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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - IRI THESys

Integrative Geography

The research group „Integrative Geography“, led by Prof. Jonas Østergaard Nielsen, investigates intertwinement of environmental, societal and cultural dynamics in both rural and urban areas.

Fig.:Jonas Nielsen

The intertwinement of environmental, societal and cultural dynamics as well as the global and local constitute the main theoretical focus of the Research Group (RG). Empirically the RG focuses on land-use changes and adaptation to climate change. A central hypothesis of the RG is that such phenomena cannot be understood as either social or environmental, or global or local, but rather as sites where the boundaries between such categories dissolve.

Researching this blurring of boundaries requires knowledge of historical and environmental developments, as well as how policy makers, environmental experts, development projects, civil society, and local residents understand, inhabits and transform these sites and how these processes are entangled in local and global social, political, economic, spatial and environmental transformations.

Fieldwork is an integral part of the RG. While mainly qualitative an important aspect of the JRG is mixed-methods and interviews and participant observations is supplemented by archival work, GPS measurements, and/or other spatial, demographic, policy and/or environmental data necessary for the research. The compatibility of methodologies combined with the geographical scope of the RG allows comparative work and generic insights.

Current projects

Former projects


Jonas Nielsen
Photo:Jonas Nielsen

Research Group Leader


Prof. Dr. Jonas Østergaard Nielsen, Research Group Leader
Phone: +49 (030) 2093-66341
E-Mail: jonas.ostergaard.nielsen@hu-berlin.de