Habilitation theses & Dissertations

CDE promotes academic careers and young academics. In collaboration with the Institute of Geography at the University of Bern as well as other institutes and partner universities, CDE supervises habilitation theses and dissertation projects in Sustainable Development. For more information on the PhD programme, see International Graduate School (IGS) North-South.


Andreas Heinimann

MSc in Environmental Science ETH Zurich; PhD in Integrative Geography and Sustainable Development University of Bern. Habilitation entitled: "Land Use Systems and Sustainable Development: Mesoscale Approaches in Land System Science”, 2017

Johanna Jacobi

MSc in Geography (minors: Biology and Social Anthropology); PhD in Geography. Habilitaiton entitled: "Transdisciplinary Pathways to Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems: Obstacles and opportunities for co‐creating knowledge and transformative action", 2019

Flurina Schneider

MSc in Geography (minors: law, botany, environmental protection); PhD in Integrative geography and sustainable development. Habilitation entitled “Transdisciplinary and Transformative Research for Sustainable Governance of Natural Resources: Towards Intra- and Intergenerational Justice”, 2016


Sandra Eckert

Sandra Eckert

Msc in Geography, University of Zurich; PhD in Geography, University of Zurich. Habilitation, working title: “ Remote sensing and geospatial technologies in Support of Sustainable Natural Resource Management“.

Christoph Oberlack

Prediploma (BSc equivalent) Economics, University of Osnabrück, Germany; Diploma (MSc equivalent) Economics, University of Münster, Germany; PhD in Economics, University of Freiburg, Germany. Habilitation, working title: “Governing telecoupled resource systems for environmental justice”

Julie G. Zähringer

BSc Biology, University of Zurich; MSc Environmental Sciences, ETH Zurich; PhD in Geography and Sustainable Development, University of Bern. Habilitation, working title: “Sustainable development of tropical landscapes at the interface between conservation, cash crop expansion, and subsistence agriculture – a land science approach”

PhD graduates as of 2019:


Helen Gambon

BA in Social Anthropology (University of Bern); MA in Anthropology of Transnationalism and the State (ATS) (University of Bern); PhD studies: Constitutionality processes and social-ecological dynamicsin the Pilón Lajas Indigenous Territory and Biosphere Reserve

Donia Mühlematter

Engineer in Agricultural Science (Carthage University); MSc in Drylands management and Combating Desertification (Carthage University); MSc in Integrated Drylands Management (Chinese Academy of Science); PhD in Desertification, Environment and Climate Change (Carthage University); PhD studies (University of Bern): Towards sustainable land management in degraded ecosystems: Assessments of land degradation and land management in northwest Tunisia

Heliodoro Ochoa

Bachelor in Geography (University of Guadalajara); Master in Regional Environmental and Development Studies (Ibero-American University Puebla); PhD studies: Struggling for sustainable water governance: Social conflicts and alternatives from the bottom up in Mexico

Elena Zepharovich

Bachelor in Development Studies (University of Vienna); Master in Sustainable Development, Management and Policy (MODUL University Vienna); PhD studies: Deforestation and Environmental Justice in the Argentinean Chaco


Achiba Gargule

BA in Land Economics (University of Nairobi); MA in International Political Economy (Newcastle University, UK). PhD Studies: Renewing disruption: the state, pastoralism discourses and development practices at the margins of Kenya 1965-2015.

Chantal Ingabire

Bachelor in Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness (National University of Rwanda); Master in Agribusiness Management and Trade (Kenyatta University); PhD in Agricultural Economics (Egerton University). PhD studies: Market participation and its impact on food security and rural employment among smallholder women farmers in Rwanda.