Jörg Niewöhner was director and deputy director of IRI THESys for many years until April 2023. He holds a PhD in environmental sciences from the University of East Anglia from 2001. In 2004, he joined the Institute of European Ethnology at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin to develop the Collaboratory: Social Anthropology and Life Sciences. He now holds a chair in Social Anthropology of Human-Environment Relations. He conducts ethnographic research at the intersection of science and technology studies, social anthropology and environmental sciences focusing particularly on the qualities of urbanisation, social-ecological change and metabolic and market dynamics. He also serves on the board of the Georg Simmel Center for Metropolitan Studies.

Research Interests

  • Urbanisation & socio-technical change
  • Anthropology of science, technology and expertise
  • Ethnography of infrastructure
  • Ethnographic methods


Water security for whom? – Social and material perspectives on inequality around multipurpose reservoirs in Colombia (Water4Whom)