Where I work
My research takes me to three broad innovation ecologies (i.e. distinct interrelated areas with their own actors, goals and development priorities, institutions and resources) described below. In each of these ecologies, I explore pathways to either greater social stability or to the sustainable use of environmental resources. My basic and applied research questions focus on reallocation of resources, transition readiness of actors, ways to improve change facilitation and impact assessment. Access to food and healthy diets are central outcome indicators.
My research on pathways is anchored in several research traditions. While natural resources, such as soils, water, crops and livestock are an obvious focal point (where my natural science training helps), it’s the decisions that people make about the use of these resources in complex environments that I try to understand through my research (using my background in development research). My research typically uses mixed approaches: some of my work is guided by traditional study design; elsewhere it is anchored by co-design thinking and participatory research. I employ qualitative and quantitative social science methods. In the field, I work closely with system modelers, foresight analysts and impact assessment specialists. Together we draw conclusions and make recommendations for policy makers and practitioners at national and regional level.
Within my research boundaries, I offer a wide range of researchable topics for graduate students, most of whom are enrolled at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna where they carry out field research in projects managed by ICRISAT. Under exceptional circumstances, I accept topics outside the realm of ICRISAT, or supervise students of other universities provided their research topic contributes to ICRISAT’s research agenda.