Why do people sometimes not evacuate when necessary? How is behavior guided by the social and architectural environment in emergencies? I am interested in human behavior in emergency situations, evacuation behavior, and social influence in emergencies. The aim of my work is to contribute to a better understanding of human perception and action in emergency situations. I am particularly interested in how people affect each other in their evacuation behavior (social influence) and what measures (e.g., training) improve evacuation behavior.
For most of my studies, I use highly immersive virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) to simulate emergency scenarios. VR allows the simulation of complex scenarios with a high level of experimental control in the safe environment of a university laboratory. There are many unanswered questions about VR as a research method to study human behavior in emergency situations. I am a postdoctoral research associate in Emily Cooper's lab at Dartmouth College.
Screenshot (left) and preliminary heatmap (right) from a VR study on evacuation and social influence during a road tunnel fire.