How are agricultural, ecological and social systems changing under the influence of growing (mega-)cities? This overarching question will be examined by the Research Unit FOR2432, which the German Research Foundation (DFG/Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) has established at the universities of Kassel and Göttingen. The project will start on 1 April 2016 and is initially funded with a total of 3.7 million Euros. International partners are also involved, including the University of Agricultural Sciences in Bangalore, India, where the cooperating projects will be co-financed with 1.2 million Euros from the Indian side.
With this decision, the DFG is strengthening the successful cooperation of the agricultural science faculties at the University of Kassel and the University of Göttingen through a joint long-term research endeavour that will enhance their research profiles.
The new Research Group will address issues of global importance such as land and resource use, food security, ecology and urbanisation. These topics will be studied with a broad interdisciplinary approach focused on the example of Bangalore. In this southern Indian metropolis growth and change are occurring in a particularly dynamic fashion.
The Research Unit is entitled " Social-Ecological Systems in the Indian Rural-Urban Interface: Functions, Scales, and Dynamics of Transition". The proposed research is trend-setting for agricultural sciences in Germany as it places basic research in this field in the wider context of transformation processes occurring in social-ecological systems.
Commenting on the grant, Kassel University President Prof. Dr. Reiner Finkeldey remarked, "The establishment of this Research Unit is a clear signal strengthening the University of Kassel at a national and an international level and boosting the research profile of our university. It also shows that our cooperation with the University of Göttingen is highly productive and innovative."
Prof. Dr. Ulrike Beisiegel, President of Göttingen University, added: "The scientists of the new Research Unit are dealing with global issues at the interface between humankind and nature. With the establishment of the Research Unit, we can further deepen the exciting cooperation with the University of Kassel in the field of agricultural sciences."
The close relationship and reciprocal dependency of mankind and nature is a basic characteristic of agriculture. This relationship was first conceptualized and termed a ‘social-ecological system’ by Elinor Ostrom, who was the first woman to receive the Nobel Prize in Economics for her work in this area. The concept was taken up from an ecological perspective and became popular because of its significance for ecosystem services. FOR2432 will build on these approaches and bring together various viewpoints under the overarching question of agricultural change in rural-urban spaces.
Working in three interdisciplinary research clusters, FOR2432 will be guided by the following questions: How and why do agricultural production systems and household structures change in various stages of urbanisation? How does urban expansion affect the ability of regional ecosystems to provide food and other ecosystem services? How do exchange processes between agroecosystems, producers and consumers, or different social groups change as urbanisation advances? How do ecological and social systems interact where rural and urban livelihoods, traditions, aspirations, and forms of land use clash?
The consortium comprises eleven sub-projects and is represented by Prof. Dr. Andreas Bürkert (University of Kassel) as spokesperson and Prof. Dr. Stephan von Cramon-Taubadel (University of Göttingen) as co-spokesperson. Four departments of the University of Kassel are participating (including one professor who is jointly appointed by Kassel and Göttingen), as are five departments of the University of Göttingen and a researcher from the James Cook University in Australia.
The disciplinary spectrum ranges from soil physics to remote sensing, from crop cultivation and animal nutrition to agricultural and development economics and beyond the agricultural sciences to human geography and ecosystem modelling. Each of the German sub-projects is matched with an academic partner project in India that will be fully funded in a parallel arrangement by the DBT, the Indian partner organisation of the DFG.
The research programmes of both sides will be closely coordinated, with 16 young academics from Germany and 26 from India working together to carry out the field research. The main partner in India is the University of Agricultural Sciences in Bangalore (UASB). In addition, Indian state research institutions for animal nutrition, socioeconomic change, forestry and space science as well as the research-oriented, non-governmental organisation ATREE are participating.
As the first joint German-Indian Research Unit, the project will also play a pioneering role in international basic research cooperation with India. Additional information on the Research Unit FOR2432 and the individual sub-projects is available at http://www.uni-kassel.de/go/for-2432.
For a picture see:
Nomads on the outskirts of Bangalore. Photo: Bürkert.
Prof. Dr. Andreas Bürkert
University of Kassel
Organic Plant Production and Agroecosystems Research in the Tropics and Subtropics (OPATS)
Tel.: +49 5542 98-1228
Prof. Dr. Stephan von Cramon-Taubadel
University of Göttingen
Tel.: +49 551 39-22872
Sebastian Mense | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Innovation Award of the United Nations Environment Programme for PhD Student from ZMT
22.03.2018 | Leibniz-Zentrum für Marine Tropenforschung (ZMT)
ERC Project set to boost application of adhesive structures
19.03.2018 | INM - Leibniz-Institut für Neue Materialien gGmbH
At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.
At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...
There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?
At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...
A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.
The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
23.05.2018 | Life Sciences
23.05.2018 | Life Sciences
23.05.2018 | Physics and Astronomy