Doctoral students

Doctoral research which is undertaken by IZNE staff members and/or supervised by IZNE professors is conducted in cooperation with a partner university, thus complying with the current legal regulations. Depending on the status of the doctoral student, the actual research work is either carried out at H-BRS or at a partner university. Current projects are listed below.

Internal doctoral students:

Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg

CALLISTUS AGBAAM

 

E-Mail: callistus.agbaam@rub.de

Grantham-Allee 20

53757 Sankt Augustin

 

 

 

 

Factors influencing public support for social protection reforms in developing countries. The case of Ghana

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Katja Bender

Partner-University: Ruhr-University Bochum

Over the past two decades, social protection reforms have become a globalised phenomenon and are increasingly recognised by policy makers and donor agencies such as the World Bank and the International Labour Organisation as a key mechanism to reduce poverty and promote economic growth. As a result, many national governments in low- and middle-income countries, particularly in Africa, Asia and Latin America, have recognised the logic behind these reforms and are currently expanding the reach of their public social protection systems.

However, despite the recent proliferation of social protection reforms in developing countries, not much work has been done to explain the key issues affecting the reform processes themselves. Much of the existing academic evidence focuses largely on the design and impact of social protection initiatives. Therefore, based on an empirical survey conducted as part of this project, this study will analyse and explain the factors that determine public support for social protection reforms in a development context. In addition, the study will also analyse how and in what ways public support could contribute to the political sustainability of reforms in developing countries.

 

 

Max Bolz

MAX BOLZ

 

E-Mail: max.bolz@h-brs.de

von-Liebig-Str. 20

53359 Rheinbach

Raum: H104

Telefon: +49 2241 865 787

 

 

Renewable Energies as a Soft Power Tool - Energy Partnerships as Part of German Foreign and Security Policy.

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Katja Bender

Partner-University: University Bonn

The paper examines the concept of German energy partnerships with developing and emerging countries. The underlying political framework, motivations and decision-making processes are examined in the context of current security policy considerations and the effect of turning to renewable energies on the geopolitical landscape is discussed. Securing energy resources plays a key role in human history and was and is part of geostrategic considerations. Industrialised countries with high energy consumption and countries rich in fossil fuels find themselves in political and economic dependencies that are influenced and threatened by numerous internal and external factors. The same applies to the process of implementing renewable energies, but the central factors are fundamentally different and have the potential to dismantle or dissolve existing structures.   

The aim of the PhD project is to find out what role German energy partnerships (can) play in this and shape German foreign and security policy in the future.

 

 

Porträt von Silvia Berenice Fischer

SILVIA BERENICE FISCHER

 

E-Mail: squintan@uni-bonn.de

Grantham-Allee 20

53757 Sankt Augustin

 

 

 

 

Risk and vulnerability of socioecological systems: the case of the peri-urban agriculture of São Paulo city.

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Wiltrud Terlau

Partner University: University Bonn

Cities are highly vulnerable to the impacts of extreme weather events. Specific impacts are believed to increase the vulnerability of urban agricultural systems and exacerbate the factors affecting them, such as increasing demand for food and decreasing yields due to changing rainfall patterns and extreme temperatures, conflicts over scarce resources (land ownership, water, biofuels, etc.) and chronic poverty.

For this reason, evidence-based assessment is essential in any urban centre for effective adaptation action. This includes local risk and vulnerability assessments, information and data to consider current and future risks as well as adaptation and development options. Extreme weather vulnerability assessments are considered an essential first step in developing adaptation strategies.

São Paulo is the largest metropolitan region in South America and has suffered from severe water shortages since 2010, raising concerns about the future of water supply. Freshwater reservoirs reached their lowest level in 2013/2014 due to a lack of rain, accompanied by a heat wave that culminated in the warmest summer in 55 years in 2015.

This study adopts the "Multi-hazard Risk Assessment Framework for the West Sudanian Savanna Zone" in the context of urban and peri-urban agricultural systems. The framework aims to capture the interactions between hydro-climatic stressors, shocks and risks from a socio-ecological perspective while identifying actual coping and adaptation measures at different temporal and spatial scales.

This approach aims to assess the vulnerability of urban and peri-urban agriculture in the city of São Paulo to extreme weather events and current adaptation strategies. By developing a set of indicators to operationalise the risk and vulnerability assessment framework and by identifying the available adaptation strategies to improve resilience and reduce vulnerability to extreme weather events.

