Profiles of members

  • Klepp, Silja

    Professor of Human Geography in Coastal and Marine Regions
  • Barnbeck, Johanna

    Creative Director

  • Sven Bergmann

    German Maritime Museum, Bremerhaven – Leibniz Institute for Maritime History

  • Benno Fladvad

    Postdoctoral researcher

  • Francesca Rosignoli

    Postdoctoral researcher

  • Sébastien Boillat

    University of Bern, Institute of Geography

  • Gert Van Hecken

    Assistant professor

  • Christian Baatz

    Postdoctoral researcher

  • Jonas Hein

    Hein, Jonas

    Postdoctoral researcher

  • Robert Hafner

    PhD, Institute of Geography, Innsbruck University, Austria

  • Mennathullah Mohamed Hendawy

    TU Berlin, Department of Planning Building Environment and Ain Shams University, Urban Planning and Design

  • Riccarda Flemmer

    Postdoctoral researcher

  • Erik van Doorn

    Postdoctoral researcher

  • Weißermel, Sören

    Postdoctoral researcher

  • A.R. Siders

    Assistant professor in public policy and geography

  • Judith Bopp

    Cultural geographer and postdoctoral researcher

  • Elena Zepharovich

    Centre for Development and Environment, University of Bern, Switzerland

  • Maria Kaufmann

    Radboud University, Department of Geography, Planning and Environment

  • Stephanie Leder

    Affiliation Researcher at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Urban and Rural Development

  • Thomas Thaler

    Postdoctoral researcher

  • Simon Radtke

    Master student

  • Nele Matz-Lück

    Professor of Public Law

  • Süßen, Matthias

    Freelance lecturer for science communication, video coach, blogger & journalist

  • Irmak Ertör

    Bogazici University (Istanbul), The Ataturk Institute for Modern Turkish History

  • Dünckmann, Florian

    Professor of Cultural Geography

  • Anna Lena Bercht

    Human geographer and postdoctoral researcher

Klepp, Silja

Professor of Human Geography in Coastal and Marine Regions

Professor of Human Geography in Coastal and Marine Regions at the Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel and member of the Cluster of Excellence “Future Ocean”. Her current research in the Central Pacific focuses on climate change, climate change adaptation and migration. She integrates postcolonial perspectives and critical theories into the field of climate change adaptation. Further research focuses on the cultural and social consequences of climate change and flight and migration as well as EU border regimes. Silja Klepp’s main research areas are in Fiji and Kiribati and in the Mediterranean region.

Barnbeck, Johanna

Creative Director

Sven Bergmann

Sven Bergmann is a cultural anthropologist currently working as a research associate at the German Maritime Museum in Bremerhaven, Germany where he is responsible for the thematic area Ocean, Ships and Environment and coordinates the Interreg Project “North Sea Wrecks” about environmental impact of ammunition in the sea. His research focuses on question of environmental impact of emerging objects such as microplastics or aquaculture-related toxins (e.g. algal blooms) or via the transport of species with container ships or ballot water. Therefore, his research contributes to an anthropology of speculative futures/temporalities and ecologies, always dealing with questions how to care for these emerging naturecultures with a feminist and postcolonial perspective. Regarding the specific spatialities and temporalities of waste, pollution and toxicity in the marine and maritime environments, question of environmental justice and “slow violence” have become more and more important in his research.


Contact / Contact

Benno Fladvad

Human geographer and currently working as Research Associate at the Humanities Centre for Advanced Studies “Futures of Sustainability” at the University of Hamburg. His dissertation focused on the political geographies of the struggles for food sovereignty in Bolivia where he conducted several months of ethnographic research. His main research interests are political geography, political ecology, geographies of food, and geographies of justice, as well as sustainability and transformation research. His current research is centered on conflicting imaginations of sustainability, climate justice, and geographies of democracy in the Anthropocene. Besides his academic activities, he was working for WWF Germany and the Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union.

