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Contrary to popular belief, scientists do not sit at their desk all day long. In fact, many do field work in local communities and are in direct contact with their research areas. From Spain to South Africa, Laos to Colombia, THESys researchers have the chance to travel around the world to pursue their research. Luckily some of them find the time to send a postcard home – with personal notes from their trip. It’s a permanently growing collection, so make sure to send your own when you’re away.

Postal address

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Unter den Linden 6
10099 Berlin-Germany

Rotterdam, Netherlands, March 2024

Klara Muranyi and Sophia Kipp from the EdiCitNet Project spent a few days with cooperation partners in Rotterdam.

Austin, Texas, August 2022

IRI THESys Alumna Zeina El Zein is currently at the University of Texas to do a Fulbright Junior Faculty Development program.

Pyrénées-Orientales, France, June 2022

Stephanie Ligan, who is a project staff member of the IRI THESys project EdiCitNet, was in France during the summer.

Istanbul, January 2022

Elena Heim is a student assistant at EdiCitNet. In 2022, she spent an ERASMUS semester in Istanbul, Turkey.

Yucatan, Mexico, May 2021

Doctoral Researcher Itzell Torres spent some time in Yucatan, Mexico during the tropical summer months. Luckily, she was able to conduct fieldwork despite the pandemic. Her doctoral project focuses on the socio-ecological impacts of building a solar park in Yucatan. The research is based on ethnographic fieldwork and uses theoretical approaches in the fields of anthropology and human geography to explore the intersection of large-scale renewable projects with indigenous epistemologies and energy colonialism.

Arizona, San Fransisco and NYC, April to June 2018

Beril Ocaklı is a doctoral researcher at IRI THESys. Her research interests include conflict and cooperation in coupled social-ecological systems, development economics and practice and participatory multi-methods & transdisciplinary research. From April to June 2018, she has conducted field work in the USA, where she stayed in Arizona, San Fransisco and New York City.

Sumatra, Indonesia, October to December 2017

Jennifer Merten, PhD student at the Georg-August University Göttingen and affiliated with IRI THESys, spent some weeks in Indonesia for her last field research. Jennifer works on the dialectic relations between watershed degradation, land use and resource governance. Her research is part of the DFG-funded Collaborative Research Center ‘Ecological and Socioeconomic Functions of Tropical Lowland Rainforest Transformation Systems (Sumatra, Indonesia)’.

Burkina Faso, September 2017

Janine Hauer is a doctoral researcher at IRI THESys. Her main research interests are in human-environment relations, rural-urban linkages, urban anthropology – more specifically how urban transformations occur and urban futures are shaped. In 2017 she conducted fielwork in Burkina Faso for her PhD entitled Transforming Rice Ecologies. A Case Study from Burkina Faso.

Bosnia and Herzegovina, August 2017

Özge Can Doğmuş was a doctoral researcher at IRI THESys. Her main interest is commodification of the natural commons -i.e. water, land- and dispossession of locals under the guise of the green economy. In 2017 she conducted field work in Bosnia and Herzegovina for her PhD entitled The green face of capitalism: Hydropower plant investments and neoliberal enclosures.

Ghana, May 2017

Frederick Dapilah is a doctoral researcher at IRI THESys. His research interests include the human dimensions of resilience in CCA and DRR, urban development and environmental problems in the Global-South, and urban Transport and Health. In May 2017 he conducted field work in Ghana for his PhD: Measuring community resilience under natural disaster risk in Ghana, West Africa.

Bosnia-Herzegovina, July to November 2016

Özge Can Doğmuş is a doctoral researcher at IRI THESys. In July 2016, she started her field work in Martin Brod in the northwest of Bosnia-Herzegovina investigating “The green face of capitalism: Hydropower plant investments and neoliberal enclosures”.

USA, June to July 2016

Bernhard Schauberger is a PhD candidate at PIK Potsdam and HU and was a member of the THESys Graduate Program since October 2014. From June 10 to July 18 2016, he spent the summer time in Maricopa/Arizona at the US Arid Land Agricultural Research Center (LARC) for his doctoral project “Impacts of climate variability and extremes on agricultural productivity: Improved crop modelling as a precondition for food security assessments”.

Australia, March 2016

Christin Meyer is a doctoral researcher at the Institute for Climate Impact Research and a member of the IRI THESys Graduate Program. She spent five month in Melbourne/ Australia to work on her research project “Climate Change and Sustainable Risk Management for Agriculture – Building business resilience through adaptation. The Case Study of the ‘Mount Hesse’ farm in Australia”.

Ghana, August 2015

Rossella Alba and Lara Bartels were members of the THESys Graduate Program. They spent the summer month in Accra, the capital of Ghana, to do fieldwork on their projects Multiple water supply services in Accra: critical perspective on governance and infrastructures and The Uneven Water Natures in Accra, Ghana.

Laos, June 2015

Cecilie Friis was a doctoral researcher at IRI THESys. In June 2015, she traveled to northern Laos for her project “Securing access to resources in a telecoupled world. Navigating for local livelihoods between global commercial and conservation agendas in the frontier regions of Southeast Asia”.

Colombia, February 2015

Letícia Santos de Lima is a doctoral researcher at IRI THESys. In February 2015, she traveled to Bogotá (Colombia) to get to know local stakeholders for her project ‘Evaluating the effectiveness and uncertainties of the Payments for Watershed Services mechanisms in Colombia’.

Ghana, January 2015

WaterPower is an international and interdisciplinary junior research group led by Prof. Antje Bruns and includes six PhD candidates from different backgrounds. The project explores the dynamics of urban land use (change), global environmental change and resource governance in the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area in Ghana. In January 2015, the entire WaterPower team flew to Accra for two weeks, getting to know the city and networking with partners and stakeholders.

Catalonia, September 2014

Iago Otero Armengol is a postdoctoral researcher at IRI THESys. He traveled for research on political ecology of wildfires, relationships between forest management and rainfall interception processes for his project ‘Conflicting fire regimes and social-ecological projects. The political ecology of wildfires in Catalonia’.

South Africa, August to September 2014

Karen Lebek is a doctoral researcher at IRI THESys. Between August and December 2014, she traveled to Kwazulu-Natal (South Africa) to conduct research on water management including getting to know local stakeholders for her project ‘Southern Africa’s Hydro-Economy and Water Security (SAHEWS)’.