The Environment and Climate Research Hub (ECH) organizes various activities for its members, scientists and interested publics. This includes discussions, workshops, and awards.

© Barbara Mair/ECH

© Walter Skokanitsch/ECH

© Barbara Mair/ECH

Upcoming activities

Event series "Umwelt im Gespräch"

9th Umwelt im Gespräch: Agriculture & Planetary Health

The question of a healthy and sustainable diet is the subject of much public and scientific debate. In this context, the way we eat is not only relevant for us as humans, but is also closely linked to the health of the entire planet via agriculture. The 9th edition of the event series "Umwelt im Gespräch" therefore focused on this multi-layered topic, which was based on the current semester question of the University of Vienna: Agriculture and Planetary Health - Possibilities for a Healthy and Sustainable Diet.

Keynote Speech by Univ.-Prof. Dr. Thilo Hofmann

Thilo Hofmann, co-director of the ECH and environmental geoscientist at the University of Vienna, posed the question of how we can feed 10 billion people in the future in harmony with the health of our planet. While efficient agriculture is essential for food production, it also causes various environmental damages, such as deforestation, greenhouse gas emissions and accelerating biodiversity loss.

6th Umwelt im Gespräch: In the Chemical Cloud

From food contaminants and environmental estrogens to pesticides and substances from packaging materials, humans are exposed to hundreds of environmental chemicals every day. How do these compounds affect health? This question was discussed by experts at the 6th edition of "Umwelt im Gespräch".

Keynote Speech by Univ.-Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr. Benedikt Warth

"Where you live, how you live and, above all, what you eat has a major impact on your health - only 10 to 30 percent of the risk of disease is genetic, whereas 70 to 90 percent is due to the environment, food and lifestyle," said Benedikt Warth, bioanalytical chemist and ECH member. An important approach in research on the effects of environmental chemicals is to examine not only the effects of individual substances but also the combinatorial effects of the substances in the body.

5th Umwelt im Gespräch: Living at the Expense of Nature

Humans have contributed significantly to exceeding planetary stress limits. At the 5th "Umwelt im Gespräch", scientists from the fields of ecology and systems analysis, political science and economics discussed what we can do against the backdrop of global warming, biodiversity loss and changes in global material cycles to avoid heading unchecked into an uncertain future.

Keynote Speech by Univ.-Prof. Dipl.-Polit. Dr. Ulrich Brand

In his keynote speech, political scientist and ECH member Ulrich Brand addressed the need for changes in production and lifestyles in order to strive for more sustainable development. Initiatives against the "imperial way of life" would also have to start at the local level in order to initiate changes. The global North has disproportionate access to global resources - as well as to the cheap labor used to produce cell phones and food, for example.

4th Umwelt im Gespräch: Microbiome and Environment

"We are not alone - each of us brings with us a whole microcosm of tiny organisms: the microbiome," introduced symbiosis researcher Jillian Petersen of the University of Vienna: At the 4th "Umwelt im Gespräch" it was discussed how humans depend on "their" bacteria.

Keynote Speech by Assoz. Prof. Dr. Jillian Petersen

In her introductory lecture, Jillian Petersen from the research network "Chemistry meets Microbiology" referred to the great importance of the microbiome: "Every human carries more microbes than the body's own cells." Around 100,000,000,000 organisms populate humans; including several hundred species. The microorganisms are vital and control important processes in the human body - from digestion to defense against pathogens and vitamin balance to the brain and thus behavior.