Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences - Landscape Ecology

Seminar of the landscape ecology lab

November 28, 2019

World biomes as inspiration for planting design


Prof. Maria Ignatieva, Faculty of Arts, Business, Law and Education, UWA School of Design, The University of Western Australia

Moderation: Prof. Dr. Dagmar Haase, Dr. Diana Dushkova, Peer von Döhren


The lecture is based on Maria’s research on how and when the global pool of urban plants and their planting design palettes was created during last two centuries. Each biome will be analysed and discussed. Which particular species were selected and why? We discuss what inspirations for alpine gardens, Christmas trees, Palm Gardens, herbaceous borders and cacti gardens are.


Functions and ecosystem services of constructed Technosols under urban lawns


Dr. Viacheslav Vasenev, Department of Landscape design and sustainable ecosystems in RUDN University, Russia, Moscow

Moderation: Prof. Dr. Dagmar Haase, Dr. Diana Dushkova, Peer von Döhren


Dr. Viacheslav Vasenev is an associate professor at the Department of Landscape design and sustainable ecosystems in RUDN University (Russia), co-founder and coordinator of the international summer school “Monitoring, modelling and management of urban green infrastructure and soils (3MUGIS)” and a double-diploma master program “Management and design of urban green infrastructure”, provided by RUDN University in cooperation with Tuscia University (Italy). Graduated from Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU) in 2008, he defended his PhD dissertation in soil science and ecology in MSU in 2011 and later developed this topic within the doctoral dissertation entitled “How does urbanization affect spatial variability and temporal dynamics of soil organic carbon stocks?” in Wageningen University (2015). His main research interests and scientific expertise relate to urban soils, their functions and services, including soil organic carbon stocks, microbiological activity and greenhouse gases emissions. Most of the research projects leaded by Dr. Vasenev link urban soils to sustainable development of urban green infrastructure. Viacheslav is a member of European Geosciences Union (three times awarded with the young scientist award), American Geosciences Union, European Society on Soil Conservation, International Union of Soils Science and Russian Soil Science Society. Currently he is a principal investigator of several research projects from international and Russian foundations, including Russian Foundation of Fundamental Research, RF president grant, RF government mega grant, IAMONET, DAAD. The leader of the EDEMS project, supported by Jean Monnet+ Projects. A principle participant of the TAURUS project, supported by Capacity Building program.


The presentation of Dr. Vasenev will review the recent achievements of the group in analysis, assessment and modeling of the ecological functions provided by Technosols. Technosols are artificial soil constructions created for the purposes of urban landscaping and greening, which play a growing role in the soil cover of modern cities. Several projects implemented at the Department of Landscape Design and Sustainable Ecosystems of RUDN University study the role of soil constructions for humans and environment through ecological functions. The focus was given to the functions of fundamental scientific interest, however the prospects for practical use (for example, for environmental monitoring, assessment and design) were also considered. The following functions were analyzed: 1) gas function and biodegradation (emission and deposition of greenhouse gases); 2) fertility (substrate for biomass formation); 3) bioresource (habitat of microorganisms); 4) hydrological (migration of nutrients and pollutants); 5) remediation (absorption and destruction of pollutants). The study of Technosols through functions allows not only to characterize the processes occurring in them, but also to describe the soil constructions as dynamically developing systems, which is especially important at the early stages of their development, when soil formation processes begin in the artificially created soil object. The velocity and directions of these processes is largely determined by the properties of the structure (the substrates used, their depth and sequence of soil layers), as well as the anthropogenic load experienced (pollution, salinization, over-compaction). Mainly, research was carried out at experimental plots in Moscow megapolis (Russia), but several examples from other bioclimatic conditions (e.g., subarctic climate of Kola peninsula, Russia) will be also discussed.


November 21, 2019

Historical parks as biodiversity hotspots


Prof. Maria Ignatieva, Faculty of Arts, Business, Law and Education, UWA School of Design, The University of Western Australia

Moderation: Prof. Dr. Dagmar Haase, Dr. Diana Dushkova, Peer von Döhren


We are happy to welcome again our colleague and guest researcher Prof. Maria Ignatieva from the University of Western Australia, Director of the Landscape Architecture program. Maria is visiting the Department of Geography at HU and in particular our Landscape Ecology Lab from 18 to 30 November 2019 and is involved in the teaching and research activities at HU Berlin. Her presentation in the Seminar of the Landscape Ecology Lab is inviting to rethink the role of historical parks in the human environmental relationships, urban biodiversity and landscape design and architecture.

