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ISOE Research News

Issue 15 / December 2020


ISOE – Institute for Social-Ecological Research in Frankfurt am Main is one of the leading independent institutes for sustainability research. For more than 30 years the institute has been developing scientific bases and future oriented concepts for politics, civil society and the economy – regionally, nationally and internationally. Our research topics include water, energy, climate protection, mobility, urban spaces, biodiversity and social-ecological systems.




Knowledge communication through images: Principles of shaping for social-ecological transformations vividly illustrated +++ Results of the PlastX research group: Social-ecological research on plastics in the environment +++ Control of the Asian Bush Mosquito: Using natural agents against potential carriers of disease +++ Pharmaceutical residues in the environment: Ask your doctor or pharmacist +++ Chemicals in bioplastics not safer than those in conventional plastics +++ New junior research group regulate: Research for sustainable groundwater management in Europe +++ The garbage in our seas – symbol of the throwaway society +++ Equality Report of the Federal Government: Digitization and gender equality – (also) a question of technology assessment +++ Publications


Knowledge communication through images

Principles of shaping for social-ecological transformations vividly illustrated

Principle of shaping "Strengthening resilience"  (© angelika-ullmann.com)

Social-ecological transformations are necessary for sustainable development. But how can society, science, politics and economy jointly initiate successful transformation processes? Scientists of ISOE – Institute for Social-Ecological Research recently stated that a common perception of shaping is required and went on to develop basic principles for social-ecological shaping. ISOE has now...Read more


Results of the PlastX research group

Social-ecological research on plastics in the environment

Dirty used colored plastic bottle pile ready to be recycled (©sebasnoo/shutterstock)

Plastic is an ambivalent material: On the one hand, due to their versatile properties and their wide range of applications plastics have revolutionized many areas of daily life in the past decades. On the other hand, plastic poses a complex environmental problem due to its production, use and disposal. Since 2016, the PlastX research group under the direction of ISOE – Institute for...Read more


Control of the Asian Bush Mosquito

Using natural agents against potential carriers of disease

Asiatische Buschmücke (Center for Disease Control and Prevention)

More and more exotic mosquitoes are being found in Germany − in addition, pathogens associated with these insects are becoming more common. In the future, therefore, more control agents against the potential disease vectors will be necessary. Experiments by Senckenberg scientists show that essential clove oil and copper coins could be suitable for this purpose. A telephone survey conducted by...Read more


Pharmaceutical residues in the environment

Ask your doctor or pharmacist

Medicine and glass of water (© peshkova / Adobe Stock)

No matter if it’s painkillers, antibiotics, antihypertensives or psychotropic drugs: drug residues usually enter the environment via domestic wastewater. However, many consumers do not even know that they contribute to this environmental problem by taking and incorrectly disposing of drugs. Here, doctors and pharmacists are come into play to fill the knowledge gaps, because they play a key role in...Read more


Laboratory study analyzes the toxicity of bioplastics and plant-based materials

Chemicals in bioplastics not safer than those in conventional plastics 

Collage of plastic bags (iStock.com/LightFieldStudios)

So-called “bioplastics” are marketed as an environmentally friendly alternative to conventional, petroleum-based plastics. They can be made from renewable feedstock, might be bio-degradable or even both. The question is however if these biomaterials are safer than conventional plastics with regard to the chemicals they contain. A new study published today in the journal Environment International...Read more


New junior research group regulate

Research for sustainable groundwater management in Europe 

Crestasee, Schweiz (© Raphael Wild / iStockphoto.com)

Groundwater is the most important drinking water resource worldwide and at the same time a unique habitat for animal organisms. However, the conservation of this valuable resource is neglected both locally and globally. This particularly applies to some hotspot regions in Europe, where groundwater is polluted and where more water is extracted than recharged. But the pressure on the aquifers is not...Read more


Recommended reading

The garbage in our seas – symbol of the throwaway society

 Plastikmüll am Strand von Phu Quoc (Foto: Samantha Dietmar, Fotografisches Atelier unterwegs)

​​​​​​​Seas and oceans have fascinated mankind since time immemorial – as the largest coherent ecosystem in the world and also as a dream destination for recreational purposes. And even though this unique habitat has been used for waste disposal for centuries, the exponential increase of waste in the seas, especially plastic, is due only to modern production and consumption patterns. Today, the...Read more


Equality Report of the Federal Government

Digitization and gender equality – (also) a question of technology assessment 

Voice assistant concept on smartphone (© bestforbest)

