Swantje Tönnis studied linguistics and religious studies at the Georg-August-University of Göttingen. From 2011 until 2014 she worked as a student assistant in the junior research group "Theoretical Linguistics" at the Courant Research Centre "Text Structures". She worked on tense in discourse, which included corpus studies and linguistic experiments. As part of her master's program in linguistics, she studied for one year in the Master of Logic at the University of Amsterdam. She got her master's degree in 2015 with a thesis about the semantics of German and English past tense forms.
In 2015 she started her PhD in the XPrag project "Exhaustivity in Cleft Sentences" in Göttingen (supervisor Edgar Onea). She is a member of the Courant Research Centre "Text Structures". Her interests include formal and experimental semantics and pragmatics, especially tense and aspect, text and discourse structures, and spoken language.