Historical parks and gardens always play a very special role in urban landscapes because of their cultural and landscape values. Over the last two decades, heritage parks in Europe have been re-evaluated and have begun to be seen as highly valuable urban biodiversity hotspots. Historical parks are not only witnesses of different historical art periods but also are refuges for rare flora and fauna. Very often they contain important fragments of natural landscapes. This presentation is based on the results of floristic studies and scientific restoration of historical parks and gardens of St. Petersburg, Italy, Germany and Sweden.


June 13, 2019

Design and future of urban biodiversity

Prof. Maria Ignatieva, Faculty of Arts, Business, Law and Education, UWA School of Design, The University of Western Australia
Moderation: Prof. Dr. Dagmar Haase, Dr. Diana Dushkova

We are very glad to welcome our guest Maria Ignatieva, Landscape Architecture Programme Director from School of Design, University of Western Australia. Maria is also Professor in Landscape Architecture in Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala (Sweden) and Honorary Professor of St. Petersburg State Forest Technical University (Russia). She studied at Botany, Landscape Design and Park Construction Department of St. Petersburg Forest Technical Academy and earned her Doctor degree at Faculty of Biology of Lomonsov Moscow State University. Maria has worked at different universities worldwide – Botanical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Russia), School of Landscape Architecture, Lincoln University (New Zealand), Faculty of Landscape Architecture, State University of New York (USA), Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Northwest A&F University, Yangling (China). She was a principal investigator in projects “Lawn as ecological and cultural phenomenon: Search for sustainable lawns in Sweden”, "Low Impact Urban Design and Development (New Zeland)", "Planning and Management System for the St. Petersburg Forest Greenbelt". Currently she is leading the project "Perth as a biophilic resilient city model in the time of climate change" (Australia).

This talk will be devoted to the issues of design and future of urban diversity. The beginning of the 21st century can be characterised by tremendous growth of urban areas and associated process of globalisation and unification of urban environments. Today the process of globalisation associated with using similar urban design and planning structures, landscape architecture styles, similar plant material and construction materials. Urban biodiversity today can play an important role for ecological and cultural identity of cities around the world. Because of the origin of Western Civilisation in Europe, European understanding of urban biodiversity and way of reinforcing, reintroducing and designing of nature in urban environment is different from the view for example in the Southern Hemisphere where native biota was lost or dramatically suppressed by introducing thousands of 'familiar', "mother-land" species from the Northern Hemisphere. This presentation will explore existing approaches (case studies) in dealing with design of urban biodiversity in different countries (Germany, UK, Russia, Sweden, USA, Australia and New Zealand). New landscape architecture style, biodiversinesque, and nature-based approaches such as "go native", "plant signature", "spontaneous vegetation", alternative lawns, verge gardens, low impact urban design and development will be discussed. Evaluation of their ecological and social potentials will also be provided. The presentation will also highlight the lawn as ecological and cultural phenomenon. Being the essential elements of urban green space, lawns have a significant influence on the cityscape as an important part of people’s everyday lives. Providing results from the research projects from different regions of the world, it presents social and cultural perceptions of lawns, as well as motives behind decisions about their establishment and management. It will also discuss the different preferences and needs, which will be in focus of the implementation of new types of lawns requiring special planning and design solutions adjusted for each particular neighbourhood.
June 06, 2019

Comparative socio-ecological analysis of the contribution of allotment gardens to the urban ecosystem services provision and use: Berlin, Halle/Saale and Kaliningrad (Russia) case study