 

 

 

Ana Maria Perez Arrendondo

ANA MARIA PEREZ ARRENDONDO

 

 

E-Mail: anamaria.perezarredondo@h-brs.de

Grantham-Allee 20

53757 Sankt Augustin

 

 

 

The impact of social capital on agricultural and health risk management. The case of urban farmers in Accra

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Katja Bender

Partner University: University Bonn

A promising strategy for understanding the factors that influence health insurance take-up is to consider network effects, as social connections have a strong influence on decisions and are usually the only way to protect against shocks. Understanding the way in which common risk pooling arrangements contribute to the formalisation of insurance can only be addressed through a holistic approach, as the insurability of consumption can be determined by different responses to different shocks.

The aim of this work is to identify the influence of social networks on individual decisions regarding risk preferences. Furthermore, in order to be able to improve health risk coping skills, it is necessary to identify the limitations of existing strategies and to analyse their efficiency in terms of economic welfare. The study is divided into three modules. Module 1 will focus on how environmental, animal and human health interactions influence risks, assessing risks at the community and household levels. Module 2 will build on the risk assessment of Module 1 to identify risk mitigation strategies and their implications for household resource allocation. Finally, Module 3 will explore the characteristics of households within a community in terms of risk exposure and participation in formal market insurance and group-based risk pooling to identify the drivers of social linkage formation and the potential influences of networks on risk preferences.

The study site is Greater Accra, which is experiencing rapid urbanisation dynamics, increasing health risks, rising urban poverty and changing food systems associated with demographic and epidemiological transitions. Data are drawn from the Socio-Economic Panel Survey, the Urban Poverty and Health Survey-EDULINK and household-level surveys using aggregate relational data to recover the parameters of a general network formation model. A Pareto model of risk-efficient allocation at the community and household level is used to identify frontiers and efficiency levels of risk reduction strategies. In addition, a series of probit models for each strategy is used to estimate how the probability of adopting particular risk reduction strategies is affected by the social networks.

 

 

Porträt Michael Stotter

MICHAEL STOTTER

 

E-Mail: michael.stotter@h-brs.de

Grantham-Allee 20

53757 Sankt Augustin

 

Miscanthus substrates as fertiliser: nitrogen and degradation dynamics and influence on microbial biomass

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Martin Hamer

Partner-University: University Bonn

The German-Dutch project Food Protects aims to reduce regionally occurring excess reactive nitrogen compounds from agriculture into ecosystems and to increase structural diversity in the agricultural landscape. To this end, Michael Stotter is working on the environmental impacts following the use of Miscanthus biomass in livestock farming. He focuses on the environmentally and site-appropriate application of organic fertilisers from Miscanthus additions. The influence on nitrogen and carbon dynamics and the interaction in the soil-plant system are in the foreground.

 

 

Philipp Swoboda Mitarbeiter IZNE

PHILIPP SWOBODA

 

 

E-Mail: s7phswob@uni-bonn.de

Grantham-Allee 20

53757 Sankt Augustin

 

 

 

"Turning stones into bread?" - Agricultural application of rock dust in the context of One Health.

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Martin Hamer

Partner University: University Bonn

Increasing attention is being paid to the use of finely ground rock dust as a cost-effective fertiliser and soil conditioner. Unlike soluble NPK fertilisers, rock-forming silicate minerals contain most of the macro- and micronutrients needed by higher plants for growth and development. The use of rock dust is particularly emphasised in deeply leached Oxisol soil environments, which are common in the Global South, where soluble fertilisers are rapidly leached and often unaffordable for farmers.

Scientific results are still conflicting due to inconsistent weathering rates, but reported benefits include improved crop production, as well as improved pH, CEC, increased resistance to plant pests and diseases, and sequestration of CO2. In addition, mixing rock dust with solid manure reduced NH3 emissions and doubled N recovery from herbage when applied to grassland. Farmers in Germany mix slurry (manure) with rock dust and claim that this has led to a reduction in odour and a simultaneous reduction in NH3 emissions. However, there are no scientific studies on the effects of rock dust mixed with manure, which is one of the main sources of NH3 emissions and thus N losses in agriculture. Therefore, the aim of this study is to (1) review the field of agricultural rock dust application in the context of One Health and (2) analyse the impact of mixing slurry with rock dust on NH3 emissions under controlled conditions. To measure potential reductions in NH3 emissions, slurry samples with or without rock dust addition are placed in sealable plastic boxes connected to a photoacoustic gas monitor. Repeat measurements are taken periodically over a three-day period, as most NH3 emissions occur within the first three days.

