Management Chair

Prof. Dr. Bernd Siebenhüner


Birgit Schelenz

+49 441 798-4384


Presentation at the ISPIM Innovation Conference

Together with two colleagues from the ENaQ project, Maren Wesselow (Chair of Ecological Economics) gave a presentation at the ISPIM innovation conference (ISPIM Innovation Conference 2022) on June 8, 2022.

ISPIM, the International Society for Professional Innovation Management, consists of members from research, industry, consulting and the public sector. This year's ISPIM conference took place in Copenhagen under the title “Innovating in a Digital World”. The four-day conference enjoyed a total of 450 participants from 40 countries and 270 lectures from science and practice. The presentation entitled “Responsible innovations through a participatory process design” dealt with different ideas that were developed within the ENaQ project and examined why these ideas were discarded or further developed in the course of a participatory process.

Research paper on how “lock-in” dynamics that play a stabilizing role in climate adaptation along the coasts of England and Schleswig-Holstein published by the Adapt Lock-in team

Two members of the Ecological Economics working group have published an article in the Journal of European Public Policy with other members of the ‘Adapt Lock-in’ research team: “Re-examining policy stability in climate adaptation through a lock-in perspective.“ The article is open access and available for download here.

In the paper, the researchers explore stability observed as resistance to policy change and the persistence of business-as-usual through a ‘lock-in perspective’, referring to how reinforcing mechanisms drive stabilization (and resistance) in policy systems. The authors offer a fresh synthesis of known lock-in mechanisms and explore the role of those mechanisms in two empirical cases of coastal adaptation: England (U.K.) and Schleswig-Holstein (Germany). The authors identify several known lock-mechanisms as well as some newly identified in this adaptation context. The paper offers critical reflection on the added value of the lock-in perspective for understanding policy stability. In turn, their identification of self- and mutually reinforcing mechanisms provides potential starting points for targeted policy interventions and efforts to ‘unlock’ climate adaptation pathways.

The paper is the first publication based on findings from the Adapt Lock-in research project, which is funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), UK’s Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), and the Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NOW). Coastal adaptation is one of six areas of focus within the wider project on climate change adaptation policy. For more information on Adapt Lock-in, visit the project website

Study: How do consumers perceive open-source seed licenses?

Open-source seed licenses represent a counter-movement to the privatization trend in the seed sector. They aim both at preserving biological diversity and at ensuring long-term access to seed resources for farmers. The demand for open source vegetable consumers could play a central role in the introduction and establishment of such licenses. The proportion of critical consumers who pay attention to the appropriate product seal and take ethical and ecological factors into account when making their purchasing decisions has increased in recent years. But how do consumers perceive the hitherto little-known open-source seeds?

Lea Kliem and Hendrik Wolter published the results of a study on this topic in the International Journal of Consumer Studies in January 2022. Using the exploratory method of "thinking aloud", they researched the attitude and perception of 228 customers in Berlin organic stores and supermarkets. The study shows that consumers are generally positive about open-source seed licenses - regardless of whether they fully understand the concept or not. In the perception of consumers, open-source licensing should prevent increasing market concentration and privatization of plant genetic resources, contribute to the conservation of agrobiodiversity and support (small) farmers. The extent to which positive attitudes towards open-source vegetables coincide with personal preferences for taste, health, safety and quality remains to be explored. The target group for open-source food could be educated, young to middle-aged, ecologically oriented consumers.

First analysis of the German state strategies for climate adaptation published

“Sixteen ways to adapt: a comparison of state-level climate change adaptation strategies in the federal states of Germany”, a research article by Julie King from the Adapt Lock-in project team, was published in March in the journal Regional Environmental Change. The analysis evaluates and compares state strategies to adapt to the impacts of climate change based on an original analytical framework consisting of five core criteria. Findings identify three clusters displaying different degrees of institutionalization and guidance for fostering adaptation: coordinated, directive strategies; loosely coordinated, informative strategies; and uncoordinated, informative strategies. The article is open access and be downloaded directly here from the Springer website.

New interview with Prof. Dr. Bernd Siebenhüner

Professor Dr. Bernd Siebenhüner was portrayed for the current issue of the EINBLICKE research magazine.

Under the headline "Ecological Economics: Planning sustainability", the trained political scientist and economist talks about his professional career, the work at the chair of ecological econonics at the Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg, as well as the cooperation with various stakeholders at and outside of the university.

Using the example of the research projects "Energetic Neighbourhood Fliegerhorst Oldenburg" (ENaQ) and "Ecosystem-Based Solutions for Resilient Urban Agriculture in Africa" (ECOSOLA),  he outlines the tasks associated with local and international sustainability projects.

