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The Department of Environmental Sciences conducts interdisciplinary research and provides solutions to stewardship the natural resources plants, water and air in the view of the human perspective. By that we are contributing to providing high quality food and an intact environment. We are tackling actual problems of society and environment such as:

  • the quality of drinking water resources which are endangered by chemical and biological pollution
  • the quality of plants and soils in the light of global change and actual developments in soil use and management
  • air quality with specific focus on ambient and biogenic aerosols
  • prevention of human diseases associated with environmental factors.
  • the need of new bioactive compounds in agronomic and health issues and thus the sustainable use of ecosystem resources

Our goals are to understand the fundamental principles of ecosystem functioning. We develop new concepts for a sustainable use of ecosystem services, which provide mankind with the most essential goods plants, water and air by minimizing chemical inputs and hazardous emissions. Specifically, the department investigates complex interactions of abiotic and biotic components in terrestrial and sub surface ecosystems. The focus of research is on elucidating chemical and biological mechanisms and on regulating processes from the molecule to the organism and subsequently to entire ecosystems. The department provides a bridge between the Helmholtz research fields ‘Health’ and ‘Earth and Environment’, and is integrated into the Munich university landscape.

Further information

Quotation: Prof. Dr. Michael Schloter

"In a changing world the solution of the most burning problems, including the dramatic increase of endemic diseases like cancer or diabetes, requires interdisciplinary approaches. HELENA provides a unique platform for graduate students from different scientific disciplines to exchange their thoughts and to develop steps forward to a better world for future generations."

Quotation: Prof. Dr. Jörg-Peter Schnitzler

"The broad spectrum of courses and lectures in the HELENA graduate school offers the students a unique opportunity to get insight into a wide array of techniques and interdisciplinary research fields enabling them to become familiar with modern holistic concepts answering actual society and environment relevant research questions."