Dr. Dara Gaeva, Faculty of Geography Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University, Kaliningrad (Russia)
Moderation: Prof. Dr. Dagmar Haase, Dr. Diana Dushkova, Peer von Döhren
We welcome our guest researcher Dara Gaeva from the Faculty of Geography, Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University, Kaliningrad (Russia). Dara is also a fellowship holder of Science Foundation of Berliner Parliament (2018-2019). Her research focuses on the ecosystem services, green infrastructure, climate change adaptation strategies, agriculture. It is a second presentation of Dara within the International seminar – we were glad to have had her among our presenters last year when she introduced her research project funded by the Berliner Parliament shaping the main ideas and research tasks as well as provided the results of her previous research in this field.
The current presentation highlighted the results drawing on survey in allotment gardens of Berlin, Halle (Saale) and Kaliningrad. Allotments are the part of urban agriculture and at the same time they fulfil the role of green infrastructure. The advantage of these areas for the urban ecosystems is relatively extensive land use. This study examines the role of allotments in the providing of urban ecosystem services with the particular attention to the habitats of bees and other insects. The study is based on sociological survey and field study data, which is, primarily, dedicated to the assessment of the diversity of nectar and pollen plants in the allotment gardens. The first results based on data from a survey conducted in Berlin are presented. The survey aims to assess how important the allotments are in food self-sufficiency, as recreation areas for urban residents as well as living space for pollinators. It also highlights the differences in the perception of the ecological, social and economic values of these spaces among different actors (allotment garden owners / users and citizens "non-owners / users").
May 23, 2019

Mapping green infrastructure, ecosystem services and human health in cities of Russia

Dr. Olga Chereshnia, Faculty of Geography, Lomonosov Moscow State University, in cooperation with Dr. Diana Dushkova, Geography Department, Landscape ecology Lab, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Moderation: Peer von Döhren
We welcome our guest and good colleague Olga Chereshnia, a Researcher of Integrated Cartography Lab Faculty of Faculty of Geography, Lomonosov Moscow State University (MGU). Olga is also our co-partner within the joint HU-MGU project “Urban ecosystem services and their assessment: exchange of experiences between Germany and Russia” (2015-2017, 2018-2020) funded by DAAD Ostpartnerschaften program. Her research focuses on the sustainable development of territories with expertise in geostatistics, cartography and macroeconomics. It is a second presentation of Olga within the International seminar – we were glad to have had her among our presenters last year when she introduced the New Ecological Atlas of Russia, one of the biggest geographical projects in last years in Russia where Olga and her department were one of the principal collaborators. The current presentation highlighted the results drawing on work within the above mentioned projects as well as provides some important findings from the collaborative project „Mathematical-cartographic assessment of medical-ecological situation in cities of European Russian for their integrated ecological characteristics (2018-2020) funded by the Russian Foundation for Basic research.
The presentation gives an overview on the current urban societal and environmental challenges in Russia focusing on the most important problems. It also highlights the state of the art in the research field of green infrastructure and ecosystem services shaping research needs and providing the nationally recognized and adopted terms and concepts.
It critically examines the role and contribution of green infrastructure providing a high variety of different ecosystem services to cope with diverse urban societal challenges (with a focus on air pollution, landscape degradation, cold and heat stress and recreation opportunities). Exemplified on the cities of Moscow, Kirovsk, Archangelsk, Smolensk and Sevastopol) it focuses on the problems and potentials of urban green during transition, by presenting the current state, change, meanings and future prospects of urban green. It presents some results of ecosystem services assessments calculated for some cities. Discussing the role of urban nature for people within the ecosystem services and green infrastructure concepts and how people perceive, value, use or interact with urban green, the talk provides interesting findings from greening strategies for sustainable planning and management in and around cities situated in different climate and geographical conditions in different time periods. It also provides the results of some summer school projects conducted by students of MGU and HU Berlin within the projects mentioned above by inviting and involving students and PhD researchers as well as experts dealing with these issues in challenging discussion.
May 09, 2019

