her dissertation was dedicated to the diverse synergies of creative group processes with a special focus on idea generation using LEGO blocks and, among other things, involving the workshop method LEGO Serious Play. During her PhD training, Johanne has had several extensive international research stays with prof. Charles Goodwin and prof. Marjorie Harness Goodwin at UCLA.

At the moment, she is investigating co-operative gesture transformations and embodied practices in psychotherapy. As a footnote, she has also published under her previous last name Bjørndahl.

Selected publications

Tylén, K., Philipsen, J. S., Roepstorff, A., & Fusaroli, R. (2016). Trails of meaning construction: Symbolic artifacts engage the social brain. NeuroImage, 134: 105-112.

Bjørndahl, J.S., Fusaroli R., Østergaard, S. and Tylén K. (2015) Agreeing is not enough: The constructive role of miscommunication. Interaction Studies, 16(3): 395-525.

Bjørndahl, J. S., Fusaroli, R., Østergaard, S., & Tylén, K. (2014). Thinking together with material representations: Joint epistemic actions in creative problem solving. Cognitive Semiotics, 7(1), 103-123.

Tylén K., Fusaroli R, Bjørndahl J.S., Raszerczek-Leonardi, J., Østergaard, S. & Stjernfelt, F. (2014) Diagrammatic Reasoning: abstraction, interaction, and insight. Pragmatics & Cognition, 22(2): 264-283.

Professor Sune Vork Steffensen

Fields of research

  • Ecological linguistics
  • Distributed cognition
  • Human interactivity


For more than a decade, Professor Sune Vork Steffensen has contributed to the development of ecological linguistics through numerous publications. His current research combines interaction analysis, ecological linguistics and situated, distributed and systemic approaches in cognitive science. He is one of the pioneers of Cognitive Event Analysis, i.e. the study of how short-scale interbodily dynamics, constrained by large-scale sociocultural patterns, enable agents and systems to achieve results. His main empirical interest is interactivity in organizational settings (primarily within the health sector), e.g. expertise, decision making, and problem solving in complex sociocultural environments.

He is currently PI on a large project on The Ecology of Psychotherapy: Integrating Cognition, Language, and Emotion (EPICLE). Furthermore, Sune Vork Steffensen is treasurer of the International Society for Interactivity, Language and Cognition.

Selected publications

Steffensen, S. V. (2011). Beyond mind: an extended ecology of languaging. In S. J. Cowley (Ed.), Distributed language (pp. 185-210). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Steffensen, S. V. (2013). Human interactivity: Problem-solving, solution-probing and verbal patterns in the wild. In S. J. Cowley & F. Vallée-Tourangeau (Eds.). Cognition Beyond the Brain: Computation, Interactivity and Human Artifice (pp. 195-221). Dordrecht: Springer. 

Steffensen, S. V., & Fill, A. (2014). Ecolinguistics: the state of the art and future horizons. Language Sciences, 41, Part A, 6-25.

Steffensen, S. V. (2015). Distributed Language and Dialogism: notes on non-locality, sense-making and interactivity. Language Sciences, 50, 105-119.

Steffensen, S. V., Vallée-Tourangeau, F., & Vallée-Tourangeau, G. (2016). Cognitive events in a problem-solving task: a qualitative method for investigating interactivity in the 17 Animals problem. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 28(1), 79-105.

Postdoctoral fellow Line Brink Worsøe

Line Brink Worsøe is a post.doc at the research project EPICLE, the Department of Language and Communication (at University of Southern Denmark). Her main research interests are human cognition in language and social interaction whether spoken, written or otherwise whole-bodied in form. She has been working with qualitative studies of the relation between people’s sense of (diagnostic) identity and the semiotic means they use to communicate and negotiate this in interactivity on social media. This interest has lead to a strong interest in the different articulatory characteristics of written language vs. spoken language in collaboration with whole bodily interactions.

Her doctorate work was a Ph.D. at the Department of Scandinavian Studies and Linguistics at University of Copenhagen in collaboration with the Danish Language Council. The dissertation was on neologism in the perspective of language and cognition as distributed among heterogeneous dimensions of human ecology, social systems, time and space. Alongside her PhD, Line has been teaching courses on interpersonal communication and strategic communication within the framework of language psychology and organizational communication. 

