I am the head Principal Investigator alongside Prof. Anita Kirmer for our Grassworks project. I see myself having many different roles in this unique project where the number of scientists working on social issues, or at the interface of the social and the ecological is equal to the number of ecologists. This is new terrain (“Neuland” in German) and opens up many new doors for adopting a whole system approach but also poses a few challenges. I see one key role I have as making sure that the respective parts of the project (the social, the social ecological and the ecological) are making effective progress in our aims and tasks as well as making sure the interactions in our consortium network are working as smoothly as possible. This means that we have adopted a system of weekly meetings both in the ecology and the social group over that past year and a half of the project – as well as monthly meetings for the whole group. As a plant ecologist it is of course easier for me to understand what the ecologists are talking about, but based on my experience as a professor in the sustainability faculty at Leuphana University Lüneburg, I have had extensive exposure to mind-widening concepts on social interactions, power dynamics, value systems and the role of framings in how projects are addressed and carried out. This helps me to help steer this wonderful ship where we are aiming to gain a better understanding of which ecological and social and economic/political factors lead to success in grassland restoration in Germany. Another key role I have is to liase regularly with our integrator and coordinator Ioana Duse, who runs the day-to-day business and keeps all the threads in her hands. A final key role I see myself having, is in keeping the bigger meta-level picture in mind and facilitating that any spin-off ideas that emerge from our work as a team can develop into creative and exciting new papers or mini projects.


Studies of Biology and Chemistry in Kiel and Freiburg, PhD in Freiburg, Postdoc Cambridge and ETH, Professor in Copenhagen, Oslo and Munich. Contribution as expert in vegetation science and restoration of grasslands; supervision of the southern subproject.


As an environmental scientist committed to sustainability, I specialize in exploring the connections between the environment, biodiversity, and human well-being. Using interdisciplinary approaches, I assess the effectiveness of nature conservation and restoration strategies from ecological and social perspectives. My research covers dimensions such as environmental justice and biocultural diversity within diverse conservation frameworks. I study social-ecological systems over time, engaging in both conceptual and practical aspects across spatial and temporal scales. In the GRASSWORKS project, I co-supervise ecological work on plants, butterflies, and bees. I also contribute to and co-supervise research in the real-world laboratories that investigate the role of values and power dynamics in ecological restoration. My research aims to bridge the gap between theory and practice, providing valuable insights for the sustainable coexistence of humans and the environment.


I am Professor of International Sustainable Development and Planning and the co-head of the Social-Ecological Systems Institute (SESI) at Leuphana with Prof. Dr. Joern Fischer. My research is collaborative, inter- and transdisciplinary aiming to understand the role of values, knowledge, and institutions in supporting transformation pathways to sustainability. I put special emphasis on “care-full” research processes that foster reciprocity, reflexivity, and respect for all persons involved in the research process.

In the Grassworks research project, my main role is to understand the role of peoples’ value systems in restoration activities and to explore, through the Real-World Laboratories, how values are activated, nurtured, or shifted by engaging in restoration activities.


I studied Political Science and Applied Research Methods (B.Sc. and M.Sc.) with a focus on social-ecological systems at the Babeș-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. While doing the Ph.D. at Leuphana University, I was interested in how different governance processes, cooperation between actors and their value systems influences food and energy systems in different parts of Romania. This PhD project was part of the project Leverage Points for Sustainability Transformation.

In the Grassworks research project, my main role is the research coordination and communication with the research team, as well as the knowledge integration of the project results, using the ‘leverage points’ concept from a holistic perspective. A smaller part of my research interest lies in collaborating with the Real-World Laboratory from the Northern Region to explore potential opportunities and challenges in setting up these experimental spaces for creating and transferring knowledge between science and society.


I studied landscape ecology at Greifswald University. Currently, I hold a chair in General Economics and Landscape Economics at the University of Greifswald and a chair in Economics and Environmental Economics at the BTU Cottbus. My main research interests are agricultural economics, institutional change, nature conservation in post-socialist countries, and property rights.

