Being a trained biologist, I received postgrad training in research ethics and environmental ethics at the University of Tübingen. My PhD thesis treated ethical fundamentals of the assessment of invasive alien plants (1995-98). Since then, ethical aspects of biodiversity research and politics are at the centre of my research. As Post Doc at the Institute for Science and Technology Studies, Bielefeld, and the History and Philosophy of Biology Programme at UC Davis I studied the value of biodiversity in interdisciplinary institutions, integrating biological, philosophical and social science perspectives.
I regard biodiversity as a boundary object that inextricably links empirical, ethical and political questions. The Convention on Biodiversity has modernised traditional ideas of biological conservation according to the ideal of sustainable development. It aims not only at the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, but also at the fair and equitable sharing of its multiple benefits. Hence, questions of social and global justice are at the core of my research. Another research topic is the Aichi goal of “living in harmony with nature”.
At the centre for economics and the environment, Nürtingen Geislingen University, I conducted projects on environmental ethics and communication (2001-14). I was lead author of several reports to the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation with regard to their communication strategy. Since 2015, I am freelancing as environmental ethicist, contributing ethical expertise to research projects and consulting educational programmes on biodiversity.