Core reserach areas and staffing – Københavns Universitet

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Core reserach areas and staffing

Montpellier (School of Forestry, Agricultural and Environmental Engineering)

Environmental management of and policies for tropical forest ecosystems
Nature areas, in particular tropical forest ecosystems, are under unprecedented pressure through exploitation of their resources, and the appropriation of their territories. There are major environmental issues: climate change, biodiversity, desertification and soil protection, regulation of hydro systems. The policies and management programs which are supposed to address these issues are still too timid, and only achieve derisory results. The sectorial approaches (forestry sector, agricultural sector, etc) have shown their limits, and the new, more integrated and consensual approaches do not appear to be any more efficient, even after fifteen years of use in the field of sustainable development. It is therefore essential to find ways of making these decisions and strategies more effective. The theoretical framework of Strategic Environmental Management Analysis, which aims at interpreting environmental problem situations in terms of joint responsibility and strategic action by a group of actors for whom change in favour of the environment, is central to this research axis. It involved social science disciplines (in particular management sciences, and political and social sciences) and demands a good basic knowledge of ecology.

Ecology of tropical forest ecosystems
Tropical forest ecosystems are exceptionally diverse and functionally important for global biogeochemical cycles while being under threat of harvesting of timber and non-timber products, land-use change, and climate change. Research focuses on (i) plant architecture, development, forms and systematics, (ii) structure and dynamics of plant community and landscapes, (iii) functional ecology (interactions with biodiversity and between plant and soil, land restoration), and (iv) greenhouse gases balance of ecosystems (monitoring of C stocks and flows from ground- and remote-sensing measures). It is developed jointly with research institutes (IRD, CIRAD, CNRS, INRA) in Montpellier and over-seas (Africa, south-East Asia, South America including French Guyana that has permanent staff and experimental designs). 

Relevant staffing
One full professor, 1 senior lecturer, 2 lecturers, 8 associate professors/senior researchers, 1 researcher, 10 doctoral candidates.