Max Kinateder

Roles and responsibilities

Research Officer in the Fire Safety group.

Current research and/or projects

I am interested in human behavior in emergency situations and evacuation behavior. Most of my research circles around questions on why and how people act in emergency situations such as building fires or wildfires.

This includes questions on what determines if and when people decide to evacuate in an emergency and how people find their way to safety. What are the underlying psychological mechanisms of evacuation decision-making? What can we do to prepare building occupants and communities to evacuate efficiently when necessary? How can we design our built environment to afford safe egress to all?

Generally, I rely on a range of empirical methods. In many of my studies, I use immersive virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) which allows simulating complex scenarios with a high level of experimental control.


  • Ph.D. Psychology, University of Wuerzburg, 2013
  • Diploma, Psychology, University of Mainz, 2009


Key publications

Below are five key publications; for a full list see:

  • Kinateder, M., & Warren, W. H. (2021). Exit choice during evacuation is influenced by both the size and proportion of the egressing crowd. Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, 125746. [data]
  • Kinateder, M., & Warren, W. H. (2016). Social influence on evacuation behavior in real and virtual environments. Frontiers in Robotics and AI, 3, 43.
  • Kinateder, M., Ronchi, E., Nilsson, D., Kobes, M., Müller, M., Pauli, P., & Mühlberger, A. (2014). Virtual reality for fire evacuation research. In 2014 federated conference on computer science and information systems (pp. 313-321). IEEE.
  • Wahlqvist, J., Ronchi, E., Gwynne, S.M.V., Kinateder, M., Rein, G., Mitchell, H., Bénichou, N., Ma, C., Kimball, A. & Kuligowski, E. (2021) The simulation of wildland-urban interface fire evacuation: The WUI-NITY platform. Safety Science, 136, 105145,
  • Kinateder, M., Warren, W.H., & Schloss, K.B. (2019). What color are emergency exit signs? Egress behavior differs from verbal report. Journal of Applied Ergonomics, 75, pp. 155-160.



Previous work experience

  • 2016-2018 Dartmouth College, Hanover NH (postdoc)
  • 2014-2016 Brown University (postdoc)
  • 2013-2014 National Institute of Standards and Technology (Guest Researcher)
  • 2009-2013 University of Wuerzburg, Germany (PhD student)
Max Kinateder

Max Kinateder

Associate Research Officer
1200 Montreal Road
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0R6
Preferred language: English
Other(s): German, French, English

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Human-computer interaction, Information Technology, Natural Hazards, Fire, First Responders, Safety and Security, Psychosocial and Community Resilience, Social Sciences