FuturES: Leuphana’s new research centre on ecosystem services

By Joern Fischer

Everyone seems to be researching ecosystem services these days… well, so do we. But we hope to add our own individual flavour to the topic, with our new research centre here at Leuphana:

FuturES: The Future of Ecosystem Services

How is FuturES going to be different from other centres on ecosystem services? Well, probably most importantly, we draw on really broad range of research expertise. We are balancing the natural sciences and social sciences (and humanities) very evenly: we have expertise in ecology, ecological economics, science communication, participatory methods, and ethics, to name just a few.

Second, we are committed to digging a little deeper: we won’t just jump on the ecosystem services bandwagon, but we will try to get to some nuances that have been glossed over in most papers so far. Two of these are that we are planning to deal with issues of uncertainty, and we are planning to deal with ecosystem dis-servivces — those occur when ecosystems annoy people, like when wild pigs get into your crops and tear them apart.

We’ve only just started, so no outputs yet. But we’ve just selected our first postdoc: Dave Abson. He hasn’t officially joined us yet, but we look forward to working with him, hopefully as of mid-May. Among other things, he’s written a very nice paper in Conservation Biology, which you can find here.

I hope there’ll be lots of good research coming out of FuturES in the year to come!


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