Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New DFG Research Unit in Kassel and Goettingen on agricultural transitions in rural-urban spaces

16.12.2015

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.


Nomads on the outskirts of Bangalore.

Photo: Bürkert.

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:
http://www.uni-kassel.de/uni/fileadmin/datas/uni/presse/anhaenge/2014/Bangalore_...
Nomads on the outskirts of Bangalore. Photo: Bürkert.

Contact details:

Prof. Dr. Andreas Bürkert
University of Kassel
Organic Plant Production and Agroecosystems Research in the Tropics and Subtropics (OPATS)
Tel.: +49 5542 98-1228
Email: buerkert@uni-kassel.de
http://www.uni-kassel.de/fb11agrar/en/sections/opats/home.html

Prof. Dr. Stephan von Cramon-Taubadel
University of Göttingen
Agricultural Policy
Tel.: +49 551 39-22872
Email: scramon@gwdg.de
www.uni-goettingen.de/de/18660.html

Sebastian Mense | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

More articles from Awards Funding:

nachricht Radio astronomers score high marks in the competition for EU funding
12.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie

nachricht Europe wide cooperation on spinal cord injury research receives 1.34 Million Euros grant
12.12.2016 | DFG-Forschungszentrum für Regenerative Therapien TU Dresden

All articles from Awards Funding >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

Im Focus: Bacterial Pac Man molecule snaps at sugar

Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.

The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...

Im Focus: Newly proposed reference datasets improve weather satellite data quality

UMD, NOAA collaboration demonstrates suitability of in-orbit datasets for weather satellite calibration

"Traffic and weather, together on the hour!" blasts your local radio station, while your smartphone knows the weather halfway across the world. A network of...

Im Focus: Repairing defects in fiber-reinforced plastics more efficiently

Fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP) are frequently used in the aeronautic and automobile industry. However, the repair of workpieces made of these composite materials is often less profitable than exchanging the part. In order to increase the lifetime of FRP parts and to make them more eco-efficient, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) and the Apodius GmbH want to combine a new measuring device for fiber layer orientation with an innovative laser-based repair process.

Defects in FRP pieces may be production or operation-related. Whether or not repair is cost-effective depends on the geometry of the defective area, the tools...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Solar Collectors from Ultra-High Performance Concrete Combine Energy Efficiency and Aesthetics

16.01.2017 | Trade Fair News

3D scans for the automotive industry

16.01.2017 | Automotive Engineering

Nanoparticle Exposure Can Awaken Dormant Viruses in the Lungs

16.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>