Click here for the complete 66th issue of the EINBLICKE research magazine.

Presentation held at the online conference "Social innovation: next steps in the energy transition"

Besides technological change, the energy transition causes and requires major social, behavioral, organizational and institutional change. The conference “Social innovation: next steps in the energy transition”, which took place online from November 18 to 19, 2021, dealt with the question of how social innovation and technology can influence the energy transition. The TU Delft organized the conference, which yielded great response with over 100 speakers and over 550 registrations. During the two days conference, the participants exchanged ideas, for example, on the topics of social movements in the energy transition, government action and social innovation, energy justice and energy democracy. The ENaQ project members Antonieta Alcorta de Bronstein (University of Vechta), Ernst Schäfer (ARSU) and Maren Wesselow (University of Oldenburg) contributed a presentation on the topic: "Social innovations for energy transition through participation: Experiences from ENaQ". In their presentation, they highlighted the role of the participatory process in the ENaQ project for the development of social innovations.
More information on the conference on

Final workshop of the LIPSINDAR project

On December 8th, 2021 the final workshop of the LIPSINDAR the project took place. LIPSINDAR is a networking project connecting the three research projects ECOSOLA (University of Oldenburg), AfriCITY (University of Erlangen) and GOPLAREA (TU Dortmund). LIPSINDAR is an acronym for “Linking Partners for a Sustainable and Inclusive Dar es Salaam”. The project funded by the BMBF networking fund "Partnerships for Sustainable Solutions with Sub-Saharan Africa" ​​aimed to develop proposals for resilient and sustainable urban development in Dar es Salaam (Tanzania).

The consortium focused on the rapid bus system in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Due to the travel restrictions in the wake of the corona pandemic, the conference could not take place in Dar es Salaam as originally planned, but was held as an online event. In addition to interesting contributions about experiences with local transport solutions in other African cities such as Addis Ababa, Nairobi and Accra, the project partners from Germany and Tanzania discussed the results of the project and possible further cooperation opportunities. They also took a critical look at the objectives, (funding) conditions and methods of the project. The results of a pilot study carried out by FAU Erlangen as part of the project were published in the journal Sustainability.

Successful final conference of the SALTSA project

On September 17th, 2021 the final conference of the project "SALTSA: Groundwater salinization by rising sea levels as a social challenge - the example of Northwest Germany" took place. SALTSA is an inter- and transdisciplinary project in which a synthesis of social perceptions and challenges with hydrogeological modeling was carried out. In addition, 15 experts from 14 institutions and authorities involved in water management were involved in the project.

The focus of the event was the presentation of the project results. For example, it was shown that the perception and awareness of the problem of groundwater salinization and the processes that caused it has increased among most of the participating actors during the course of the project. The results of the hydrogeological modeling suggest that the rise in sea level and the change in drainage levels in particular will have a strong impact on the future situation of salinization. Future issues mainly relate to modern, dynamic and holistic water management.

The conference was rounded off by two further program items. Gualbert Oude Essink, Dutch expert on groundwater systems (Deltares), gave a keynote on the topic “Supporting decisions on strategic water management issues of stakeholders using modeling tools: on some dutch cases”. In addition to vivid examples from the work of Deltares, a national Dutch institute with the aim of effective and timely climate change adaptation and direct integration into the national political system, he presented models and possible adaptation strategies for the Dutch region of Zeeland with regard to groundwater salinization. The conference ended with a lively panel discussion. Uwe Sütering (OOWV), Jörg Elbracht (LBEG) and Godehard Hennies (Wasserverbandstag) gave keynote speeches on the subject of “Groundwater salinization at the North Sea coast - what is the current status? What are the needs regarding knowledge and action?".

The SALTSA final conference took place in a corona-compliant hybrid format. The actors who worked closely with the project team over the course of the project were invited to be present. At the same time, the conference was broadcast digitally and 38 interested listeners from science and practice took part online.

Publication of Adaptiveness: Changing Earth System Governance as part of the Earth System Governance Project Series

Adaptiveness is edited by Riyanti Djalante and Prof. Dr. Bernd Siebenhüner. Dr. Nicolas Jager and Julie King are contributing authors.

