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Chair Group of Environmental Governance - Team


Heiner SchanzProf. Dr. Heiner Schanz

Full Professor and Deputy Director of the MSc-Program Environmental Governance

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Studied forestry sciences and Doctorate 1996 at the University of Freiburg with a thesis on sustainability from a socio-scientific perspective, subsequently Scientific Assistant at the Institute of Forest Economics, 1999 appointed as full professor and director to the Chair of Forestry and Nature Conservation at Wageningen University/NL, 2004 transfer to the Professorship for Markets Forestry and Timber Industry at the University of Freiburg, 2005 initiator and founding director of the international MSc Environmental Governance degree program. Between 2009 and 2014 full-time Executive Vice-Rector and Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs (equivalent to Provost) at the University of Freiburg. Initiator of the University College Freiburg and the Liberal Arts and Sciences degree program. Since 2014 Head of the Chair of Environmental Governance, since October 2019 also Dean of the Faculty of Environment and Natural Resources.

In his current research, he focuses on the conditions and drivers of structural innovation processes for sustainable development.

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Platzhalter.jpgMarkus Winkler

Team-Coordinator, Administrator

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Seirra Römmermann


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Scientific Staff

 Chantal Ruppert-Winkel.jpgDr. Chantal Ruppert-Winkel

Senior Researcher

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Chantal holds an MSc in forest science from the University of Freiburg. She worked at the Centre for Renewable Energy at the University of Freiburg, leading different projects. She was a Visiting Scholar at the University of California, Berkeley.

Her research focus is on sustainable resource use at regional levels with an emphasis on renewable energies and sustainable behavior of enterprises; inter- and transdisciplinary studies; analyses of actor networks, institutions, organizational structures, leadership and governance approaches.

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Martin Ritter

PhD student, SoNaTe-Staff

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Martin studied economics, social science and Sustainability Economics and Management at the Universities of Erfurt, Istanbul (Boğaziçi University) and Oldenburg. Next to research on entrepreneurship, business models and start-up activities, he is founder himself.

Building on sociological theories of markets, he investigates how sensemaking and narratives shape the emergence and evolution of business models and market transformations. Thereby focus is set on ecological sustainability and sharing economies.

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Marzena Wilcynski.jpgMarzena Wilczynski

PhD student, BioMANik-Staff

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Marzena holds a M.A. degree in “Sustainability Economics and Management” from the University of Oldenburg. Since Oct. 2016 she has been with the Chair of Environmental Governance at the University of Freiburg.

Her research focuses on leverage points in the transformation of markets towards more sustainable forms and the implementation of sustainability strategies. In her PhD-Project, she investigates the dynamics of emerging bio-based markets by using the example of the Biomass-to-Liquid Innovation in Germany.

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David Sipple.jpg David Sipple

PhD student, KERNiG-Staff

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David studied Geographie (M. Sc.) in Marburg, Freiburg and Oslo. Since 2016, he works in the position of a scientific associate at the chair of environmental governance at the University of Freiburg.

His general research interests focus on regional development and related to that on relational economic geography. Particularly, he is interested in the field of food system studies and geographies of food, especially the relevance of market practices and dynamics for the evolution of food market networks.

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Julia Federer

PhD student, BioMANik-Staff

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Julia studied business management at the Berlin School of Economics and Law and holds a Master of Arts (M.A.) in “Sustainability Economics and Management” from the University of Oldenburg.

In her PhD project, she builds on several approaches in the sociology of markets and on social science methodologies in order to understand how actor’s perceptions of markets shape the development of existing markets in the bio-economy.

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Emma Gothar.jpgEmma Gothár

PhD student

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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. Emma is a research associate at the University of Freiburg.

In her Phd research she is particularly interested in the evolution of markets for recycled materials and investigates the development of utilization pathways of marine plastic litter.

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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.

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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.

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leonard-frank.jpgLeonard Frank

PhD student

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Leonard studied political science (B.A., M.A.) at the University of Freiburg, Sciences Po Lille and Freie Universität Berlin and holds an M.Sc. in Nature, Society and Environmental Governance from the University of Oxford.

His research interest lies with the conditions and strategies of policy interventions for sustainability transitions. Leonard's work concentrates on the stabilisation and destabilisation of unsustainable socio-technical regimes in agricultural production, analysing the European Union's Common Agricultural Policy.


 Student Assistants


Marina Bauer

Website, research support

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Marina holds a bachelor's degree in communication and political science from the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich. She is studying for a Master of Environmental Governance at the Albert-Ludwigs-University in Freiburg.

She has gained professional experience in the fields of environmental communication and political consulting. Marina is particularly interested in the sustainable management and protection of water resources.



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