Doctoral and Post-doc Researchers

Paolo Gigli

Academic Coordinator

Paolo is PhD student at the Université de Genève under the supervision of Prof. Paolo Crivelli, and PhD assistant at the Università della Svizzera italiana. His PhD thesis deals with the metaphysics of change in Plato's eleatic dialogues. Besides ancient philosophy, he is also interested in issues in logic and contemporary metaphysics.


Cristian Mariani

Cristian Mariani is a Research Fellow at the Facoltà di Teologia di Lugano (USI), where is currently the PI of an SNSF Ambizione Grant entitled 'Quantum Indeterminacy. A Metaphysics for Spontaneous Collapse Models of Quantum Mechanics'. After the obtainment of his PhD from the Università Statale di Milano in January 2020, Cristian was a postdoc at the Institut Néel in Grenoble, the Universitat de Barcelona, and the Università Statale di Milano. His main research interests are in the philosophy of physics, the foundations of quantum mechanics, and the metaphysics of science.

Robert Michels

from 2019 to 2022

Robert Michels earned his PhD in philosophy at the University of Geneva and after holding a Postdoc there and teaching in Geneva, at KIT in Karlsruhe, and at the University of Neuchâtel is now a scientific collaborator in Prof. Mulligan's project “Identity in Cognitive Science, Quantum Mechanics, and Metaphysics” at the Università della Svizzera italiana. He co-organizes the seminar of the eidos research group and works mostly on topics connected to modality and indeterminacy.

Paolo Natali

Paolo Natali is currently a postdoc at both Lugano (SNSF Project n. 207948, “The Genealogy of Modes of Being”, PI Kevin Mulligan) and Geneva (SNSF Project n. 182858, “Realisms. Universals, Relations, and States of Affairs in the Austro-German and Medieval Traditions”, PI Laurent Cesalli). He previously earned his BA (Classics) and MA (Philosophy) in Pisa, and his PhD (Philosophy) in Geneva. He has taught courses in Ancient philosophy, logic, philosophy of mind and metaphysics at the Universities of Geneva, Neuchâtel, and Lugano. He mainly works on Ancient and Austro-German metaphysics and philosophy of mind, with an eye on contemporary debates.

Alain Pe-Curto

Alain recently joined USI Lugano to pursue his research in value theory, metaphysics, and philosophy of mind. He leads the Lugano-based research project “Value Exploration”, which receives generous support from the Swiss National Science Foundation (SPF, Horizon Europe transitional measures for Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions). In Fall 2022, Alain will conduct his research between USI Lugano, where he works with Prof. Kevin Mulligan, and Rutgers-New Brunswick, where he worked with Prof. Dean Zimmerman prior to joining USI Lugano. Previously, Alain was a postdoctoral researcher at Yale University, supervised by Prof. Laurie Paul. More information on Alain is available on his website.

Marta Pedroni

Marta Pedroni is a PhD student at the University of Geneva and a PhD assistant at Università della Svizzera Italiana (USI). She obtained her MA in Philosophy at USI with a thesis on the emergence of spacetime in Loop Quantum Gravity. Her main interests lie at the intersection of Metaphysics and Philosophy of Physics. She is now working on the fate and role of spacetime singularities in quantum gravity.

Jan Plate

from 2017 to 2022

Currently scientific collaborator in the SNF-funded project ‘Functions, Relations, and Types’, previously postdoc at the universities of Tübingen and Neuchâtel. M.Sc. in cognitive science (Osnabrück, 2005), PhD in philosophy (Washington University in St. Louis, 2012). He works mainly in metaphysics, with a special focus on properties, relations, and states of affairs.

Léon Probst

Léon Probst is a PhD student and assistant at Università della Svizzera italiana (USI). He received his MA in Philosophy at USI working on arbitrary objects. His interests range from the philosophy of logic and mathematics to mathematical and philosophical logic. His PhD thesis is on the arithmetization of metamathematics and its different sources of intensionality.

Emma Tieffenbach

Emma Tieffenbach is a scientific collaborator at Lugano working on the SNFS project “Essentialism and Mentalism in Austrian Economics”, with Kevin Mulligan (PI). In 2022-2023, she also teaches the ethics of gifting at the University of Geneva and the ethics of engineering at the EPFL. Previously, she held temporary lecturer positions at Lausanne, Fribourg and Neuchâtel. The philosophy of economics is her domain of expertise where she publishes on “invisible-hand explanations”, as well as on the nature of basic economic notions such as money, gift, economic exchanges and public goods.

Jonas Waechter

from 2019 to 2022

Jonas works at the interface between metaphysics, the philosophy of physics, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of science. After obtaining a BA and MA in philosophy from the University of Fribourg and a BSc and MSc in Nuclear Physics from the University of Geneva (at CERN on NA61 experiment/T2K), he obtained a PhD in the philosophy of science at Bristol University in December 2017 under the joint supervision of James Ladyman and Richard Pettigrew. He is now a postdoc within the SNF-funded research project 'Identity in cognitive science, quantum mechanics, and metaphysics' at the Università della Svizzera italiana.