 

 

External doctoral students:

 

Porträt von Andrew Boogaards

ANDREW BOOGARDS

 

 

E-Mail: andrew.boogaards@rub.de

Grantham-Allee 20

53757 Sankt Augustin

 

 

 

Reshaping Rural Economies through CSR: An examination of how international mining companies are influencing the development of indigenous economies.

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Katja Bender

Partner University: Ruhr-University Bochum

In an attempt to mitigate public opinion, many mining companies have participated in community-based programmes to offset the negative externalities created by mining activities in the Global South. These social programmes and community-based initiatives are often referred to as corporate social responsibility (CSR). This can refer to the social roles traditionally performed by the private sector, such as occupational safety standards and skills training for workers, or it can refer to programmes traditionally promoted by the public sector, such as health, education and local infrastructure projects. Of course, there is a time limit to this form of corporate-implemented social welfare. After the closure of mining operations, CSR programmes also expire, leaving a gap if the government and/or the third the non-profit sector are not able to replace these projects.

This paper examines the positive and negative effects of CSR programmes and the ability to sustain and build on benefits from previous CSR programmes. It also looks at how mining companies help communities transition their social, political and economic institutions after a mine closes. Therefore, the author works with governmental, non-governmental, private and grassroots organisations in a number of different communities within a given region to analyse changes in the quality of community-based services. This is followed by an analysis of local economies to determine whether corporate social policies have helped to develop community-led economic drivers and the potential for long-term growth.

 

 

Porträt Jessica Felappi

JÉSSICA FRANCINE FELAPPI

 

 

E-Mail: jfelappi@uni-bonn.de

Grantham-Allee 20

53757 Sankt Augustin

 

 

 

Urban green spaces and One Health: designing parks for human health promotion and wildlife conservation in Sao Paulo, Brazil

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Wiltrud Terlau

Partner University: University Bonn

Cities around the world have been seeking new alternatives for building and transforming urban areas to provide a healthier and more resilient environment for their residents. The integration of green infrastructure into urban planning has gained momentum as a threefold strategy, benefiting human health and well-being, preserving biodiversity and improving environmental health. Urban parks, when well designed and managed, can serve as recreational areas where people can regain cognitive skills and relax, while providing habitat for local flora and fauna. However, balancing the demands of human use and biodiversity conservation in the same place is a challenge that has not been sufficiently explored. Therefore, this study aims to identify which features of urban parks affect the outcomes of mental restoration and wildlife support, and the synergies and trade-offs between these two dimensions.The Brazilian city of São Paulo serves as the study area. The influence of In the end, this study aims to provide empirical evidence for the design and management of multifunctional urban green spaces that meet human needs and biodiversity conservation.

 

 

KLAUDIA MICHALEK-KURSAWE

klaudiaMichalek@gmx.net 

 

Labor Market Effects of Social Health Insurance

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Katja Bender

Partner University: Ruhr-University Bochum

The aim of the research is to analyse the impact of social protection on labour market indicators and economic growth. The focus is on the interaction between selected social protection instruments in lower income countries and human capital productivity.

As poor households face imperfect credit and insurance markets, human capital is often underinvested. If it is politically desirable to increase labour productivity to trigger growth, social transfers can be conditional on investment in education and health. However, since they are financed through taxes and credits, their impact on production must be taken into account.

 

 

INA NEHER

Leaving H-BRS-IZNE: 30/06/2020

Land use-induced influence of atmospheric aerosols on solar energy production - scenario analysis and consequences for West Africa.

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Stefanie Meilinger

Partner-University: University of Cologne

Energy generation with the help of solar energy offers a possibility to meet the increasing energy demand worldwide and to reduce CO2 emissions at the same time. For the construction of solar energy plants, a precise analysis of potential locations and in particular of the radiation available is necessary. For this reason, it is important to know the effects of the regional and local atmospheric composition on solar radiation in order to be able to realistically predict the energy yield. In her thesis, Ina Neher studied the influence of atmospheric variability on solar energy potential in West Africa, analysing satellite data for the entire region.

Doctoral degree awarded on 26/06/2020