Hi! I am John-Oliver Engler, postdoc at the lab since 2017. I do research in Ecological Economics and Quantitative Sustainability Science. My work often revolves around the theme of risk and uncertainty in human-environment systems in relation to sustainability. I am intrigued by quantitative methods in general, and frequently use some form of mathematical or statistical modeling. I aim at integrating theories from different fields, such as ecology and economics. I have a formal training in physics (MSc) and economics (PhD).


Cristina Apetrei is a Ph.D. candidate investigating the role of knowledge in sustainability transformations. Her thematic experience is with food systems and climate change, while her theoretical and methodological interests are in complex system science, network analysis and (agent-based) modeling approaches, as well as transdisciplinarity and worldview-based inquiries. She was part of the Leverage Points project.

Hi, I am Philip Bernert. I hold a B.Sc. in Environmental Sciences and a M.Sc. in Sustainability Science from Leuphana University. I am currently working as a research associate in two projects at Leuphana: GLOCULL is an international collaboration between seven universities bringing together urban living labs focusing on sustainability innovations in the food-water-energy nexus. EEVA is a project, in which we developed a teaching module to support master students to develop theses based on the idea of transformative sustainability science. In my PhD project, I work on Real-World Experiments and Labs in the wider context of local economies.

Hello, I am Ruediger John. I am an artist and have been working since the mid-1990s in research and practice on critical aesthetics, artistic research and systemic art in projects, exhibitions and publications. At Leuphana, I am researching critical aesthetic practices to facilitate collaborative academic research and societal transformation.
For Leuphana I consulted to create the concept of and develop a flexible, modular Decision Visualization Environment (DVE) – now called the MobileSolutionWorkshop / MobileLösungsWerkstatt (MoLöWe in short) – and acted as its Software Architect to create the underlying functional and technical core concepts of the software and its elements with a variety of possible scenarios of its application.

Dagmar Moelleken has a background in agricultural practice, and studied agroecology, philosophy and sustainability science. Her research interests include ethics, normativity and paradigms in relation to sustainable agriculture. Side projects include working on the methodology of transdisciplinary research.

Julius Rathgens’ PhD research is concerned with the production and consumption of food in global supply chains. Specifically, he is interested in ethical consumption- and sustainable production patterns and their role in sustainability transformations. He passion is about mixed methods, with a focus on structural equation modeling, network analyses and participatory research practices.

Hi, I am Neha Chauhan, a doctoral student based in India. Completed my Bachelor in Sciences from Rajkiya Kanya Mahavidyalaya (RKMV), Shimla (H.P). Following this, I completed my master in Environmental Sciences from SES, JNU. I like to get a deep understanding of agriculture systems and their allied sectors. Currently, I am a part of Leuphana University, Lüneburg under DAAD scholarship.

Jennifer Rao-Williams


Birgit Gralla

Scientific and Student Assistants

FineI am Fine Böttner, a sustainability science graduate student. Dealing with and trying to find ways to solve sustainability problems together with the others has been a passion of mine for many years. I especially enjoy to organize projects or workshops which allow others to get involved as well, e.g. in the fields of climate protection and sustainable consumption.

Prabesh Dhakal is pursuing MSc. in Management & Data Science. He is interested in machine learning and visualization. Currently, he works with R and Python to solve data science problems. He also has experience in business strategy and management consulting.

I am Elisabeth Frank. I study Environmental and Political Science in 4th semester in my bachelor. I joined the team in September 2019. So far I worked much on the Statistics & Methods Wiki. I am interested in getting better in R which is why I am very interested in future projects that are related to this aspect. Besides that I am interested in gender studies especially in relation to sustainability.

I am Christopher Franz, I hold a B.Sc. in Biogeosciences and a M.Sc. in Sustainability Science. I have been part of the team since 2017 as a student assistant and rejoined recently as a scientific assistant. I am responsible for the Sustainability Methods Wiki and teaching related to methodology.

Hello, I am Max Kretschmer, currently finishing my bachelor in Economics and Sustainability Science with a focus on the sustainable transformation of monetary systems. As a research student, I am working in the lab since May 2018, mostly engaged in projects in the field of ecological economics. In addition to my studies, I organize workshops and conferences to bring together classical economic thinking and sustainability.

My name is Carlo Krügermeier and I am part of a team since September 2019. I am studying Environmental Sciences and Political Science in the 4th semester of the Bachelor. My projects so far were the statistics wiki and the Thinkathon.