Francesca Rosignoli

Postdoctoral fellow of Political Science at Stockholm University (SU), member of the Environmental Justice Institute (EJI) and coordinator of EJ-ITALY, the first research group made up of women only focusing on Environmental Justice (EJ) in Italy. She is currently engaged in a research project on Environmental Justice and ‘Climate Refugees.’ The main goal is to operationalize EJ to overcoming the legal impasse concerning the lack of recognition of ‘Climate Refugees’ at the international level. She analyzes the topic through a multi-disciplinary lens, including law, philosophy, and political science. In doing so, she bridges a conceptual, legal, ethical, and political analysis of the phenomenon. Further, she is part of a Team project at SU called Environmental research in the human sciences area (cross-faculty activities- Humanities, Law, and Social Sciences – on environmental issues realized by a team of five postdoctoral researchers).

Sébastien Boillat

Senior Researcher in Integrative Geography at the University of Bern. His current research focuses on agroecological transitions in sub-Saharan Africa with a critical perspective and an emphasis on social justice aspects. His research has the overall objective of integrating social-ecological thinking and the idea of justice. This includes conceptual and empirical work looking at environmental justice issues in telecoupled social-ecological systems, the relevance of cognitive justice in environmental governance and ecosystem management, and resilience justice in relation with climate change, natural resource governance and rural smallholders in the Global South. His main research areas are in Latin America (Bolivia, Cuba, Brazil) and in sub-Sahran Africa (Senegal, Kenya).



Gert Van Hecken

Assistant Professor at the Institute of Development Policy (IOB), University of Antwerp, Belgium. Main research focuses on the global and local nexus between the environment and processes of social change, and more specifically in the socio-political dynamics triggered by (international) conditional climate change/development finance instruments, such as carbon and biodiversity markets, Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES), and green microfinance. Also works on alternative (transformational) paradigms, social movements and processes related to degrowth, and decolonial approaches to social-ecological futures. Research has mainly focused on Central- and South America, using participatory action research methods.

Christian Baatz

Christian Baatz is lecturer at the Department of Philosophy at Kiel University and leads a research project on how to distribute funding provided by the international community to support adaptation to climate change in the Global South. Prior to this, he finished his Ph.D. thesis on compensating climate change victims in developing countries. Having a background in environmental sciences, his work aims at analysing the normative dimension of social and environmental problems that we face today and at discussing that research within inter- and transdisciplinary contexts.

Jonas Hein

Hein, Jonas

Postdoctoral researcher

I am researcher and lecturer at the Department of Geography at Kiel University, Associate Researcher at the German Development Institute and at the Collaborative Research Center 990 on Ecological and Socioeconomic Functions of Tropical Lowland Rainforest Transformation Systems (Sumatra, Indonesia) at University of Göttingen. I am interested in the political ecology of conservation and development, climate politics, agrarian change and state theory. Currently, I am working on the socio-ecological transformation of the Jakarta Bay and on the fairway adoption of the Elbe River. My research has mainly focused on Indonesia, Northern Germany and Colombia.

Robert Hafner

Member of the interdisciplinary FWF Young Independent Research Group “Exploring values-based modes of production and consumption in the corporate food regime” at Innsbruck University. His current research focuses on (i) alternatives in the corporate food regime (including values like solidarity and trust), (ii) method development in the realms of viscerality to combine traditional methods with beyond rational/multisensory approaches, (iii) re-conceptualizations of human-environment-relations by exploring them through, despite and beyond technology. Empirical examples include soy agribusiness expansion and social-ecological conflicts in NW Argentina, online gardening and offline consuming, alternative producer-consumer relationships (e.g. CSA) and their potentials for social-ecological transformation. Robert Hafner’s main research areas are South America (esp. Argentina) and Central Europe (esp. Austria).


Contact / Contact

Mennathullah Mohamed Hendawy

Mennatullah is an urban planner and visual thinker who aims to inspire sustained and empowered urban development through communication towards a just socio-spatial and visual reality. Mennatullah have long been fascinated by the way knowledge, power, and (in)justice are manifested in and co-construct cities and the public sphere. She is currently a visiting scholar at Columbia university, research associate and PhD candidate at The Technical university of Berlin, an associated researcher at the Leibniz Institute for Research on Society and Space (IRS) in Erkner, Germany and an affiliated assistant lecturer at the department of urban planning and design in Ain Shams University in Cairo, Egypt.

