- The “Sustainable Use of Natural Resources” Robert Bosch Junior Professorship 2021 goes to geographer Dr. Verena Seufert.
- Seufert conducts research into success factors for sustainable agriculture at the University of Hohenheim.
Stuttgart, June 8, 2021: Geographer Verena Seufert has been awarded the “Sustainable Use of Natural Resources” Robert Bosch Junior Professorship 2021. Since the start of the month, Seufert has been conducting research at the University of Hohenheim into how sustainable agriculture can help global food production become both more environmentally and socially responsible. Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH is providing one million euros over a five-year period for the research project. This year is the last time the Junior Professorship will be awarded.
Identifying success factors for sustainable agriculture and food production
The global food system is under pressure. Farmers and agribusinesses have to produce food for a growing population. Intensive farming is increasing the environmental burden, as greenhouse gas emissions accelerate climate change, biodiversity loss increases, and water and fertile ground become scarce. Verena Seufert’s research focuses on how the food production system as a whole can become more sustainable. “We need to find sustainable ways of producing food, so that we can feed each and every person on this planet in the long term,” explains Seufert.
Replicating local best practices in other regions
The Junior Professor will focus on regions in India and Mexico that manage to achieve strong agricultural yields despite climatic fluctuations – all without compromising biodiversity or depleting natural resources. The aim is to be able to replicate lessons learned from successful local systems in other regions or contexts, thereby playing a role in steering global agricultural food production toward greater sustainability.
About the person
Verena Seufert studied Biology at the Julius Maximilian University of Würzburg and wrote her diploma thesis on the role of nitrogen in crop productivity at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). Seufert holds a PhD in Geography from McGill University, Canada, on the contribution of organic agriculture to global food security. Following on from her PhD, Seufert worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and at the Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). Most recently, she was Assistant Professor at the Institute for Environmental Studies at Vrije University in Amsterdam, where she conducted research into land use and food system dynamics.