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ZALF PhD Day 2021

Bioeconomic and alternative perspectives within and beyond science

This year's PhD Day took place under the umbrella topic "Bioeconomic and alternative perspectives within and beyond science: How does our research contribute to creating a sustainable and just society?” The day was opened by Prof. Dr. Klaus Müller and the PhD spokepersons Mariel Davies and Jonathan Friedrich. The first thing on the agenda was a keynote by Dr. Michael Schlaile (University of Hohenheim and Cusanus Hochschule für Gesellschaftsgestaltung) on "The Cultural Evolution of a Sustainable Bioeconomy: A Note on Cognition, Contestation, Complexity, and Cooperation". Afterwards, there was an opportunity for PhD students to present their research with creative presentations (ranging from computer games to metaphorical comparisons of groundwater and potato salad) and to get a glimpse of other PhD students' labs and experiments in hands-on tours. In the afternoon, there was an offer of different workshops. This provided the opportunity to explore more deeply the concept of Safer Spaces in university settings and to interact and share ideas with stakeholders from the agricultural community. The idea of vegan community agriculture Plant Age and agricultural extension service Bevela e.V. were presented and discussed. The whole day provided ample opportunities for the PhD students to interact and network with each other.

The annual barbecue at the end of the completed the successful day and allowed informal exchange on the discussed topics of the day and the presented PhD projects. All PhD students were happy to finally get to know each other in person in bright sunshine after long months of online exchange (due to Covid-19).



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ZALF PhD Day 2020

Many researchers – one vision

How do our PhD projects contribute to the research strategy of ZALF?

This year's Phd Day took place in two parts: Lectures and workshops in an online version on 10th September and the presentation of the PhD projects at ZALF on 13th October 2020.

Under the title "Many researchers - one vision" ZALF doctoral researchers and scientists discussed at the virtual PhD Day how their projects contribute to ZALF's general research strategy and thematic approaches. The Scientific Director of ZALF, Prof. Dr. Frank Ewert, introduced the research strategy of ZALF in a presentation and pointed out funding opportunities for doctoral researchers pursuing a scientific career. Prof. Dr. Anna Maria Häring from the HNEE participated in the videoconference for a guest lecture. She explained that organic farming approaches have a great potential for the transformation of current food production. Afterwards the participants were able to discuss the respective narratives of ZALF research in five workshops, how their doctoral projects are reflected in them, how they are linked to the narratives and whether they benefit of them in communicating their own research. Prof. Dr. Sonoko-Dorothea Bellingrath-Kimura, Prof. Dr. Katharina Helming, Prof. Dr. Bettina Matzdorf, Prof. Dr. Claas Nendel and Dr. Heidi Webber introduced the respective topics and accompanied the internal exchange.

At the second part of the PhD Day, the doctoral researchers presented their projects. Very creative formats ranging from computer games to theatre plays were presented with great commitment and all participants got a very good insight into the diverse doctoral projects here at ZALF. Whether as a short elevator pitch or as a stop on the campus tour, the doctoral researchers showed developments, progress and challenges of their projects.


ZALF PhD Day 2019

Do great research and talk about it!

On 18th September, doctoral researchers presented their current research projects to all interested colleagues and invited guests in the annual ZALF PhD Day. 16 doctoral researchers showed their scientific works in many diverse and interesting ways, including oral presentation, hand-on explorer tour and elevator pitches. The topics cover broad geographic sites and research scales, from mosquito to online market platform.

The theme of this year’s PhD Day is science communication. Confronting with challenges from climate change and the growing influence of fake news, people need to be much more alert by scientific facts. Dr. Wiebke Rössig gave a speech on the practise of science communication with public in Natural History Museum Berlin. Lara Lahaye from Agrathaer and Hendrik Schneider from ZALF PR had inspired an active discussion with the audiences.

One of the new features of this year is the career talk. Participants were invited to express their concerns and describe the challenges they face as they seek a place in today’s scientific workplace. ZALF PostDoc Representatives Dr. Jana Zscheischler and Dr. Meike Grosse host one World Café considering the academic positions to keep researching and publishing. On the other hand, Katharina Luther and Agatha Riehm from the Economic Development of Brandenburg State (WFBB) advised on the working outside of academia, outlining the potentially interesting companies for ZALF PhD Researchers.

The joint barbecue was a perfect ending to the day. The PhD Day 2019 is organized by the ZALF PhD representatives Marlen Krause and Cheng Chen.

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