She is moved by the exploration of ‘agency’, ‘justice’ and ‘assumptions’ within socio-spatial everyday encounters. She is interested in how to enable the vulnerable majority and how to develop communities in an integrated manner. She certainly practices urban planning, design and education as approaches to empowerment with an aim to cover the gap in theory building in contested urban contexts. As a multipotentialite interested in intersections, she deals with urban planning as a developmental multidisciplinary field.

She believes in the role of research in driving local development and national policies as well as the importance of transferring knowledge and systems between global north and south through win-win means. As she views learning and research as two-way cyclic processes, the impact she strives for is the growth of all the humans she meets along her journey. In particular, she is interested in experimental methodologies and participatory action research through which she aspires to take values into action by connecting justice and urban planning.



Riccarda Flemmer

She is a postdoctoral researcher and lecturer at the Department of Political Science at the University of Hamburg and an associated researcher to the German Institute of Global and Area Studies (GIGA). Her research focuses on contested international norms, more specifically on the rights of indigenous peoples in the context of conflicts over resources and land. Conceptually, she brings together norms research in International Relations, postcolonial perspectives, and critical (legal) anthropology. Her current interests is to understand and further conceptualize the politics of translation between different ontologies involved in resource conflicts. Her regional focus is on the Amazon rainforest, especially Peru.

Erik van Doorn

Erik van Doorn‘s field of expertise is international law of the sea, with a main interest in the international regulation of marine resources but also new uses of the ocean and the effects of climate change. His research has focused on fisheries, mineral resources of the deep sea, and marine planning where questions relating to justice on an international level play an important role.

Weißermel, Sören

Sören Weißermel is a human geographer and postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Geography, Kiel University. Areas of interest are human-environmental relations, critical development studies, urban studies and urban climate politics. In his PhD-project, he focused on processes of dispossession and precarization of marginalized and invisibilized people and lifeforms in the context of the construction of the Belo Monte power plant (Brazil) and on their struggle for recognition and (environmental) justice. In his current project, he focuses on the socio-spatial implications of urban climate politics in cities of the Global North.

A.R. Siders

Assistant professor in public policy and geography at the University of Delaware and core faculty in the Disaster Research Center. Her research focuses on climate change adaptation decision-making, evaluation, and equity. Recent projects have explored managed retreat and relocation as coastal adaptation strategies and the social justice implications of adaptation and disaster risk reduction allocations. She is a lawyer and social scientist with interdisciplinary training.

Judith Bopp

Judith is a postdoc with the Institute for Spatial Analysis and Planning in Areas of Intensive Agriculture (ISPA) at the University of Vechta. Her study deals with the use of local knowledge in smallholder practices, and sustainable farming approaches such as organic farming, natural farming or agroforestry. She works on how farmers include sustainable farming to stabilise their livelihoods as well as to adapt to climate-related changes of their farm environments. She looks in particular at local knowledge in those farming and climate adaptation approaches. Prior to her postdoc, Judith was engaged in megacity research: Her doctoral project explored the emerging organic food movement in Bangkok, Thailand as a new social movement. She has her regional focus on Thailand, Myanmar and Southern India.

Latest publication:

Local Notions of Alternative Practices: Organic Food Movements in Bangkok, Thailand and Chennai, India

Elena Zepharovich

Elena Zepharovich is a researcher at the Centre for Development and Environment at the University of Bern. She finished her PhD at University of Bern at the Institute of Geography. Before joining the CDE, she was working at Vienna University of Economics (WU) in the Department of Ecological Economics in the field of Education for Sustainable Development. Her current research focus lies on inequality, environmental justice, and deforestation in the Argentinean Chaco.



Maria Kaufmann

Maria is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Governance and Politics at the Radboud University in Nijmegen, the Netherlands (Department of Geography, Planning and Environment). Her current research focuses on governance of climate change adaptation (particularly flood risk governance), nature-based solutions, energy vulnerability and understanding societal transformations (or the lack thereof). She integrates insights from discursive-institutionalism and critical theories into the field of environmental adaptation. Methodologically her focus is on qualitative research methods.



