Current Courses

Berta Martín-López

Colloquium Social-ecological system research

Das Kolloquium wird inhaltlich verschiedene Methoden, Ansätze und Ergebnisse sozial-ökologischer Forschung behandeln und unterschiedliche Formate anbieten: Studierende präsentieren ihre Forschungsvorhaben und/ oder Ergebnisse, die dann mit den Betreuuenden und anderen Forschern diskutiert werden können

Ziel: Ziel der Veranstaltung ist ein Austausch zwischen den Forschenden und Promovierenden, aber auch eine Präsentation des Promotionsvorhabens und eine Reflexion über die Fortschritte der Promotion

Further information about courses you will find in our academic portal myStudy.

Current Courses

Dr. Aymara Victoria Llanque Zonta

Indigenous peoples and local perspectives towards sustainability

The seminar reflect on the perspectives of indigenous peoples, rural communities and other local actors in the sustainability debate. It will address the relationship between extractivism and commons appropriation processes, to discuss about development discourses into a geopolitical context that produce institutional change. Specifically, the seminar will expose institutional-building process bottom up resource management initiatives in extractive territories, connected with indigenous and local actor’s modern life style.

Ziel: Provide a background of indigenous and local perspectives, their interactions, power relations and structural asymmetries in territories with bio-cultural diversity, combining conceptual framework with practical experiences.

Basics of Sustainable Development

The course provide lectures on a wide variety of sustainability topics that connect with the focus of each of the seminars, including biodiversity conservation and food security, sustainable consumption and governance for sustainability. Thus the course covers theory, approaches and tools relating to sustainability, including the ecological, social and governance realms. By the end of the course you will understand the basics for sustainability and will get basic knowledge of the projects conducted in the three seminars of this minor.

Ziel: To introduce students to:

i) an overview of how sustainability has been and is being addressed in the fields of biodiversity conservation, sustainable consumption and governance;

ii) knowledge and ways of thinking with which to understand these three complementary approaches to move towards sustainability;

iii) to thereby provide a diverse background to the seminars of the Sustainability Minor.

Further information about courses you will find in our academic portal myStudy.

Current Courses

M.Sc. Milena Groß

Ecological Restoration for Sustainability- Project Planning

Please make sure you attend the introductory meeting as all other tasks will depend on information you gain in this meeting and we will talk about the pecha kucha examination format.

Students are now in four different groups:

1) Abiotic butterflies

2) Understory pollinators

3) Outreach and connection to nature

4) Camera traps and wildlife

In this semester you will develop your plans you started for the posters in the winter and sample the orchard with your goals in mind.

We are currently losing pollinators, the bees and the flies and the butterflies, in our intensively managed landscapes and we need theses organisms not least to feed ourselves. What can we do? Come and help us to restore, study and manage cultural landscapes that can provide us with both food and the diversity of life!

One of the most important challenges of our time is how to combine biodiversity and food security, as our human population and our influence on the biophysical basis of our existence on earth increases. Many people are no longer connected to nature, and feel alienated from natural processes and places. Our activities are causing major biodiversity decline that in turn affects how our ecosystems that we depend on function and the services they provide for us humans. Although our influence is often negative, there are many ways in which we can have positive effects on biodiversity as well as ensuring food security is possible.

What can we do?

This course combines key aspects of biodiversity conservation and

ecological restoration of degraded ecosystems with the extensive management of cultural landscapes,. The latter provide us with food and resources whilst at the same time fostering biodiversity. It is also highly relevant for the topic of sustainable consumption, as it instills in participants the value of extensively managed landscapes that cannot provide us with huge bumper harvests but are more resilient in face of climate change and provide much more habitat for many species to co-exist with us.

In this planning seminar, we will plan projects in detail. Our baseline project is a wonderful cultural landscape site near the village of Wendisch-Evern, where together with the a traditional orchard club (Streuobstwiesenverein) in November 2016 we restored an apple (and cherry and pear) orchard to a degraded horse paddock with low biodiversity and high nutrients in the soils (not good for biodiversity).

Since the restoration action we have been doing two main things with different student cohorts:

1) tracking how the plants and animals change at the site over time; we expect that the biodiversity of plants and insects and birds will increase over time, as we remove nutrients by mowing or grazing the site and this is good for promoting more plant and hence also animal species.

2) We are testing whether we can attract even more insects to the site but planting different grassland plants under each of the 15 apple trees; more tasty clover and co species (Klee) or forbs species that attract pollinators but are not quite as tasty as the clover and co species.

This is the first time that anybody has studied this option scientifically in a traditional orchard, and if it works, it may be a nice option for attracting more pollinators to many other orchard sites.

We are embedded in a cultural landscape including returning wolves and a shephard who does not want to have her sheep at our site - there are plenty of socio-ecological topics within the overall topic of the magic orchard and its transformation over time.


This course is one several different courses in the sustainability minor (sustainable consumption, sustainable governance, life cycles)- you need to choose one of the main courses and then you stick to this course over two years. This course in the summer semester, Module 3 and 4, takes place in the third semester of your minor.

Building on the preceding modules introducing you to transdisciplinary research and projects, and to the key concepts and methods in ecological restoration, this semester you take part in two seminars that move into the more active sphere.

Ziel: You learn: what constitutes ecological restoration and what goals restoration has and can have, as well as which specific restoration goals we have in our orchard restoration. We will include an analysis of historical land use legacy in this semester's course in relation to how Understand the key drivers of biodiversity and what role humans can play in this (both in terms of how much management is good for and how much is bad for biodiversity). We will also assess how the apple trees develop over time, including apple harvests (expected as of 2020). In this course you acquaint yourself closely with living organisms in a living ecosystems (grassland plants, apple trees, beetles, butterflies) and learn how to assess how the diversity of these organisms changes over time. You dive into field ecology and learn how to assess a site and present the outcome to a general audience. You learn how to

plan and run a biodiversity conservation/ restoration and food security project from the original idea through to complex ecological and social procedures. This will include learning about project planning and management, learning specific techniques to enable you to successfully plan a TD project of this kind. You will interact with actors within academia and outside academia. We will use theory and best practice knowledge to help us plan the project.

In addition, you have the luck of being accompanied by a professional personal coach, Eva Völler, who will help to deal with project management, group work and reaching your goals.

Further information about courses you will find in our academic portal myStudy.