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Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences - Geography Department

The research profile of the Geography Department

The Geography Department (GD) at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin is widely recognized for being a hub of geographical research in Germany. We are ranked first in the latest ranking of geography institutes by the German Research Foundation (DFG). At the same time, we live up to our research goals in the light of the 200-year tradition of Alexander von Humboldt’s holistic approach. Our research focuses on two major topics:

  • Metropolitan studies reflect our close ties to the department’s location in Berlin. The wealth of research projects spans from urban cultures to urban ecology.
  • Land system science is dedicated to better understanding coupled human-environment systems. We here substantially contribute to the scientific discussions on global change and globalization.

Scientists at the GD have established broad methods frameworks in metropolitan studies (focus: empirical social and economic geography) and land system science (focus: remote sensing and land use/land cover change modeling).

The Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin is located in the Berlin-Brandenburg research area and closely linked to neighbouring institutions. We have cooperation agreements with the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ), Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB), and the German Aerospace Center (DLR). All cooperations are institutionalized via adjunct professorships. Synergies between this singular setting in Germany and our distinctive research profile shape an appealing and unique research environment.

Our syllabus is research oriented and extends the Humboldt ideal towards Bologna. We follow a proactive recruitment strategy and strive for hiring young potentials early on. Consequently, we were the first geography department in Germany embracing the Bachelor and Master system. Our PhD regulations adhere to the principles of the Humboldt-Graduate School, a pacemaker in reforming German PhD education.

The combination of progressive research topics, research-oriented teaching, and the vivid research environment of Germany’s capital Berlin supports our broad yet focused portfolio of international cooperations. Great scientific networking opportunities and the inspiring metropolitan flair make the difference and attract researchers of all nationalities to the GD at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.