Postdoctoral fellow Mona Have Nielsen

Fields of Research

  • Embodied cognition and embodied learning
  • Creativity in education
  • The role of the motor system in language comprehension
  • The effects of physical activity on human memory
  • The mental representation of number magnitude and STEMl-learning

Mona Have Nielsen is a Postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Language and Communication at SDU. Mona has conceived a cluster-randomized controlled trial investigating the relationship between classroom-based physical activity, cognition and academic achievement. The study has gained a lot of attention because it is of high practical relevance and at the same time of high scientific quality. Mona has an interdisciplinary background in Cognition, Language learning and Movement from SDU and appreciates working with children and student in real-world interventions.

Her main area of research is focused on embodied cognition in several disciplines studying the ‘noncognitive’ processes of acting and perceiving. She believes that bodily experience is fundamental to and inseparable from the development of important cognitive functions. Mona’s research concentrates on the implications for education as it emphasizes the importance of suitable sensory and motor interactions during learning for the development of human cognition.

Mona has had several international research collaborations with prof. Charles Hillman at Northeastern University College of Science, prof. Adele Diamond at the University of British Columbia and prof. Sue Whatman at Griffith where Mona spent two months in 2018. At the moment, she is investigating the relationship between children’s creativity and physical activity.

Selected publications

Have, M. (2016). Count on your body - the effect of physical activity on cognition and academic achievement. (Ph.D.)

Have, M., Nielsen, J. H., Ernst, M. T., Gejl, A. K., Fredens, K., Grøntved, A., & Kristensen, P. L. (2018). Classroom-based physical activity improves children's math achievement - A randomized controlled trial. PLoS ONE, 13(12).

Have, M., (2017). Tænkning og læring er mere end et hjerneanliggende. Børn i Fysioterapi.

PhD Student Line Maria Simonsen

Fields of research

  • Cognitive Ethnography
  • Interactivity
  • Hybrid Cognition

Line Maria Simonsen is a PhD fellow at the University of Southern Denmark, member of Centre for Human Interactivity. She is visiting Gothenburg University, hosted by senior lecture Oscar Lindwall and the Department of Applied Information Technology (October 2019) and Department of Cognitive Science at Macquarie University, Sydney, to work together with Professor John Sutton (February-August 2020) in order to develop a theoretical and methodological framework of Hybrid Cognition.

Moreover, in employing cognitive ethnography, Cognitive Task Analysis and Cognitive Event Analysis in her PhD project she investigates how digital platforms, i.e., e-consultations, enable, condition and constrains interactions in healthcare. Her goal is to advance theoretical basis for investigating various dynamics of the socio-technological systems in health care as well as contributing with empirical interventions to clinical practice. 

Selected Publications

Simonsen, L. M., & Steffensen, S. V. (under review). Enacting hybrid cognition in medical discharges.

Simonsen, L. M., & Steffensen, S. V. (2019). Hybrid Cognition in medical simulation: Investigating micro-level organisational cognition. Proceedings of the European Academy of Management Conference, Lissabon, Portugal., 1-35.

Simonsen, L. M. (2017). Framings i distribuerede kognitive systemer: Hvordan praktikere møder patienten. Kandidatafhandling. Odense: Syddansk Universitet.

PhD Student Malene Jensen

Fields of Research

  • Cognitive Ethnography
  • Distributed Cognition
  • Embodied Interaction

Malene Jensen has a Master of Arts in Education from the University of Copenhagen. She is currently enrolled as a PhD student at the University of Southern Denmark. She has previously worked as an associate professor at the University College Absalon, where she was involved in the teacher education program.

Her main research interest is classroom interaction with a focus on 1) the inclusion and exclusion dynamics, and 2) the interactive and reflexive positioning which take place in communities of practice. As a former teacher and reading tutor in elementary school and as a reading tutor educator at the university college, she has worked with a cognitive and sociocultural approach to reading.

In her current PhD project, she investigates reading activities at the university college from an embodied and ecological perspective. Particularly she is interested in analyzing how reading practices are constrained, what inhibit students from applying an efficient and functional reading strategy and which interventions should be initiated to accommodate the identified challenges. The project is part of the externally funded research project: "How do University Students Read? A Cognitive Ethnography Study".

