Courses & Theses offers

Due to the current situation around Covid-19, teaching will take place digitally until further notice. Until then, we will try to provide you with various teaching content in different online formats. According to the current situation, the courses listed below should all take place, only the planned excursions are suspended until further notice or will probably be cancelled this semester. Please register for the courses within the corresponding online tools (StudIP or Moodle). There you will receive the necessary information on E-Learning. Below you can find our current courses in Göttingen and Witzenhausen:

Courses in summer semester

Courses in winter semester

Theses Topics

Beside the topics presented here you are also welcome to propose your own ideas. Topics in German language can be found here

  • How food-culture differences manifest in geographic labelling. Comparing Mediterranean and non-Mediterranean regions.
    Requirements: Ability to work with ArcGIS/QGIS indenpendently and handle dataset using Excel and geo-databases. Willingness to write in English language.
    keywords: mapping, GIS, geographical indications, food labelling, food culture.
    Methods or Tools: mapping and digitalizing of data, GIS software, spatial analysis.
    Literature: Mann C. & Plieninger T. (2017). The potential of landscape labelling approaches for integrated landscape management in Europe.
    Contact: MSc Lukas Flinzberger (
  • Using social-ecological inventories as tool to improve protected areas management.
    Requirements: Knowledge of German, basics in nature conservation, landscape ecology and GIS.
    keywords: actors mapping, social networks, participatory processes and protected areas.
    Methods or Tools: Social-ecological inventories tool (SEI)
    Literature: Schultz, L., Plummer, R., & Purdy, S. (2011). Applying a social-ecological inventory: a workbook for finding key actors and engaging them.
    Contact: Dr. Miguel Ángel Cebrián Piqueras (
  • Exploring the effects of land use change on ecosystem services in a globalized world through the eyes of telecoupling.
    Requirements: Basic knowledge and interest on GIS, globalization processes and food chains.
    keywords: Ecosystem services, land footprint, global land system, spatial flows.
    Methods or Tools: Telecoupling tool box for GIS (
    Literature: Friis, C., & Nielsen, J. Ø. (Eds.). (2019). Telecoupling: Exploring Land-use Change in a Globalised World. Springer.
    Contact: Dr. Miguel Ángel Cebrián Piqueras (
  • Streamlining collectively the future that we want for our surrounding landscapes.
    Requirements: Interest and motivation on the topic.
    keywords: Semi-structured interviews, community-based landscape scenarios, participatory planning.
    Methods or Tools: Streamline tool:
    Literature: De Vries Lentsch, Aster; Metzger, Marc J. (2018). STREAMLINE - a visual interview methodology that makes semi-structured interviews, focus groups and stakeholder workshops more fun and accessible.
    Contact: Dr. Miguel Ángel Cebrián Piqueras (
  • Analysis of the social networks of knowledge exchange between academia, and local producers and consumers.
    Requirements: Good oral and written German language skills.
    keywords: Knowledge transfer, networks, sustainable management.
    Contact: Dr. Mario Torralba (
    or Dr. Cristina Quintas-Soriano (
  • Elicitation of forest values and trade-offs as perceived by business managers, foresters and customers of funeral forests / forest kindergardens through either a) quantitative (Q sorts), b) semi-quantitative (freelisting), and c) qualitative (narratives) approaches.
    Requirements: B1 driving license; excellent German and good English oral and writing skills.
    keywords: Forest values, socio-cultural valuation.
    Contact: Dr. Mario Torralba (
  • Assessment of the ecological values associated with non-intensive extractive forest business management models (i.e.: kindergardens/funeral forests). Method: Comparison of plant/insect/bird/mammals biodiversity levels between funeral forest/forest kindergarden sites compared to surrounding forests.
    Requirements: B1 driving license; taxonomical knowledge of any of the above mentioned groups.
    keywords: Forest values, biodiversity assessment.
    Contact: Dr. Mario Torralba (
  • Mapping costs and benefits of ecosystem services (ESS) on agricultural landscapes – characterising ESS providers and beneficiaries. / Kartierung der Kosten und Nutzen von Ökosystemleistungen in Agrarflächen.
    Requirements: either in English or German.
    Contact: Dr. Yves Zinngrebe (
  • The importance of emotional connection with traditional agriculture to ensure cultural landscapes: Exploring the links between health, relational values and human well-being across different farming systems. Methods: social values, qualitative methods, face to face surveys.
    Requirements: Good oral and written German language skills.
    keywords: Social perceptions, traditional ecological knowledge, agroecosystems.
    Contact: Dr. Cristina Quintas-Soriano (
  • Rural farmland abandonment, ecosystem services, traditional values and women: An analysis of the effects of land abandonment from a gender perspective. Methods: qualitative methods, literature review.
    Requirements: Good oral and written English language skills.
    keywords: Women, local ecological knowledge, agroecosystems, drivers of change, rural development, Mediterranean.
    Contact: Dr. Cristina Quintas-Soriano (
  • Uncovering past landscape change perceptions and dynamics in rural areas through oral history interviews and land cover change analysis. Methods: place-based research, interviews, GIS spatial analysis.
    Requirements: Knowledge of local language and basic GIS.
    keywords: land use and land cover change, drivers of change
    Contact: Dr. María García-Martín (
  • The pros and cons of land abandonment and rewilding.
    Methods: Discourse analysis.
    keywords: landscape changes, land abandonment, rewilding, anthropocentric/ecocentric
    Contact: Dr. María García-Martín ( or Dr. Cristina Quintas-Soriano (
  • Climate Smart Coffee Regions hold potential for synergies adaptation, mitigation and sustainable intensification of coffee but will require a change in policies, institutions and market incentives. The thesis project will conduct research to embed the concept of climate smart landscapes within the wider framework of landscape multifunctionality, review private and external benefits of climate smart practices and critically discuss the potential of commodity value chain instruments to provide incentives for landscape stakeholders.
    Literature: Bunn C, Läderach P, Ovalle Rivera O, Kirschke D (2015) A bitter cup: climate change profile of global production of Arabica and Robusta coffee. Clim Change 129:89–101. doi: 10.1007/s10584-014-1306-x
    Harvey CA, Chacón M, Donatti CI, et al (2014) Climate-Smart Landscapes: Opportunities and Challenges for Integrating Adaptation and Mitigation in Tropical Agriculture: Climate-smart landscapes. Conserv Lett 7:77–90. doi: 10.1111/conl.12066
    Requirements: the thesis has to be written in English
    keywords: Climate Smart Agriculture, Commodity, Coffee
    Contact: Dr. Christian Bunn ( or Lukas Flinzberger (