New research center "Umwelttechnikum"
The Eva Mayr-Stihl Foundation supports environmental sciences at the University of Freiburg with four million euros.
Climate change poses many pressing questions for the environmental sciences: What interactions exist between plants, soil and atmosphere? How do important processes such as photosynthesis or water flows change? When do forest ecosystems reach their tipping points? The Eva Mayr-Stihl Foundation supports the search for answers and therefore promotes the construction of the Environmental Technology Center, a forest and environmental science experimental research center at the University of Freiburg. “With this funding, we want to strengthen the profile of the Albert Ludwig University in environmental and forest sciences. The Umwelttechnikum closes the gap between laboratory research, large-scale field experiments and observation areas and will thus enable promising research activities," says Honorary Senator Robert Mayr, founder and director of the foundation, when the funding agreement for four million euros was signed on July 26, 2021. "We are very grateful to the Eva Mayr-Stihl Foundation for making the construction of the Environmental Technology Center possible in order to further expand research on nature and the environment, their adaptability and the corresponding risks at the University of Freiburg. This also significantly strengthens our profile field of environment and sustainability ”, says Prof. Dr. Kerstin Krieglstein, Rector of the Albert Ludwig University.
Bundling environmental scientific research approaches
The building with the adjoining greenhouse will be located on the campus of the Technical Faculty and will be used by 17 professorships from the Faculty of Environment and Natural Resources, often in close cooperation with professorships from the Faculty of Biology and the Technical Faculty. “With the Umwelttechnikum we are promoting networking and cooperation between the various disciplines and bundling a wide range of forest and environmental research approaches. It is an important milestone for the successful development of our faculty, ”says Prof. Dr. Heiner Schanz, Dean of the Faculty for Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Freiburg. In the environmental technology center, scientists will be able to simulate diverse ecosystems, for example to research the resilience of tree species. You can also carry out experimental simulations of extreme events such as drought or heavy rain here. In addition, the interaction between plants and insects is to be examined in more detail and the development of new research processes and measurement techniques is to be promoted. The construction of the environmental technology center should be completed in mid-2023.