Environmental Sciences Section

The Earth is undergoing dramatic human-induced global change, including land use intensification, disruption of the carbon, water and nutrient cycles, climate change, ecosystem degradation, and species extinction. The Environmental Sciences Section is dedicated to deepening our understanding of these complex, interrelated changes and developing solutions that contribute to a sustainable society, healthy environment, and resilient ecosystems for both humans and nature.

We are a dynamic, multidisciplinary research and teaching group of around 80 people (40 scientific staff, 5 postdocs, and 35 PhD candidates). The scientific objective of the section is to better understand and assess the complex interactions among earth system elements (biosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, atmosphere and anthroposphere), including human-environment-ecosystem interactions, the energy balance and the climate system. Our strength lies in our system approach and the combination of modelling and empirical work across spatial and temporal scales.

Research with impact

Our work has important implications for policy. We understand the importance of co-creating knowledge with societal partners for the development of effective, relevant and usable tools and response strategies for sustainable management of our environment. Interdisciplinary collaboration is at the core of our approach, and we believe that the inclusion of diverse perspectives is critical to addressing the complex sustainability challenges of our time.

Inspiring education

Through our teaching we explore global environmental change and the interactions between humans, ecosystems and the environment. Our activities are mainly related to the BSc Global Sustainability Science, MSc Sustainable Development, and MSc Water Science and Management. We equip and inspire students with the knowledge and skills to design solutions towards a more sustainable society where both humans and our natural ecosystems can thrive.

Our research is primarily focused on the following Copernicus themes:

Head of Section