Stephanie Leder

Researcher at the Department of Urban and Rural Development with interests in feminist political ecology, water resource management, gender and development research and geographical Education for Sustainable Development. Stephanie holds a PhD in Human Geography from the University of Cologne, Germany. She received a four-year Mobility Grant of FORMAS, the Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning for the project “Revitalizing community-managed irrigation systems in contexts of out-migration in Nepal” (2019-2023). Currently Stephanie is a Visiting Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Sussex, UK.

Before she was a Postdoctoral Fellow for Gender, Poverty and Institutions at the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) in Kathmandu, Nepal, and led studies in inter- and transdisciplinary projects within the Consultative Group of International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) Program “Water, Land and Ecosystems” in India, Nepal and Bangladesh (2014-2017). For her PhD thesis, she conducted empirical research on Education for Sustainable Development in policy, textbooks and practice by examining geography teaching on water resources at secondary schools in Pune, India. Her book “Transformative Pedagogic Practice” is published with Springer 2018.



Thomas Thaler

Der Schwerpunkt meiner Forschungsfragen liegen auf den Schnittstellen Klima, Umwelt und Ressourcen. Im Fokus stehen die Themen der sozialen Verletzbarkeit, der sozialen Gerechtigkeit, Anpassungsstrategien und Auswirkungen von politischen Entscheidungen für die Gesellschaft. Dabei befasse ich mich vor allem mit den Forschungsschwerpunkten zu Risikomanagement und Governance, wie z.B. Analyse von vertikalen und horizontalen Netzwerken lokaler Akteure und deren Steuerbarkeit von Umweltauswirkungen und -risiken.

Simon Radtke

Simon Radtke is studying for a Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Development at the University of Kiel and deals with questions of housing policy in times of neoliberalism and the right to the city / right to housing.

Nele Matz-Lück

Professor of public law with a focus on public international law including the law of the sea at Kiel University and co-director of the Walther Schücking Institute for International Law. Member of the Cluster of Excellency „Future Ocean“ and, since 2017, one of the co-speakers. Adjunct professorship at Dalhousie University in Halifax and was adjunct professor at the K.G. Jebsen Centre on the Law of the Sea at the Arctic University of Norway (Tromsø) from 2013 to 2018. Member of the Constitutional Court of Schleswig-Holstein. Her main areas of research focus on the law of the sea and international environmental law.

Süßen, Matthias

Freelance lecturer for science communication, video coach, blogger & journalist

Irmak Ertör

Irmak Ertör is an assistant professor in the Ataturk Institute for Modern Turkish History, Bogazici University, Istanbul. Before her current position, she was working in the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology, Autonomous University of Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) as a post-doctoral researcher in the ERC-funded ENVJUSTICE project focusing on global fisheries conflicts and environmental justice. She holds a BS in Economics and an MA in Modern Turkish History from Bogazici University, Turkey. She has been a Marie Curie (ITN) early stage researcher of the ENTITLE project (European Network of Political Ecology) and completed her PhD on the “Political Ecology of Marine Finfish Aquaculture in Europe” in ICTA, UAB. Currently, she is a member of the Cost Action on Ocean Governance and investigates socio-environmental conflicts and social movements of fisher communities, food sovereignty and environmental justice.



Political Ecology blog (of the former ENTITLE group)

Ataturk Institute for Modern Turkish History 


Dünckmann, Florian

Florian Dünckmann heads the working group for cultural geography at the Geography Department in Kiel. He deals with questions of political ecology, the development of rural areas and processes of democracy-building. Hannah Arend’s philosophy and current practical theories form the theoretical approach to these topics.

Anna Lena Bercht

Anna Lena Bercht is a human geographer and a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Geography at the University of Kiel. Previously, she was a guest researcher at the Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC) at the Stockholm University and at the Disaster Research Unit (DRU) at the Freie University Berlin. Her research lies at the interface of geography and psychology, with a current focus on psychological barriers, climate adaptation and climate justice based on the example of coastal fisheries. Anna Lena works primarily in the Norwegian Arctic and employs qualitative social research methods. One crucial aim is to better understand cognitive, emotional, and motivational processes in complex human-environment relationships.