About us

The project is funded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, via a Sofja Kovalevskaja Award to Joern Fischer, and is hosted by Leuphana University Lueneburg. The Mihai Eminescu Trust is the major Romanian project partner.

Research team  Sustainable landscapes in Central Romania:

Joern FischerJoern Fischer is a professor at Leuphana University Lueneburg’s Faculty of Sustainability. His primary interests are biodiversity conservation and interdisciplinary sustainability science. He is responsible for the design and scientific management of this research project, as well as for the supervision of other members of the research team.

Jan HanspachJan Hanspach is a postdoc in Joern Fischer’s group. He has an ecological background and is interested in biodiversity conservation in farming landscapes. Jan is responsible for study design, statistics and mapping. Although he is primarily involved in the ecological aspects of the project he very much enjoys being part of an interdisciplinary team.

Tibor HartelTibor Hartel is associate professor at Sapientia Hungarian University of Transylvania, Romania. He is working in the traditional rural landscapes of Southern Transylvania and is interested in amphibian ecology and conservation, wood-pastures and social ecological systems. As an Alexander von Humboldt postdoctoral fellow, he spent two years in the Sustainable Landscapes team, studying wood-pastures in Transylvania.

Andra Ioana MilcuAndra Milcu is a PhD student responsible for the social part of this research project, mainly dealing with the people living in Southern Transylvania and their relation to the local landscapes. She explored the diverse range of landscape preferences held by village residents and tried to understand how people see and value the Transylvanian landscapes. She also studied the distribution of nature’s benefits among locals and which factors mediate this distribution, why and how they function.

Frieda MikulcakFriederike Mikulcak is a PhD student within the project, focusing on natural resource governance, the impact of EU agricultural policy on smallholder farming and biodiversity conservation in Central Romania, and barriers to rural development. Frieda is interested in actor, policy and network analysis, and has conducted a great number of qualitative interviews with various stakeholders across Transylvania. Her research is motivated by resilience thinking and political ecology.

Ine DorresteijnIne Dorresteijn is a PhD student in Joern Fischer’s group. She is interested in animal diversity and interactions, especially in the context of human-wildlife interactions. For the Sustainable Landscapes project, Ine was responsible for studies on bird and mammal distribution and diversity, human-predator interactions, and the effects of top predators in the ecosystem.

Jacqueline LossJacqueline Loos is an environmental scientist. She is interested in landscape ecology, and especially in interactions between biodiversity and land use change. In this project, Jacqueline writes her PhD thesis about the future of plants and butterflies in Transylvania, and engages in establishing butterfly monitoring in Romania.