Models are simplified representations of complex phenomena, which can be useful in several respects: They help to understand interrelations, to reconstruct past states of the system using incomplete datasets, to create forecasts or scenarios about future developments and to structure communication processes.

The thematic research area of socio-ecological modelling deals with the analysis of complex processes of society-nature interaction. The goal is to create computer models illustrating the interplay between decisions taken by different types of actors, socioeconomic processes and political and institutional framework conditions on the one hand and essential ecological patterns and processes on the other. These models structure interdisciplinary communication processes because building models requires to make variables and their interaction explicit. Model building therefore supports the accuracy of interdisciplinary exchanges of ideas.

With the development of socio-ecological models we analyse changes of land use as well as socioeconomic and socio-ecological stocks and flows of materials, energy and substances such as nitrate, carbon and biomass. In doing so, we work on different spatial and temporal scales, ranging from local studies in LTSER platforms to global changes in the diet system, land use and biomass flows. Our previous experiences show that participative model development, where models are created together with stakeholders, is quite capable of illustrating the potential impact of future actions and structuring the understanding of possible future options.

Research coordinator: Veronika Gaube

Current Projects

ALISEN - (Analyzing LInkages of SocioEcological Nitrogen flows) - Linkages of food systems and nitrogen flows: An integrated socioecological model of the Enns valley, Upper Austria, 1830-2030

Keywords: LTSER, integrated modelling, nitrogen flows, food system
Project Leader: Veronika Gaube
Duration: 01.05.2012-30.04.2020
Funded by: Fonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung (FWF)

Insource - INtegrated analysis and modeling for the management of sustainable urban FWE ReSOURCEs

Project Leader: Erb Karlheinz
Duration: 01.05.2018-30.04.2021
Funded by: FFG - Forschungsförderungsgesellschaft

MoLUP - Mountain ecosystem in a changing world: land use, pollution and pathogens

Project Leader: Gaube Veronika 
Duration: 01.06.2017-29.02.2020
Funded by: Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften

ZEAFOLU - Zero emissions from agriculture, forestry and other land use in the Eisenwurzen and beyond

Project Leader: Christian Lauk
Duration: 01.09.2017 - 30.09.2020
Funded by: Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften (ÖAW)

Finished Projects

LUBIO - Landnutzung, Klimawandel und Biodiversität in Kulturlandschaften

Project Leader: Gaube Veronika
Duration: 01.05.2015-31.01.2019
Funded by: Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften


UTE - Urban Time and Energy: A socioecological model for assessing time-use and energy metabolism

Keywords: time use, energy flow analysis
Project Leader: Marina Fischer- Kowalski
Duration: 01.09.2011 - 31.08.2014
Funded by: Fonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung (FWF)

VOLANTE - Visions of land use transitions in Europe

Keywords: land use
Project Leader: Karlheinz Erb
Zeitraum: 01.11.2010 - 30.05.2015
Funded by: Europäische Union