PhD Student Malte Lebahn

Fields of Research

  • Practical phenomenology
  • Cognitive ethnography
  • Organizational development

Malte Lebahn is enrolled as a PhD fellow at University of Southern Denmark after graduating from a Master of Communication at Aalborg University. Maltes research interest is the coupling of phenomenology and cognitive science in the study of complex work environments.

In his current PhD project (SimLearn), he studies four hospital wards through cognitive ethographic methods. Based on his studies, he develops simulation training scenarios tailored to the departments and assesses if the training increases the potential for learning with the healthcare staff. The goal is the increased potential for fewer medication errors in hospitals. 

Selected Publications

Lebahn, M., Bing, R. G. & Christiansen, N. H. (2015). Den blinde plet: Et filosofisk hermeneutisk kommunikationsspeciale på Aalborg Universitetshospital. Speciale. Aalborg: Aalborg Universitet

Independent Researcher Hana Hnilicová

Fields of research

  • Cognitive Ethnography
  • Distributed Cognition
  • Embodied Interaction

Hana Hnilicová obtained a MA degree in Business, Language and Culture (profile Human Resource Management) at the University of Southern Denmark, with a thesis that discussed a cognitive-linguistic approach to dance-making. 

In the dissertation 'Another kind of listening: Case study of instant choreography' (2016), she linked her interest in personal development or 'becoming' with a part phenomenological, part micro-analytic study that explored her direct experience with learning to dance.

As soon to be certified professional coach at Academy of Coaching Excellence, and a yoga teacher, she likes to use her authentic experience and interdisciplinary background (from teaching, personal development and movement) to the study of human embodied interaction. She likes to zoom in on how people develop new ideas, overcome challenges and make decisions, while undergoing learning or 'becoming'.

Hana is an aspiring PhD student and a research assistant on the project 'How do University Students Read? A Cognitive Ethnography Study'

Selected publications

Hnilicová, H. (2016). Another kind of listening: Case study of instant choreography (Master's dissertation). University of Southern Denmark, Odense.

Student Assistant Camille Munk Holmstedt

Camille Munk Holmstedt is a master student of English Studies at the University of Southern Denmark. Her main research interests are within the fields of:

  1. Languaging including linguistics, dialogic and eco-social approaches to the study of human interactivity.
  2. Radical embodied cognition

She has previously worked with data transcriptions in relation to the project 'The Ecology of Psychotherapy: Integrating Cognition, Language, and Emotion' (EPICLE) under the Centre for Human Interactivity.

Her most recent research activity is a paper presentation on personhood and dialogical interactions on psychotherapy:

  • Holmstedt, M. C. (2019). Language & Life: Being a Person in Therapy. Paper presentation at The International Scientific Conference on Language, Discourse and (Inter)Culture in Human Communication. Siberian Federal University in Krasnoyarsk, Russia.

She is currently a research assistant on the project 'How do University Students Read? A Cognitive Ethnography Study.'

Student Assistant Johanne Kirkeby

Johanne Kirkeby is a master student in English and Danish at SDU.  In addition to working on a cognitive ethnographic study on reading at the ACE-lab, she also works with drones and organizational cognition on the OBID project and teaches linguistics. She has a broad research interest in linguistics and cognition, and more specifically she investigates visualisation & reading in the current project "How do University Students Read? A Cognitive Ethnography Study"

Her most recent scientific contributions are a co-authored article and a paper presentation on organizational cognition:

  • Cowley, S., Secchi, D., & Kirkeby, J. (in press). Organisational Cognition: Why should we care? The importance of cognitive cross-over.
  • Cowley, S., Kirkeby, J., & Secchi, D. (2019). Organisational Cognition: the case for cognitive cross-over. Paper presentation at the European Academy of Management Conference. Instituto Universitário de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal.
Student Assistant Jakob Godsk Nielsen

Jakob Godsk Nielsen is a student of Psychology at the University of Southern Denmark. His main research interests span:

  1. Reciprocity between cognition and interaction
  2. Gender, sex and sexuality debates

He has previously been affiliated with the department of Political Science at University of Copenhagen, where he attended courses in sociology, methodology and scientific theory. Currently Jakob works at different volunteer counseling services, through which he is accumulating extensive experience with youth counseling. Jakob is also one of the research assistants working on the project "How do University Students Read? A Cognitive Ethnography Study".