In April 2019, Federal Minister Franziska Giffey appointed the Expert Commission for the Third Equality Report. In this report, the Commission deals with the question of which course of action is necessary to shape developments in the digital economy in such a way that women and men have equal chances of achieving equality. To this end, the Commission has obtained scientific expertise. Diana...Read more


Brinkmann, Katja/Ellen Hoffmann/Andreas Bürkert (2020): Spatial and Temporal Dynamics of Urban Wetlands in an Indian Megacity over the Past 50 Years. remote sensing 12 (4), 662

Germer, Jörn/Björn Ebert/Marius Mohr (2020): Concept for sustainable wastewater treatment and water reuse in the Alentejo, Portugal. A HypoWave Case Study. Stuttgart: Fraunhofer IGB

Götz, Konrad/Georg Sunderer (2020): Mobility orientations. In: Büscher, Monika/Malene Freudendal-Pedersen/Sven Kesselring/Nikolaj Grauslund Kristensen (Hg.): Handbook of Research Methods and Applications for Mobilities. Cheltenham (UK)/Northampton (USA): Edward Elgar, 137-149

Kraus, Ronja (2020): ORYCS Master tandem on Elephant movements. SPACES II Newsletter, 3. Science Partnerships for the Adaptation to Complex Earth System Processes in Southern Africa, 4

Kraus, Ronja/Robert Lütkemeier/Meed Mbidzo/Morgan Hauptfleisch/Stefan Liehr (2020): Approaching the interaction between society and wildlife. SPACES II Newsletter, 2. Science Partnerships for the Adaptation to Complex Earth System Processes in Southern Africa, 23

Kraus, Ronja/Robert Lütkemeier/Meed Mbidzo/Morgan Hauptfleisch/Stefan Liehr (2020): Stakeholder attitudes on wildlife in Namibia's Kunene Region. SPACES II Newsletter, 4. Science Partnerships for the Adaptation to Complex Earth System Processes in Southern Africa, 16

Matias, Denise Margaret S./Eufemia Felisa Pinto/Madhu Ramnath/Diana San Jose (2020): Local communities and wildlife consumption bans. nature sustainability

Matias, Denise Margaret S./Lukas Drees/Ulan Kasymov/Nandintsetseg Dejid/Batjav Batbuyan/Tserendeleg Dashpurev/Usukhjargal Dorj/Ganzorig Gonchigsumlaa/Thomas Müller/Irene Ring/Marion Mehring (2020): Mobility at risk: Sustaining the Mongolian steppe ecosystem – developing a vision. Stakeholder involvement and identification of drivers and pathways towards sustainable development. ISOE-Materialien Soziale Ökologie, 62. Frankfurt am Main: ISOE - Institut für sozial-ökologische Forschung

Reuss, Friederike/Aljoscha Kreß/Markus Braun/Axel Magdeburg/Markus Pfenninger/Ruth Müller/Marion Mehring (2020): Knowledge on exotic mosquitoes in Germany, and public acceptance and effectiveness of Bti and two self-prepared insecticides against Aedes japonicus japonicus. scientific reports 10 (18901)

Skrimizea, Eirini/Lou Lecuyer/Nils Bunnefeld/James R.A. Butler/Thomas Fickel/Isla Hodgson/Carolin Holtkamp/Mariella Marzano/Constanza Parra/Laura Pereira/Sandrine Petit/Diana Pound/Iokine Rodriguez/Paul Rayn/Jutta Staffler/Adam J. Vanbergen/Pieter Van den Broeck/Heidi Wittmer/Young Juliette C. (2020): Sustainable agriculture: Recognizing the potential of conflict as a positive driver for transformative change. Advances in Ecological Research 63, 255-311

Wang, Ce-Xia/Dan Huang/Jun-Hui Ji/Carolin Völker/Frederik R. Wurm (2020): Seawater-Degradable Polymers - Fighting the Marine Plastic Pollution. Advanced Science 2001121

Zimmermann, Lisa/Andrea Dombrowski/Carolin Völker/Martin Wagner (2020): Are bioplastics and plant-based materials safer than conventional plastics? In vitro toxicity and chemical composition. Environment International (106066)

Zimmermann, Lisa/Sarah Göttlich/Jörg Oehlmann/Martin Wagner/Carolin Völker (2020): What are the drivers of microplastic toxicity? Comparing the toxicity of plastic chemicals and particles to Daphnia magna. Environmental Pollution 267 (115392)

Further publications can be found at www.isoe-publikationen.de.


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Free electronic Research News of ISOE – Institute for Social-Ecological Research. 

Dr. Nicola Schuldt-Baumgart (ViSdP)
E-Mail: schuldt-baumgart@isoe.de
Melanie Neugart, Harry Kleespies 

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