Environmental Systems Analysis

Welcome to the online representation of our research group "Environmental Systems Analysis". If you do not find what you are looking for please do not hesitate to contact us. Thanks a lot for your interest!


Nov 2023: Two EnvSysAna students awarded with Sustainability Award for Theses

Not one but two students were honored with the Sustainability Award for Theses 2023. Congratiolations to Jana Mayer (B. Sc. Environmental Science,Thesis: "Towards an impact assessment for onshore wind power plants in Africa") and Niklas Best (M. Sc. Geoecology, Thesis: "Erfassung und Bewertung der Ökosystemdienstleistungen Biodiversität und Kohlenstoffbindung im urbanen Raum") for their award-winning work.


Nov 2023: RePP Africa database goes online

We are happy to announce that the Renewable Power Plant database RePP Africa has its own website now: https://www.repp.geo.uni-tuebingen.de/

Thank you to the students and Fabian Schwabe from the Digital Humanities for implementing the interactive map. You can find more infos on the project here.

Sep 2023: 13th Water Research Horizon Conference

River Links - Water connecting climates, landscapes, and people

Christiane Zarfl and Rebecca Peters participated in the 13th Water Research Horizon Conference on river links, a multilateral and multidisciplinary exchange about the role of research in addressing the challenges of river links. While Christiane introduced the topic through her opening keynote on Disconnected rivers - rivers under pressure from infrastructure and pollution, Rebecca gave insights on possible hydropower alternatives for the African continent in her talk Towards a renewable electricitiy mix that prevents the increasing fragmentation of African rivers.

Aug 2023: Discussing the future of rivers at World Large Rivers Conference / Vienna Water Conferences

Rebecca Peters (speaker: "Can a renewable electricity mix releave the dam building pressure on African rivers") visited the Vienna Water Conferences at the Danube in Austria. The event combined three conferences and brought together researchers, engineers, and practitioners to discuss the state and future of rivers. Here is a short summary of Rebecca's experiences and learnings:

"The #ViennaWaterConferences2023 organized by #IAHR and #BoKu has come to an end. One week at the #Danube river full of sharing knowledge with new and old friends, learning about new technologies and discussing the state and future of our #rivers worldwide. I was given the chance to present some research insights on the question whether a renewable electricity mix can relieve the dam building pressure on African rivers (wind, (floating) solar & optimization of existing hydro). I followed with large interest the presentation of Emanuele Quaranta from the #JRC Ispra who presented similar approaches for European rivers.
Sitting in the train back to Germany, the following points keep me thinking:

  • Engineers, practitioners, and researchers continue to passionately discuss the impact of building or not building more #dams and #reservoirs for hydropower, irrigation, and water supply. We need interdisciplinary spaces like this to have evidence based discussions on the future of rivers.
  • River Management and infrastructure planning must build on a combination of large scale river basin assessments and regional case studies. Transparent and continuos river #monitoring is key for understanding how natural systems change over time.
  • Data is key und must be publicly available to support scientific modeling and to create public understanding and awareness of our river systems. Digitalization must guide this process. #Digitaltwins #openaccess #worldlargeriversinitiative
  • We are in a #biodiversitycrisis. It should be our priority to protect and preserve the last #freeflowingriver systems and create more river national parks such as #Vjosa wild river national park.
  • At the same time we are challenged to transit to #renewableenergy. To do that sustainably we need to better understand the alterations of renewable power plants on the natural systems they receive their energy from. The #hydropowersustainabilitystandard aims to certify hydropower plants with minimum impact and is the first norm of its kind in the RE sector. Still - to my point of view - harmful infrastructure must be avoided. Dr. George W. Annandale PE outlined that reservoirs and dams behave different than other infrastructure and different design approaches are needed. #sedimentation
  • The global river network is highly exposed to antibiotics: 8.5 kg are released annually. Thank you Bernhard Lehner for presenting Heloisa Ehalt Macedo work and the #HydroWASTE database

Thank you for the great experience - including learning Viennese waltz."

Who we are

We are a group of researchers who are convinced that our interdisciplinary research can contribute to solving pressing environmental challenges. Our scientific co-operations combine complementary expertise to create synergies that enable us to advance our understanding of environmental processes and interdependencies, to provide the knowledge for policy decisions and sustainable management, and to raise public awareness and responsibility for our environment.

What we are looking for

We focus on interdisciplinary approaches to analyze the processes and interactions of environmental systems. In order to deepen our knowledge on mechanism and influencing parameters our research combines methods from system science and experimental data with mathematical modelling.

What we teach

For the study programs Geoecology, Geoscience, Environmental Sciences and Applied Environmental Geoscience we teach the scientific methodologies to analyze and understand complex environmental systems. On the basis of specific objectives or research questions students learn how to identify system elements, interactions and boundaries, their translation into mathematical/quantitative descriptions and their analysis including uncertainty and sensitivity.

How you can contact us

If you would like to learn more about our activities please have a look at the up-coming events and our publications or feel free to contact us.