by Press Officer,Degree Courses
They develop botanical fine particle filters for cities and by restoring ecosystems, they ensure that humans will continue to benefit from the services nature provides: day in, day out, the scientists at Hochschule Geisenheim University conduct research on issues affecting the whole of society. On Thursday, April 21, 2016, Prof. Ilona Leyer, Head of the Working Group on Plant Ecology and Environmental Protection, and Prof. Heiko Mibus-Schoppe, Head of the Department of Urban Horticulture and Ornamental Plant Research, presented a cross-section of their work at their ‘inaugural lectures’ on the Geisenheim campus.
“Over the past 50 years humans have changed ecosystems faster and more comprehensively than ever before”, explained Leyer, who has been teaching at Hochschule Geisenheim University since 2012. “Our research is concerned with recognizing patterns in biological diversity, understanding the ecological processes behind them and developing management approaches which will help us to control land use in a sustainable way and thus preserve biological diversity.”
Her colleague, Mibus-Schoppe, used his lecture to address the social and functional aspects of urban horticulture as well as the core themes of recreation and nutrition. “As rural depopulation increases, the requirements of ornamental plants are also changing. On the one hand, plants need to be able to cope better with water shortages and poorer air conditions, on the other hand, we need to develop methods for using plants in cities to regulate humidity and provide cooling and noise mitigation”, the expert explained. He has held his professorship since the spring of 2014.
From research to practical application: Networking of scientists and students
“We are very proud of the diversity and quality of the research conducted here at Geisenheim – not only in the area of viticulture, but also in horticulture-related fields and beverage technology, for example”, said Prof. Otmar Löhnertz, Vice-President of Academic & Student Affairs at Hochschule Geisenheim University. “Since the university was founded in 2013 we have been working even harder to interlink research, study and practical applications, because our students benefit enormously when teaching has its finger on the pulse.”
This series of inaugural lectures at Hochschule Geisenheim University allows students, staff and interested members of the public to gradually get to know all the lecturers (and their areas of expertise), who have joined the research and teaching staff at Geisenheim since the university was founded.