Prof. Dr. Christoph Dittrich
Human Geographer; Head of the Department of Human Geography (since 2011), Director of the Institute of Geography (2013-2021), Dean of the Faculty of Geoscience and Geography (since April 2021).
The focus of my research and teaching activities is on human geography with special regard to Development Geography and New urban studies. I work theory-based and practice-oriented on agri-food systems, rural-urban interface and sustainable resource use in mega cities of the Global South. I also deal with conflictual human-environment relations and address issues of vulnerability, adaptability, and resilience in globalizing contexts. My regional focus is on South and Southeast Asia, especially India, Pakistan, and Indonesia. In teaching, I place particular emphasis on problem-oriented and application-related regional skills, taking into account the gender perspective and using contemporary didactic approaches. Involving students in research and teaching is a matter of course for me.
My doctoral project (completed in 1995) took me to the high mountain region of Northern Pakistan (DFG-funded), where I dealt with questions of smallholder food security. The habilitation project (completed in 2002) dealt with globalisation effects on vulnerable groups in the Indian software metropolis Bengaluru (DFG-funded). From 2006 to 2013, I was involved in a federally funded collaborative research project on food, health and sustainability issues in the Indian metropolis of Hyderabad (BMBF-funded). From 2011 to 2015, I conducted research on land use conflicts in Sumatra/Indonesia as part of the Collaborative Research Centre 990 (together with H. Faust). From 2016 to 2023, I have been principal investigator (PI) in the DFG research group FOR2432 "Social-Ecological Systems at the Indian Rural-Urban Interface: Functions, Scales, and Dynamics of Transition”. My team is interested in changes of food behaviour and sustainability issues among middle classes in rural-urban Bengaluru under conditions of globalisation and the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently I am working as a core group member on the full proposal for DFG TRR/CRC 373 on "Sustainable Rurbanity". The PI-project will be on “The social production of rurban space in Bengaluru” (together with U. Altrock).
I am also involved in research projects related to demographic change, public services, health and housing in Lower Saxony.
As scientific advisor of the journal "Geographische Rundschau", I commit myself to a high-quality and contemporary presentation of Human Geography and attach great importance to the transfer of knowledge and competence.
Member of the scientific advisory board of the experimental laboratory for young people X-Lab, University of Göttingen.
Reviewer for DFG, DAAD, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Minerva Foundation and various journals.