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Chair Group of Environmental Governance - Team


Heiner SchanzProf. Dr. Heiner Schanz

Full Professor of Environmental Governance

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Heiner has been researching from an interdisciplinary perspective on questions of governance of natural resources and the sustainability management of public and private organizations. His current research interest focuses on conditions and drivers of structural innovation processes for the sustainable development of complex economic systems such as municipalities, regions, economic sectors and value chains.

In addition, he has long been committed in university governance, i.a. as former Vice Rector/Provost, Dean and founder of the MSc-program Environmental Governance and the University College Freiburg.



Clarissa StranskyClarissa Stransky

Team-Coordinator, Administrator

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Seirra Römmermann


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Scientific Staff


Dr. Niko Schäpke

Assistant Professor

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Niko is an assistant professor at the Chair of Environmental Governance at the University of Freiburg. He is an interdisciplinary social scientist with a background spanning sustainability studies, ecological economics, and political sciences. His work is situated in the field of solutions-oriented sustainability science, focusing governance of sustainability transformations, transdisciplinarity and human agency.





Emma Gothar.jpgEmma Gothár

PhD student

Emma holds a M.A. degree in International Relations of the Andrássy University Budapest and a M.Sc. in Environmental Sciences and Policy of the Central European University. She earned inter alia scholarships of the Baden-Württemberg Foundation and the Free State of Bavaria, her promotion is supported by the Ernst Ludwig Ehrlich Scholarship Fund.

In her Ph.D. research she is particularly interested in the evolution of markets for recycled plastics with a specific focus on plastic litter recovered from the environment. Thereby she investigates the dynamics of the circular plastics economy transition, and specifically the development of utilization pathways of plastic litter from a market-actor-network perspective.



chiara.jpgChiara Iurato

PhD student, KASCoP-Staff

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Chiara holds a BA in Political Sciences from the University of Roma Tre in Rome and a MSc in Environmental Governance from the University of Freiburg.

Chiara focuses on structural changes in markets investigating the dynamic interactions between elements that “perform” a market - actors as well as material elements. A focus is set on development of market practices analyzing market dynamics from a historical and sociological point of view. She investigates the potential of different governance approaches to bring changes in market practices for a more efficient use of natural resources.



elena.jpgElena Mager

PhD student

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Elena holds a M.Sc. degree in Environmental Sciences as well as a B.A. degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences. She furthermore spent two semesters studying at Sciences-Po Grenoble in France.

Elena focuses on the sociology of markets and their effect on human-environment interactions. She analyses markets as social networks considering the linkages between market actors with a focus on spatial developments. In her current project, she explores the possibilities of steering cascade use of natural resources at the level of corporate activity.



leonard-frank.jpgLeonard Frank

Research associate and PhD student

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Leonard studied political science (BA, MA) at the University of Freiburg, Sciences Po Lille and Freie Universität Berlin and holds an MSc in Nature, Society and Environmental Governance from the University of Oxford. Since January 2020, Leonard is a research associate at the University of Freiburg. Before joining the Chair for Environmental Governance, he conducted research at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies in Potsdam and at the Environmental Policy Research Centre, Freie Universität Berlin.

Leonard's research interest lies with the conditions and strategies of policy interventions for sustainability transitions in different sectors, especially agriculture.



 Student Assistants