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Caroline van Bers

Resource Management

Osnabrück University
Institute of Environmental Systems Research

Raum 66/E05
Tel: +49 541 969 2505
Fax: +49 541 969 2599 

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Caroline van Bers has been involved in environmental management and sustainable development with academic, governmental and non-governmental organizations in Europe and North America for over twenty-five years. This work, ranging from research to capacity development, has always been interdisciplinary and applied in nature. A particular focus has been the promotion of Integrated Assessment approaches and methods at the science-policy-practice interface particularly in her management role with The Integrated Assessment Society for more than thirteen years. 

A strong focus at present are the drivers behind current food consumption patterns. Building on her graduate research (Farming in 2031: A Scenario of Sustainable Agriculture in Canada) and previous work in food policy and fair trade, she is now undertaking applied research on how food consumption patterns particularly in the wealthier regions of the world can have a positive influence on sustainability. Important questions that are being addressed in this context:

  • How can the low value attributed to food that is driving unsustainable methods of food production be turned around?
  • What are the factors and conditions that trigger transformations in food systems?

Research Interests

My research interests include:

  • Sustainable food production and consumption
  • Food security
  • Water-Energy-Food Nexus approach
  • Climate adaptation and disaster risk reduction
  • Adaptive water management
  • Integrated Assessment methods and tools especially scenario development, stakeholder involvement and participatory processes, indicators, and environmental & social impact assessment

Current Projects

  • The MEDUWA-Vecht(e) project ('MEDicines Unwanted in WAter') develops innovative solutions in the whole pharmaceutical chain to avoid emissions of human and veterinary pharmaceuticals and multi-resistant micro-organisms in soil, (drinking) water, air and food, as much as possible at the source.
  • DAFNE Project: Use of a Decision-Analytic Framework to explore the water-energy-food NExus in complex and transboundary water resources systems of fast-growing developing countries. Funded by European Commission's Horizon 2020 Programme, 2016-2020.
  • Profillinie Mensch-Umwelt-Netzwerke (MUN) (German link)/ Human-environmental networks (English Link) The interdiscplinary researchers in this network from Osnabrück University and the Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences are developing innovative research approaches and projects at the interfaces between natural sciences, social sciences and the humanities. This goal is stimuated by the organisation of interdisciplinary lectures and seminars, and other events on environmental and sustainability issues with actors from science, business, politics and civil society.

Recently Completed


Publications  here


Masters degree in Regional Planning and Resource Management, University of Waterloo, Canada

Bachelors degree in Independent Studies: Urban Studies and Resource Conservation, University of Connecticut, USA