Rapid and transformational actions are more urgently needed than ever to achieve a just, resilient, and ecologically sustainable global society, as envisioned and supported by the Sustainable Development Goals. Dynamic governance approaches are vital for addressing changing and uncertain conditions. At many levels, governance needs to be responsive and flexible - in one word - adaptive.
This book provides a state-of-the-art review of the conceptual development of adaptiveness as a key concept in the environmental governance literature, complemented by applications from global, regional, and national levels. It reviews the politics of adaptiveness, investigates which governance processes foster adaptiveness, and discusses how, when and why adaptiveness influences the governance of diverse systems. It is a timely synthesis for students, researchers and practitioners interested in environmental governance, sustainability and social change processes.
This is one of a series of publications associated with the Earth System Governance Project. For more publications, see

For more information, view the book at Cambridge University Press.

Below you find a 20% discount code.

New year of SEM students 2020

The chair Ecological Economics warmly welcomes the new students of the master program Sustainability Economics and Management (SEM) at the University of Oldenburg. We wish you a pleasant orientation week and a successful start for the lecture period - despite the current constraint due to the corona pandemic.

On a note: The mail addresses provided by the university can be used since the date of enrolment. Since then, relevant information about the study entrance as well as the orientation week can be received via that mail address.

More information about the SEM program.

'Serious Gaming' - WCM- and SEM- Excursion

Monday November 25, students of the module Planning and Management of Coastal Zones and Sea Basins' of the SEM and WCM programs went on an excursion to Leeuwarden. During that trip, organised by Malena Ripken and Dr. Leena Karrasch, they participated at the Serious Game 'MSP Challenge' together with Dutch students.  They exchanged ideas, put to the test new approaches and received an overview of the complexity of various activities in the coastal and maritime zone. The international exchange with other students of a similar study filed was of high importance.

1 Evening - 7 Pubs - 14x Science

Under the slogan "1 Evening - 7 Pubs - 14x Science", scientists of various research institutes and disciplines moved in the city of Oldenburg on October 24 2019. In seven bars and pubs, two short expert contributions were presented in each location. Under the heading "Turn of the tide and what climate adaptation has to do with spilt beer", Dr Leena Karrasch explained, how a colourful bouquet of protection, prevention and reconstruction measures contribute to climate adaption.

More information

ECOSOLA Final Workshop in Dar es Salaam

The final workshop of the joint project ECOSOLA took place on 25th September 2019 in Dar es Salaam / Tanzania. On this occasion, the results of the three-year project have been presented to representatives of local politics, rural associations and partner institutes in Dar es Salaam. The presentation of the findings has shown the amply scope of the project including urban agriculture, issues of land tenure, change of land use, market access and food security, empowerment, organic food systems and urban health as well as ecosystem service-based urban planning.

The highlight of the workshop was a practical planning exercise, which referred to the input on ecosystem service-based urban planning. Practitioners have formed groups and worked on a sample region by identifying ecosystem services on an areal picture before allocating land use types in the region and discussing about problems and opportunities of urban planning under the consideration of ecosystem services.

On September 26th an exhibition has been inaugurated at the Kibaha municipality (near Dar es Salaam). To make the project outcomes accessible and tangible, informative posters in the Kiswahili language as well as a 3D model of an exemplary land utilization plan for the Vikawe region has been presented. Both, the posters and the 3D model, will stay at the Kibaha town planning office.

Project launch of "WAKOS - Water at the coast of East Frisia: basis for tailor-made climate services for adaptation"

After the launch of the project Gute Küste Niedersachsen on January 01 2020, the joint project WAKOS started on June 01 2020. Thereby, we are happy to welcome two new research fellows and PhD students in our team - Evke Schulte Güstenberg, working in the project Gute Küste, and Annalena Schoppe, who is engaged in the project WAKOS.

The focus in the WAKOS project is on the preparation of regional climate data or rather climate scenarios, which ought to be used as a basis for the discussion about the socially accepted need for action in coastal protection. The new joint project will be executed in collaboration of the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht (HZG), the NLWKN – research unit Coast, the University of Hamburg, the Jade University of Applied Sciences Wilhelmshaven / Oldenburg / Elsfleth and the Carl von Ossietzky-University Oldenburg. The project is funded with 2.29 million euro by the Federal Ministery of Education and Research. The subproject, managed by Dr. Leena Karrasch and Prof. Dr. Bernd Siebenhüner, concentrates on the identification of concepts for elicitation of regional capacity and necessity for adaptation, which is applicable in the model region and is socially accepted, to finally strengthen the resilience of the model region.

See the article about the project on the website of the Federal Ministry (German)

See the WAKOS project page

See the Gute Küste project page

IPCC picks up article by Dr. Leena Kararsch

In the IPCC Special Report on the ocean and cryosphere in a changing climate, which deals in particular with the impacts of climate change on low-lying islands, marine ecosystems, coasts and communities as well as risk management and adaptation, research of the University of Oldenburg gets a hearing. In the chapter 'Integrative Cross-Chapter Box on Low-lying Islands and Coasts', an article by Dr. Leena Karrasch, Martin Maier, Michael Kleyer and Thomas Klenke is cited.

