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Transdisciplinary Research Area
Innovation and Technology for Sustainable Futures (TRA 6)

Edition July 2020
Welcome to the TRA 6 newsletter!
The newsletter keeps you informed about recent developments in TRA 6 and its member’s activities.

Distinguished Lecturers Series "Innovation Pathways to Sustainability"

  • August 17, 2020, 14-16 h CEST: Jessica Fanzo, Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Global Food & Agricultural Policy and Ethics, Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics 
  • September 3, 2020, 14-16 h CEST: Noelle Eckley Selin, Associate Professor, Institute for Data, Systems and Society and the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, MIT

Funded projects

Running application deadline:
  • Seed funding for the pre-proposal for the CRC-initiative DETECT (Regional climate change: Disentangling the role of land use and water management): Jürgen Kusche (Faculty of Agriculture)
  • Seed funding for further developing the concept for an interdisciplinary International Research Training Group in the field of Sustainable Intensification of Agriculture and writing of the pre-proposal: Andreas Meyer (Faculty of Agriculture)
Call for TRA 6 related research on sustainability implications of the corona pandemic:
  • “COVID-19 Risks and Innovations for Sustainable Livelihoods in Ethiopia”: Detlef Müller-Mahn (Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences) / Girma Kelboro Mensuro (Centre for Development Research)
  • “COVID-19 epidemic trends and health system needs projections for developing countries”: Nawaphan Metchanun / Christian Borgemeister (Centre for Development Research)

General Assembly

The General Assembly of TRA 6 will take place on July 16, 14-16 h via Zoom.


Edited volumes/Contributions to edited volumes/Proceedings Journals and journal articles:
  • Aizouq, M., Peisker, H., Gutbrod, K., Melzer, M., Hölzl, G., Dörmann, P. (2020): Triacylglycerol and phytyl ester synthesis in Synechocystis sp. PCC6803. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 17 (11) 6216-6222.
  • Biber‐Freudenberger, L., et al. (2020): Bioeconomy futures: Expectation patterns of scientists and practitioners on the sustainability of bio‐based transformation. Sustainable Development.
  • Bröring, S., Laibach, N., Wustmans, M. (2020): Innovation types in the bioeconomy. Journal of Cleaner Production, 612 266: 121939. In press.
  • Döring, T. F., Rosslenbroich, D., Giese, C., Athmann, M., Watson, C., Vágó, I., Kátai, J., Tállai, M., Bruns, C. (2020): Disease suppressive soils vary in resilience to stress. Applied Soil Ecology, 149.
  • Elsalahy, H. H., Bellingrath-Kimura S. D., Roß C., Kautz T., Döring T. F. (2020): Crop resilience to drought with and without response diversity. Frontiers in Plant Science, 11: 721.
  • Escobar, N., Tizado, E. J., zu Ermgassen, E. K. H. J., Löfgren, P., Börner, J., Godar, J. (2020): Spatially-explicit footprints of agricultural commodities: mapping carbon emissions embodied in Brazil's soy exports. Global Environmental Change.
  • Grantz, D.A., Karr, M., Burkhardt, J. (2020): Heterogeneity of Stomatal Pore Area Is Suppressed by Ambient Aerosol in the Homobaric Species, Vicia faba. Frontiers in Plant Science, 11(897).
  • Hüttel, S., Leuchten, M.-T., Leyer, M. (2020): The Importance of Social Norm on Adopting Sustainable Digital Fertilisation Methods. Organization & Environment.
  • Knapp, S., Döring, T. F., Jones, H. E. , Snape, J., Wingen, L. U., Wolfe, M. S., Leverington-Waite, M., Griffiths, S. (2020): Natural selection towards wild-type in composite cross populations of winter wheat. Frontiers in Plant Science, 10.
  • Munoz, P., Zwick, S., Mirzabaev, A. (2020): The impact of urbanization on Austria's carbon footprint. Journal of Cleaner Production.
  • Partelow, S., Hornidge, A.-K., Senff, P., Stäbler, M., Schlüter, A. (2020): Tropical marine sciences: knowledge production in a web of path dependencies. Published on PLoS ONE 15 (2), February 6, (Online).
  • Schlüter, A., van Assche, K., Hornidge, A.-K., Vaidianu, N. (eds.) (2020): Land-sea interactions and coastal development: An evolutionary governance perspective. Marine Policy (Special Issue), 112 (February 2020).
  • Titěra J., Pavlů V. V., Pavlů L., Hejcman M., Gaisler J., Schellberg J. (2020): Response of grassland vegetation composition to different fertilizer treatments recorded over ten years following 64 years of fertilizer applications in the Rengen Grassland Experiment. Applied Vegetation Science.
  • van Assche, K., Hornidge, A.-K., Schlüter, A., Vaidianu, N. (2020): Governance and the coastal condition: towards new modes of observation, adaptation and integration. Marine Policy 112.
  • Focus on Leakage: Informing Land-Use Governance in a Tele-Coupled World; Special Issue in Environmental Research Letters;

Third party funding:

