Current research projects

of the Research Group Applied Landscape Ecology and Ecological Planning

© Cornelia Steinhäuser

Ecosystem Künstlerdorf - Learning from Nature

Scientific monitoring of an institutional socio-ecological transformation process and the development of a sustainability strategy of the residency program of the Stiftung Künstlerdorf Schöppingen.

The Künstlerdorf Schöppingen is a residency program for artists from all over the world located in the Münsterland. It has proposed symbols (such as the ecosystem), activities (such as gardening), as well as ethical principles (of permaculture) for the year 2022 with its program "Ecosystem Künstlerdorf - Learning from Nature" to initiate a social-ecological transformation. The goal is to reflect and strengthen the sustainability and equity of the community in the artist village itself, as well as its embeddedness in the rural environment. This process is to be enriched by integrative thinking in science and art, as well as critically and constructively observed. The scientific monitoring focuses on the questions to what extent the aforementioned symbols, activities and principles can actually contribute to sustainable community building? And furthermore: Which ideas of human-nature-relationships can be found among the members of the artists' village, and thus: How they are addressed by the program with its permaculture principles? To investigate these questions, Cornelia Steinhäuser conducted an intensive field observation from a landscape ecological ethnographic perspective, using creative methods, various interactions in the studios, narrative walking through the surroundings, up to common gardening. As a result, an analysis of the visions, goals and strategies as well as obstacles and potentials of the initiated transformation process was elaborated. The enrichment through the exchange between art and science for the treatment of the current overall social and ecological challenges is to be deepened in follow-up projects.

Term: May-October 2022

Steinhäuser, Cornelia (2022). Begegnungen mit Mensch und Natur im Künstlerdorf Schöppingen: Socializing with people and nature at the Künstlerdorf. In Julia Haarman (Ed.), Ecosystem Künstlerdorf (pp. 21–41). Stiftung Künstlerdorf Schöppingen.


© AG Ökoplan

BIOBRAS - Research-based learning in neglected biodiverse ecosystems of Brazil

Global change, particularly climate change, land-use change and invasive species, are currently the main threats to biodiversity and compromise the targets of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The global loss of biodiversity can further affect ecosystem services. Consequently, conservation of biological diversity and sustainable use of natural resources have become key research topics in recent years. Further, the Agenda 2030 and CBD call for intensified technical and scientific cooperation, access to and transfer of technology and education, and the raising of public awareness.

Project homepage

Term 2018 - 2022

© AG Ökoplan

EUfMa - Watercourse development of heavily modified waterbodies

The objective of the Water Framework Directive (WFD) to achieve good ecological and chemical status or good ecological potential for all water bodies by 2015 has not been met, and there are hardly any better forecasts for the current management period. New approaches must be taken, especially on HWMB water bodies. The DBU-funded project seeks to explore the effectiveness of small-scale measures in particular through the cooperative development of decision support for WFD implementation practice at catchment level for heavily modified lowland streams and the creation of a measures database with guidance. In addition, knowledge about monitoring is to be improved by significantly shortening the survey intervals.

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