A significant role to include society in the development of future adaptation measures in low-lying coastal areas play participatory processes, collective landscaping and a co-design of ecosystem-based management, as examples at the North Sea coast show (Karrasch et al. 2017, S. 666).

New research project: Gute Küste Niedersachsen

Great success for the consortium of the Universities of Hannover, Oldenburg and Braunschweig

Ecosystem-strengthening coastal protection at the coast of Lower Saxony: that is topic of a new research alliance of the Leibniz University Hannover, the Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg and the Technische University Braunschweig. The network is financed with 2.5 million € by the Niedersächisches Vorab of the Volkswagen Foundation.  In field tests, the research institutes develop and test methodologically action and management possibilities for an ecosystem strengthening coastal protection together with local actors. One part of the project is managed by Dr. Leena Karrasch and Prof. Dr. Bernd Siebenhüner.

See the notification of the Ministry for Research and Culture of Lower Saxony (German)

See the official press release (English)

Notification on presentations by Prof. Dr. Bern Siebenhüner about the subject of 'Research and Climate crisis'

In December, Prof. Dr. Bernd Siebenhüner will speak at two events about the climate crisis.

At December 12 2019, an event about internationalisation and sustainability takes place in the foyer of A14. Mr Siebenhüner will discuss the following questions with Prof. Dr. Hans Gerd Nothwang (Fc VI), Prof. Dr. Joachim Peinke (Fc V) and Prof. Dr. Gabriele Gerlach (Fc V):

  • What consequences has internationalisation for the environment?
  • What can the university and each individual do to reduce CO2 emissions, e.g. at business trips?
  • What support do we expect from politics?

On December 09 2012, an evening event takes place at the BIS-room about Fake Science? - Why we can trust the IPCC and how climate research about the interdependence of atmosphere and ocean works. With his input, Bernd Siebenhüner explains the emergence of the reports published by the IPCC and its political relevance. Oliver Wurl will be connected live from the research vessel "Falkor" from the Pacific, on which he examines the correlation of oceans and the atmosphere at the example of the Pacific Ocean. In this connection, he explains the practical procedures of his work. The event starts at 7:30 pm.

Both events are organised in the context of Scientists for Future.

BREsilient Workshop series

On November 07 2019, the first of three workshops of the series about flood provision in the Pauliner marshlands of the project BREsilient took place.

As areas for local recreation, for athletic activities and as a home for associations, the Pauliner marshlands and the allotment garden area "Im Suhrfelde" are of high importance for the people on-site and beyond that. The attractive location close to the Weser arranges a special appeal but also hides risks. Heavy rainfalls and storm surges at the North Sea or snow melting upstream can cause extensive floodings in this area. This is the reason why the whole area is identified as a flood area. In a three-part workshop series, citizens, associations and actor of local politics and administration are supposed to develop adaptation measures for the preventions of flooding for the Pauliner marshlands and "Im Suhrfelde". The first Workshop "Flood prevention: analyses and discussion on adaptation measures" took place on November 07 from 5-8 pm at the Bürgerhaus Weserterassen.


Flyer about the workshop series (German)

See the project page BREsilient

Hendrik Wolter rewarded with the Award for Excellence in Teaching

Together with Prof. Dr. Stefanie Sievers-Glotzbach and Prof. Dr. Dirk Albach, Hendrik Wolter won the Award for Excellence in Teaching in the category 'Research-Based Learning' on November 28 2019. In the interdisciplinary seminar 'Practical Project - which variety / varieties of the future do we need?', the students worked on crop plants with regards to ecological farming and developed their own research project. As test performance, not only the results of the studies did count but the whole scientific process. The jury especially acknowledges the constructive and appreciative feedback and error culture between teachers and students, as well as under the students.

See press release (German)

See scientific poster about the rewarded seminar (German)

Fridays for Future, consumption and the impact of social media - Prof. Dr Bernd Siebenhüner together with Prof. Dr MArtin Heidenreich in the NWZ

Together with Prof. Dr Heidenreich, Prof. Dr Bernd Siebenhüner discussed the Fridays for Future-activists, who are very active in Oldenburg as well, and the increasing dynamic of the movement. Further subjects were consumption and the sensibility around the topic of waiver, as much as the role of social media in this subject.

See the interview in full length (German)

(Changed: 20 Jul 2022)