In Grassworks I am responsible for leading the research component on production economics and governance within WP4.


My research interests are in plant and animal interactions and the effects of land use or management on these groups. During my studies at the Anhalt University of Applied Sciences and my PhD, I focused on the ecology of butterflies, birds and vegetation, the restoration and management of grassland habitats, and the evaluation and development of conservation measures to promote biodiversity in agricultural landscapes.

As a postdoc at the Anhalt University of Applied Sciences, I coordinate and contribute to the work of the Grassworks research project in the central region. This includes in particular the vegetation and faunistic surveys in work package 1 “Post-hoc investigations of 120 implemented restoration sites in three model regions” as well as the ecological expertise and the implementation of restoration measures in work package 2 “Initiation of the transformation process in three real world laboratories”.


I studied biology (B.Sc. and M.Sc.) with a focus on ecology and biodiversity at the University of Hamburg. During my PhD at the Technical University of Munich, I investigated the relationships and trade-offs between different ecosystem functions of rare arable plants and sown wildflower mixtures.

As I mainly work on vegetation science, restoration ecology and ecosystem functions, my post-doc in the Grassworks project consists of organizing and conducting ecological fieldwork in the northern region (WP1). Further, my position is coordinating the ecological data collection of WP1 across all three regions. In addition, I am helping to restore grasslands in the Real-World lab in the northern region. 


I am a sustainability scientist with an interdisciplinary background in human-nature relationships. My work in Grassworks focuses mainly on the social-ecological aspects of transdisciplinary grassland restoration in the central real-world laboratory (Hainrode, Südharz) as part of work package 2. In my PhD I want to explore and deepen my knowledge on different relationships and relational properties of transdisciplinary social-ecological restoration. I work closely with the local community of Hainrode and apply creative, participatory methods.

I have a B. Sc. in Biochemistry from the University of Greifswald and a M. Sc. in Sustainability Science from the Leuphana University Lüneburg.  In the year 2021 I was able to glimpse into the academic world as a research assistant in the ÖSKKIP research project at the HafenCity University in Hamburg. Since February 2022 I am part of the Grassworks-Team as a research assistant at the Anhalt University of Applied Science and a PhD candidate at Leuphana University Lüneburg.


I am a sustainability scientist with a focus in governance of social-ecological systems. I hold a bachelor’s degree in green business management (B. Sc.) from the University of Europe for Applied Sciences and a double degree master of science (Dbl. M. Sc.) in global sustainability science from Leuphana University Lüneburg and Arizona State University. My research interests revolve around understanding how humans and human-nature interactions can foster sustainability. After my master’s degree, I briefly got to lead a research group that compiled and analyzed formal and informal institutions governing global commons.

At Grassworks, my PhD research investigates the values of grassland stakeholders as individuals and in relation to the social network that exists around grassland and grassland restoration in the region on Gifhorn. (In WP2) We are trying to create a truly transdisciplinary and mutually beneficial restoration approach for local social-ecological systems of grasslands. I feel deeply connected to grasslands and am excited to be able to contribute to research that fosters sustainable, cultural land-use in interlinked human-nature systems.


Studies of Biology (B.Sc.) and Environmental Planning and Ecological Engineering (M.Sc.) at TUM. Research Associate at the Chair of Restoration Ecology, TUM. Coordination ecology of the Southern region in Grassworks.


Ecologist (Master of Science, FSU Jena). Since 2020 at the German Association for Landscape Care (DVL).

In Grassworks responsible for the transfer from practice to science and back as well as for training courses for practitioners.


Graduate agricultural engineer (TU Munich-Weihenstephan), comes from a farm in Swabia. Freelance consultant for regional development. Since 2001 with the German Association for Landscape Care (DVL) in Ansbach, with an interruption from 2015-2019, during which she worked as a development advisor in Cambodia.

In Grassworks responsible for the transfer from practice to science and back as well as for training courses for practitioners.


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