Globally, society is facing sustainability challenges like food security, biodiversity crisis and climate change. Sustainability science is a relatively new interdisciplinary field that studies current sustainability challenges like climate change at the interface between humans and their environment using a system thinking approach.
Within the field of Sustainability Science, my research is focusing on carbon uptake by vegetation, and if and how this is influenced by changing environmental conditions.  I especially focus on the interaction between the C, N and water cycle across scale.  In my work, I combine experiments, data analysis, modeling and remote sensing.
Albeit the current research in Sustainability Science, anthropogenic pressures are still very high and the trajectory towards a sustainable future did not bend yet, which calls for a ‘sustainability transformation’. To reach this, sustainability education needs to adapt, as we need to teach students not only being able to adapt to change, but to build the capacity to shape and create change.  This requires an inter- and transdisciplinary approach, including practitioners and civil society stakeholders that are very aware of the level of complexity of sustainability challenges. Challenge Based Learning (CBL) is an example of such an approach. In my education and educational research, I study if we can offer CBL in an online environment, allowing for inter-university and international collaboration.  In this research, we also look at the interdisciplinary competencies that students acquired in an online CBL course.
However, the path to a sustainable future is also dependent on the ability to imagine such a sustainable and desirable future. To reach this goal, we developed the game Utrecht2040, which is a location-based, large-scale multiplayer mobile serious game.  It aims to educate students about key sustainability challenges in a friendly, original, systematic and interdisciplinary manner. Students are challenged to imagine the best possible Utrecht (or another city) in 2040, and to take the citizens and stakeholders along. The game is designed to provide students with the knowledge and tools to become agents of change.

Sustainability Science & Education