  • Physicists and geodesists of the University of Bonn are involved in the large-scale research project "Clock Optical Network Services - Design Study" (CLONETS-DS). This is a design study for a future network for the distribution of high-precision optical frequencies and time signals. The ultra-precise signals should, for example, enable improved synchronisation of measuring stations for astronomy and climate change observation. The European Union is funding the project with around three million euros over the next two years. Contact: Jürgen Kusche, Institute of Geodesy and Geoinformation 
  • A new project “Support to cost and benefit assessments of land restoration in the Great Green Wall” is funded by FAO/EU (duration: 2020) under the participation of the Center for Development Research (ZEF), University of Bonn and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN (FAO). The project relates to the FAO project on Action Against Desertification which  implements Africa’s Great Green Wall restoration programme on the ground in 10 countries currently. The initiative is Africa’s flagship response to combat climate change and desertification, through large-scale restoration for small-scale farming across North Africa, the Sahel and Southern Africa, applying a transformative approach that improves landscapes and livelihoods of millions of people. Contact: Alisher Mirzabaev, Center for Development Studies 
  • A new project titled “LANd Use SYNergies and CONflicts within the framework of the 2030 Agenda” (LANUSYNCON) will start in July 2020 funded by the BMBF: How can we use land most efficiently and thereby allow for human development and reduce the negative impacts on the environment? That is probably one of the most crucial questions we need to answer to ensure the survival of humanity. In LANUSYNCON a new Junior Researcher group headed by Dr Lisa Biber-Freudenberger will try to answer this question through the conceptual and practical integration of different perspectives, actors and research disciplines. The insufficient coordination between land use decisions of different political sectors often leads to conflicts of ownership, access and use. This is especially the case in sub-Saharan Africa, where the pressure on land is increasing. In LANUSYNCON we examine the complex tradeoffs between different Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • New DFG-Project: Decoupling of stomatal CO2 and H2O fluxes by hygroscopic particles (Entkopplung stomatärer CO2- und H2O-Flüsse durch hygroskopischen Feinstaub). 2020-2023; PI: Jürgen Burkhardt 
  • New BMBF-Project: R-Rhenania: Modified Rhenania phosphate from sewage sludge ash for Bavaria (R-Rhenania: Modifiziertes Rhenania Phosphat aus Klärschlammasche für Bayern). 2020-2023; Coordination: Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung, Berlin; PI Bonn: Jürgen Burkhardt 


  • February 11, 2020: PhenoRob Female Talk Series with six outstanding female speakers from all over the world 
  • April 30, 2020: MSC Digital Conversations "Krise in der Krise: Entwicklung, Sicherheit und Covid-19" with an input by Anna-Katharina Hornidge, Munich Security Conference in cooperation with the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development; other speakers: Federal Minister Müller (BMZ) and Achim Steiner (UNDP)
  • May 15, 2020: Webinar of the Federal Working Group on Global Development Bündnis 90/Die Grünen "Was ist die Zukunft des Multilateralismus" with an input by Anna-Katharina Hornidge
  • May 20, 2020: Webinar of the Bündnis 90/Die Grünen parliamentary group: “Corona-Krise – Globaler Schulterschluss statt ‚rette sich wer kann'” with an input by Anna-Katharina Hornidge, 
  • June 18, 2020: Book release event, organized by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences “Health of People, Health of Planet, and Our Responsibility. COVID-19 & Climate Change Crisis” with opening and closing remarks by Joachim von Braun 
  • June 26, 2020: Talk by Emily Burchfield (Emory University) on “Cultivating Food Security in a Changing World” (Jun 26) 
  • November 1-10, 2020: International Conference “Digital Technologies for Sustainable Crop Production” organized by PhenoRob 
  • November 19-12, 2020: PhenoRob proposal accepted for the workshop “How bioeconomy is transforming agriculture” in the context of the Global Bioeconomy Summit 2020, (Berlin)
  • Ongoing: PhenoRob Seminar Series and Expert Talks with talks by PhenoRob members and external guest speakers 

If you have exciting news to report for the next edition of the newsletter, please report  to  
PhenoRob: Call for Presentations for "DIGICROP 2020 - International Conference on Digital Technologies for Sustainable Crop Production"
The Cluster of Excellence PhenoRob has published a call for presentations for the online conference “Digital Technologies for Sustainable Crop Production” that will take place at the beginning of November. Submission deadline for initial submissions: August 1, 2020. More information

Invitation for cooperation: EU Project PRODIGEES
The German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), a partner in the Bonn Alliance for Sustainability Research, offers the opportunity to cooperate within the recently started EU project PRODIGEES (Promoting Research on Digitalisation in Emerging Powers and Europe Towards Sustainable Development) and engage in transnational knowledge sharing and creation at the interface of sustainable development and digitalization through research secondments.
You are warmly invited to propose a project to be conducted in such a secondment.
Please find the details about the project, possible activities, funding and contact details here . Project proposals can be sent to Sandra Gilgan ( in the Head Office of the Bonn Alliance until July 15, 2020.

Distinguished Emeritus Professor appointments to the University of Bonn
In a move to substantially advance the University’s internationalization agenda, the rectorate is creating 15 Distinguished Professor Emeritus positions for retired foreign academics, recruited, generally, for a two-year term to engage in research and teaching at the University of Bonn. The minimum teaching requirement for these positions is 2 course units per week. It is required for Distinguished Emeritus Professors to relocate to Bonn in order to take active part in academic life at the University of Bonn during the lecture period at least, if not beyond. In particular, these positions require active involvement in the University of Bonn’s Transdisciplinary Research Areas (TRAs). Submission deadline: October 31, 2020. More information 

Science Platform Sustainability 2030 („Wissenschaftsplattform Nachhaltigkeit 2030“) - The Science Platform Sustainability 2030 provides a central forum for science to engage with representatives from politics, business, and society on urgent issues pertaining to sustainability policy. Knowledge relevant to the challenges of sustainable development and the implementation of the German Strategy for Sustainable Development will be collected and disseminated through the Science Platform. More information 

Sustainable Development Solutions Network Germany - In February 2020 Anna-Katharina Hornidge was elected as Co-Chair (together with Gesine Schwan) of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) Germany. In her term of office so far, SDSN Germany has issued the following two policy statements on the German Sustainability Strategy and its further development:


Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
Transdisciplinary Research Area
Innovation and Technology for Sustainable Futures
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