Here’s Chân Lê! I studied Business Administration at Kiel University of Applied Science, and am currently doing my M.Sc. in Data Science at Leuphana University Lüneburg. I joined the team at the beginning of 2020 and mainly focus on the Mathematical & Statistics tutorials for the Bachelor students.

Hi, I’m Matteo Ramin. I study Studium Individuale with a specific emphasis on how to transform educational systems. At the lab I mainly work on the “Skills & Tools” wiki and provide support in general digitalization adventures. My personal experience spans a bachelor’s degree in Computer Sciences and work experience in IT management consulting, IT management as well as software development & testing.

Hey, I‘m Friederike Baier! I did my Bachelor in Psychology at the University of Hamburg and am currently studying Data Science at the Leuphana. I joined the team in Winter 2020 and in the summer term 2021 I‘m giving a tutorial on Statistics with R. Before, I was working as a student assistant in the field of cognitive psychology. My bachelor’s thesis also concerned this field (the influence of surprise, arousal and extraversion on episodic memory formation).

Heyhey, I’m Iman Aoulkadi. I am currently doing my Environmental Sciences Bachelor next to my Cultural Studies Bachelor at the Leuphana, where I am also member of the Student’s Parliament. Right now, I am mainly working on the communication of the Sustainability Methods Wiki. Before I joined the Team in Spring 2021, I was working, among other things, for a Sustainable Label in Egypt, because I am interested in sustainable society transformations.

Hi, I am Ricarda Hille. I finished my M.Sc. in Sustainability Science in 2021. My background is in fostering student participation for sustainable development at higher education institutions. In my master thesis, I raised the question how research in Sustainability Science is currently designed.


Julian Ahlborn is a biogeographer and geobotanist interested in doing science for fun in general and dryland ecology with a focus on vegetation community and functional ecology in particular. He uses mixed modeling, univariate and multivariate statistics and remote sensing. Julian was pursuing his research interests by working on the DFG-funded project “Responses of plant performance and functional diversity along a climate and land-use gradient in Mongolia”.

Johann Julius Beeck already did his Bachelor’s program in Business Administration in Lüneburg. Since 2017, he studied Management & Data Science and focuses on data processing.

Christian Dorninger is a quantitative social scientist who is convinced that structures vastly determine individual action. He is focusing on taking a biophysical perspective on human-nature interaction and connectedness and their potential for sustainability transformation. Christian is applying material and energy flow accounting (MEFA), human appropriation of net primary production (HANPP) and environmentally-extended input-output analysis (EEIOA). He is currently working on the project “Leverage Points for Sustainability Transformation” funded by VolkswagenFoundation.

Robert Feller is an environmental scientist who investigates impacts of natural elements in urban spaces on customer’s willingness to pay for certain products. More generally, he is focusing on urban ecology and ecosystem service assessments by combining spatial analysis with online surveys. He was part of the project “Bridging the Great Divide” funded by VolkswagenStiftung.

Ana Filipa Ferreira was a visiting student from Lisbon working on her PhD project on biosphere reserves. She is particularly interested in finding ways to protect biodiversity while promoting sustainable development in social-ecological systems in the Mediterranean. Ana Filipa currently focuses on using GIS, systematic literature reviews and questionnaires to find out more about the governance and management of protected areas and biosphere reserves.

Beatrice John is a sustainability scientist by training and conducts her PhD research on quality and design criteria for urban visioning exercises. Her research interests revolve around sustainability solutions for urban sustainability and resilience, transformational sustainability research methods, and digitalization of teaching and learning environments. She was also a research associate in the project ““Bridging the Great Divide” (MWK/VolkswagenStiftung) working on pretesting urban climate actions.

Anna-Lena Rau has a background in biology and sustainability science and does research on the sustainable use of ecosystem services. She is particularly interested in ecosystem services in agriculture and their temporal dynamics and is mostly applying systematic literature reviews. She is a PhD student with the 2042 initiative at Leuphana University.

Maraja Riechers is a human ecologist (Dr. in Urban Cultural Ecosystem Services) interested in finding ways to transform a system towards sustainability and biodiversity conservation. She is currently working on nature connectedness in different rural landscapes/ landscape changes in Germany and Romania in the project “Leverage Points for Sustainability Transformation“.

Esther Kohlhase has a B.Sc. in Business Psychology and a M.Sc. in Global Sustainability Science. Since April 2020, she works in the SUSTIL project, which deals with land use conflicts and governance mechanisms for sustainable land use. In her dissertation she focused on the local implementation of the Global Sustainability Goals. Specifically, she used GIS data to measure the progress and align stakeholders’ interests in a participatory process.