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Wissenschaftliches Team 2016

Summer University 2015

Our scientific team


Programme directors

Dr. Wolfgang H. Serbser

Dr. Wolfgang H. Serbser


Wolfgang has studied fine arts at the University of Kassel, continued with
sociology, politics, psychology and law at the Freie Universitaet Berlin. Graduated 1979 as Dipl. soz. at the Freie Universitaet Berlin. Doctor in philosophy at the Technische Universitaet Berlin in 1997.

Research fellow and assistant lecturer at the Technische Universitaet Hamburg-Harburg, the Technische Universitaet Dortmund and the Technische Universitaet Berlin in general sociology and in urban, rural and environmental sociology. Assistant professor for sociology and human ecology at Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus. Since 2006 owner of a project and science consulting agency ProWB in Berlin.

Since 2000 treasurer and member of the executive board of the German society for Human Ecology. Speaker of the foundation council of the European College for Human Ecology. In 2004 Charter member of the Council for European Urbanism and member of the executive board of the homonymous German section since then. Since 2006 member of the board at large of the Society for Human Ecology.

Current main research topics are Human Ecology in the Chicago Tradition, New Curricula for Human Ecology Higher Education, Transdisciplinary Research and Bread & Peace @ Climate Change.

Prof. Jay Friedlander

Prof. Jay Friedlander


Jay holds an B.A. Colgate University 1990 and a M.B.A. Olin Graduate School of Business, 1997. He holds the Sharpe-McNally Chair of Green and Socially Responsible Business at the College of the Atlantic. Jay founded the program and developed a sustainable business curriculum focusing on how building social, economic and environmental capital sparks innovation and creates competitive advantage. In addition Jay created the Hatchery, a sustainable enterprise incubator fostering growth of traditional and social ventures for academic credit.

Prior to joining College of the Atlantic, Jay was the chief operating officer for O’Naturals, Inc., a natural and organic fast-food restaurant group. O’Naturals was founded by Gary Hirshberg, the CEO of Stonyfield Farm, and board members included Peter Roy, a former President of Whole Foods Market. Jay has worked with senior executives of Fortune 500 companies. As a strategy consultant he developed and implemented global brand experiences and customer-centered growth strategies for clients including Citigroup and other industry leaders.

He has served in the Peace Corps in Mauritania; written an ecotourism business plan for a college in Costa Rica; broke fundraising records for Rails-to-Trails Conservancy; counseled Native American students; and taught environmental education.


Programme co-directors

Dr. Parto Teherani-Krönner



Parto has worked as a lecturer at the Faculty of Agriculture and Horticulture in the division of Gender & Globalization and is now a guest scientist at the Faculty of Life Sciences at Humboldt University of Berlin. She holds a M.A. in Development and Rural Sociology and a Ph.D. in Environmental Sociology. Since the early ‘90s she has established Women and Gender Studies in Rural Ares as a field of study in Germany. Her areas of research are the socio-cultural dimensions of sustainable development, the engendering of agricultural policy and the cultural ecology of meals and food security. She has conducted a number of field studies in Iran, Sudan and in Germany and has organized within the last decade international summer school programs in Omdurman, Sudan and Berlin, Germany with participants from countries in Africa and Asia. She is currently working on a research project about diversifying food systems in Kenya from a gender perspective. She is also currently a member of the scientific board of the German Society for Human Ecology.

Mealculture workshop: https://mealcultures.wordpress.com/

Parto at Humboldt University of Berlin: http://www.agrar.hu-berlin.de/en/instituten/departments/daoe/gg-en/nteam-en/formermembers/teherani-kroenner-en


Scientific assistants

Julie Schmidtsdorf


My name is Julie Schmidtsdorf and I am a 21 year old student from Germany.

I study  “Landuse and Conservation” at the University for Sustainable Development Eberswalde in the north of Berlin.

I am very interested in the topic of sustainable landuse, rural development, and landscape planning. In my studies in Eberswalde I put a special focus on ecological farming and sustainable food systems.

I joined the Summer University “The Future of Sustainable Food Development” in last august. It was a great a pleasure to me to work together with a local vintner. We analysed the steps of sustainability in his business strategy and he taught us a lot about wine growing. It was very interesting to me to learn more about agriculture and food consumption in other countries and cultures.

I am very much looking forward to our next Summer University and am curious about all the different participants and projects that will be started.

Rebecca Coombs

Rebecca Coombs

Rebecca Coombs is currently an intern for the Energy & Environment Program at the Heinrich Boell Foundation North America and in this position supports a transatlantic and global dialogue on energy transitions. Her work prior to joining the Foundation has focused on the role of Germany, the United States, and China in transitioning to a sustainable energy system. In 2015, she conducted research in Germany on community energy transitions, funded by the German Academic Exchange Service and supported by the German Society for Human Ecology. In 2014, she worked on the Collaborative for Island Energy Research and Action (CIERA), an initiative to support energy transitions on islands in Maine after a study tour on a 100% renewable energy island in Denmark – Samso. Rebecca has lived in China and its Special Administrative Regions for almost 4 years combined; her time in China included collaborating on a study on waste and recycling systems at the Chinese Academy of Sciences Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, working on a start-up in Shanghai establishing a platform for environmental consultants in China, and studying at the Li Po Chun United World College of Hong Kong for two years. Rebecca holds a B.A. in Human Ecology from the College of the Atlantic in Maine, class of 2014, and is fluent in German, Spanish, and Mandarin Chinese. In September 2016, she will begin working with Meister Consultants Group, a German-based international sustainability consulting firm in Boston.