Environmental Social Science

Section in the Department of Environmental Science, Aarhus University

Danish name Samfundsvidenskabelig miljøforskning
Head of section Berit Hasler
Section employees See list
Situated AU Roskilde
Research keywords Green economy, transition to sustainability, environmental economics, environmental sociology, environmental political science.

Foto: Bjarne Jensen

Section research areas

The Environmental Social Science Group aims to provide high quality independent research on the interplay between society and the environment. Our research explores economic, political and social dimensions of how societal development impacts the environment; how environmental quality and degradation impacts society; how environmental regulation  and management impacts society in everyday life and society at large; and how  environmental regulation may be implemented in an optimal way.

The Group works closely with natural scientists and geographers to understand, identify and analyse potential solutions to environmental problems and challenges in the areas of water environment and water resources, air pollution, climate, soil, land use and nature management as well as urban environment. Some examples of research topics include:

  • Impacts of environmental regulatory instruments and conditions for optimality;
  • Public perceptions and attitudes towards the environment and climate;
  • Importance of everyday life and practices on energy consumption, land use, transport and food;
  • Costs and benefits associated with changes in ecosystem services and goods to people and the society at large.

The Group provides teaching in the field of risk management, environmental economics and land management at Master level and makes research based consultancy projects to ministries and national and international organisations.

The areas of research in the Group comprise environmental sociology, economics and political science:

Environmental sociology research looks at social and cultural aspects of societal development and everyday practices regarding environment, nature, risks, and technology. The research area analyses actors and their practices with regard to nature and the environment, social change and related driving forces, structural conditions, barriers and possibilities. It also investigates prevention and solution strategies in addition to public participation.

Environmental economics research applies economic theory and methods to environmental regulation and welfare economic prioritisation. This covers most types of environmental concerns such as: soil pollution, nature conservation, enhancement of biodiversity, climate, energy, urban environment, and water quality. The Group develops concepts for analysing and evaluating values provided by ecosystem. We also develop and apply bio-economic models, including mathematical programming models, dynamic models of optimal resource use, agent based models, as well as econometric methods applied to empirical environmental economic analyses.  

Environmental political science research focuses on the use and effects of policy regulation instruments. This covers general action plans and specific regulation instruments such as economic instruments, administrative regulation and information based instruments. The Group analyses regulation instruments through the analysis of actors, decision making processes and institutions. Furthermore, the Group conducts research in the broad field of implementation and management of environmental policy.  Both qualitative, quantitative and comparative analysis methods across countries and sectors are applied.

Scientific research

You will find information on the scientific results of research and advisory work carried out by the section via the following links:

Section employees divided into fields

Environmental Sociology

NameJob titleEmailPhoneBuilding
Ferrucci, MartinaPostdocmafe@envs.au.dk+45871586657420, K1.02
Jensen, AnneSenior Researcheraj@envs.au.dk+45871586337420, K1.13
Petersen, Lars KjerulfSenior Researcherlkp@envs.au.dk+45871585757420, K1.27

Environmental Political Science

NameJob titleEmailPhoneBuilding
Andersen, Mikael SkouProfessormsa@envs.au.dk+4587158606
Nielsen, Helle ØrstedSenior Researcherhon@envs.au.dk+4587158879
Pedersen, Anders BranthSenior Researcherabp@envs.au.dk+45871585457420, K1.23

Environmental Economics

NameJob titleEmailPhoneBuilding
Abay, Abrha TeklayPhD Studentaba@envs.au.dk+45871586437420, K1.02
Cong, RonggangScientistrc@envs.au.dk+45871585467420, K1.08
Hansen, Line BlockResearcherlbh@envs.au.dk+45871584697420, K1.22
Hasler, BeritSenior Researcher - Head of sectionbh@envs.au.dk+45871586377420, K1.07
Helin, JannePostdocjh@envs.au.dk+45871585977420, K1.08
Konrad, Maria Theresia HedegaardPostdocmthk@envs.au.dk+45871586687420, K1.20
Martinsen, LouiseAcademic staff memberlom@envs.au.dk+45871586677420, K1.08
Nainggolan, DoanResearcherdna@envs.au.dk+45871586297420, K1.29
Termansen, MetteProfessor, former employeemter@envs.au.dk
Zandersen, MarianneSenior Researchermz@envs.au.dk+45871587287420, K1.08
Zemo, Kahsay HailePhD Studentkhz@envs.au.dk+45871586347420, K1.02
Zhang, JinPhD Studentjiz@envs.au.dk+45871587297420, K1.02

Bryndis Woods, Ph.D. guest student from Iceland University 

Anne Kejser Jensen, Ph.D. guest student from IFRO, Copenhagen University 

Norma Maccari, Ph.D. guest student from University Parthenope of Naples, Italy

Mia T. Olsen, graduate student from Copenhagen University.

Jacob Odshede, graduate student from Aarhus University.