Compact Cities - A brief retrospective

Prof. Mike Jenks, School of Architecture, Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment, Oxford Brookes University
Moderation: Prof. Dagmar Haase, Dr. Diana Dushkova
We welcome our dear guest Mike Jenks who is a Professor of School of Architecture, Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment, Oxford Brookes University and the Founder Director of the Oxford Institute for Sustainable Development. Mike is also an architect and former Head of the Oxford School of Architecture. His research focuses on the sustainably city, urban form and the compact city, and has published widely. He carried out research and consultancy nationally and internationally, and called on to lecture in many parts of the world.
Drawing on work at Oxford Brookes University, the talk will review some of the claims and counterclaims about the compact city and its sustainability, will speculate about, and question, its relevance as a concept for the World's largest cities. The talk will end with an example of a small town trying to apply 'compact city theory' to a practical plan within the UK's neighbourhood planning system.' As Mike noted he would classify his talk as more light entertainment than heavyweight research. So, we invite our colleagues and students to this fascinating presentation to learn more and to discuss together the various dimensions of urban sustainability – economic, social, transport, energy and ecological – in their relationships both to each other and to urban form. The elements of urban form include density, land use, location, accessibility, transport infrastructure and characteristics of the built environment. Moreover, the discussion should address to the urban form the issues such as adapting cities, psychological and ecological benefits of green space and sustainable lifestyles. In doing so, the presentation will provide useful insights for advanced undergraduate and graduate students and for researchers dealing with these issues.
May 2, 2019

Ecology of cemeteries. First results from the German-Polish Survey

PhD Andrzej Długoński, Faculty of Biology and Environmental Sciences of Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw, Poland

Moderation: Prof. Dagmar Haase, Dr. Diana Dushkova
We welcome our guest Andrzej Długoński from Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw, Poland, who is involved together with our team to work within the project on ecosystem services and biocultural diversity of urban cemeteries: cases from German and Polish cities. Andrzej visited our department last year within the Erasmus program to start the research on this topic and to develop further the collaboration between the both universities.

In his presentation, prepared together with Dagmar and Diana, Andrzej highlights the importance of green spaces in the cities which will be designed to be multifunctional in order to meet the various needs of urban population. Based on the review of existing research on urban green spaces and ecosystem services he shows that in the most cases such research focuses rather on urban forests, street trees, parks and garden while cemeteries still remain overlooked. Thus, the presented research can fill the gap by looking at how this neglected green space can supply the demand for ecosystem services. The presentation introduces the multidimensional set of indicators to assess urban cemeteries as an important element of urban green infrastructure, that from the one side provides a specific range of ecosystem services, and from the other side contributes to the study of multidimensional features of bicultural diversity in cities. By focusing on four multi-confessional cemeteries in the two cities, Łódź and Leipzig, providing a similar history and multi-confessional societies in the past, Andrzej together with Diana and Dagmar investigate social-ecological features and practices of their using and management. They analyse different structural elements from ecological (ecosystem services) and social (using practices, way of interactions, management) perspective. In addition to the field observation and statistics of census data, several questionnaire surveys and interviews were conducted with the citizens and visitors by asking questions about their activities, using practices, stewardship and management.

The aim of the presentation is also to discuss together with students and researchers of Geography Department of HU Berlin which ecological potential and ecological functions have urban cemeteries within the urban green infrastructure and what can differ them from the other urban green spaces. The presented examples invite further to discuss the phenomenon of urban cemetery in terms of multifunctionality and multiculturalism within the concepts of biocultural diversity and ecosystem services.
April 25, 2019

Greening the city towards citizens’ well-being. Poznań Case Study

PhD Iwona Zwierzchowska, Department of Integrated Geography, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland

Moderation: Prof. Dagmar Haase, Dr. Diana Dushkova
We welcome our guest Iwona Zwierzchowska from Geography Department of Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland, who is involved together with our team to work within the H2020 project "Connecting Nature: COproductioN with NaturE for City Transitioning Innovation and Governance (2017-2021). Iwona is also awarded by NAWA with grant from the Bekker Program for realization of project entitled „Potential for development of nature-based solution in multifamily residential urban areas from a Central European Cities perspective” (15 March – 15 August 2019).

The aim of the presentation is to familiarize students with contemporary urban challenges and opportunities in facing them through urban green infrastructure and nature-based solutions. The presented examples of local nature-based interventions, science-policy collaboration and scientific research illustrated the progress and preliminary results of CONNECTING Nature Project.

The activities being a focus area of Poznań, Poland, within CONNECTING Nature Project are developing in two directions. The first one is to supplement existing green system with a small scale intervention in central districts poor in green spaces and the second one is to increase multifunctionality of existing green spaces for recreation and well-being of inhabitants.

The presentation of Iwona Zwierzchowska and discussion with the students and researchers of Geography Department of HU Berlin contributes to the dissemination of preliminary results of the CONNECTING Nature project and is an important part of the integration of project results in higher education process.