Research Projects

Externally Funded Research Projects


2022 - 2025

The project „KlimaPlanReal“ pursues the goal of supporting universities in Saxony-Anhalt on their way to climate neutrality. In more detail, this means that we explore sustainable transformation paths to climate neutrality with planning cells and real laboratories.

Focusing on the goal of climate neutrality in the university organization, the project will investigate both transformational and transformative processes. In a first phase, cross-status group climate university councils will be conducted, based on the planning cell method. Supported by experts (advisory boards), who will provide topic-specific input, these councils will develop recommendations for action to achieve climate neutrality. The first recommendations will be implemented in pilot projects in the next two project phases, accompanied by an (interdisciplinary and cross-administrative) transformation team. This will take place in transfer laboratories, based on the real-lab approach. This three-phase process will be carried out at five universities in Saxony-Anhalt. The entire process will be evaluated across the universities in order to be able to present obstacles & potentials for the transformation as well as transformative process. At the end of the project, blueprints for other universities will be derived from the findings and made available in a digital best practice report.


2021 - 2024

The project „Power2U – The Empowerment of households to participate in decarbonization – transdisciplinary research from a psychological, economic and political science research perspective” examines the existing barriers, but also the potential opportunities for an inclusive energy transition from a social, economic and political science perspective. Particularly impact-relevant areas (heating and mobility) as well as potentially vulnerable groups (population in rural areas) are the focal points. In an analysis phase, the disciplinary findings on barriers (issues of subjective mapping of the investment decision, affordability, distributional impacts) will be embedded in the current and future context (rising CO2 price, accompanying measures, actor constellations, institutions, policy mix at different political and administrative levels as well as in different policy areas) and finally integrated into an integrative phase model of sustainable investment decisions of households. On this basis, perspectives for future control instruments and interactive communication tools will be developed in a subsequent development, testing and contextualizing phase in cooperation with practice partners. These will be implemented in a pilot study and tested experimentally. Moreover, it will be evaluated in cooperation with the practice partners. In addition, the acceptance of an increasing CO2 price will be investigated in accompanying studies, especially if it is supplemented by complementary instruments that expand the individual's scope for action. Changes over time and interactions between acceptability and perceived options for CO2 options will also be analyzed. The project is funded by The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie; BMWi).


2021 - 2023

The project „TraMocee - Transformation of mobility behavior through corona-related constraints and new experiences“ examines the corona pandemic as a window of opportunity to reinforce existing transformation trends (Schmidt, Sieverding, Wallis & Matthies, 2021). The pandemic has seriously changed mobility behavior, both in the extent and mode of mobility. In terms of the major transformation to sustainability, the key research question is: What are the implications of the restrictions and the new experiences they have enabled for the long-term trend toward climate change mitigation and sustainable mobility? Even before 2020, trends towards sustainable mobility became apparent in the area of everyday mobility, but also in the business travel culture, and here in particular among universities. From a psychological point of view, it can certainly be expected that temporary changes in the everyday mobility situation are also conducive to lasting behavioral changes; especially if an already high motivation to change existed, and if positive experiences are made possible by the temporary changes. Following on from the "Gamechanger Project", the project will identify potential for stabilizing interventions in everyday and vacation travel mobility. Furthermore, the great potential for the reduction of scientific conference travel, based on diverse experiences with alternative, hybrid or digital conference formats, will be researched in a transformative way with the involvement of organizers and service providers in the conference sector. The project is funded by The German Federal Environmental Foundation (Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt - DBU).


The Build4People project promotes sustainable buildings and sustainable urban development from a people-centred perspective. Despite the increasing electricity prices, the new buildings erected as part of Cambodia's ongoing construction boom are neither energy-efficient nor adapted to the tropical climate. Instead of a demand orientation, the goal of short-term profit maximization is in the foreground. Decision makers are not sufficiently aware of sustainability issues. The Build4People project considers sustainable, people-centred urban planning as a cross-cutting task that does not necessarily evolve and which is not top-down feasible only through legal regulations. Our innovative team works on a transdisciplinary basis and develops innovative concepts based on proven scientific and regional expertise together with local partners, which directly target urban sustainability. The connecting scientific-conceptional, analytical and normative bracket is always the notion of urban quality of life. On-site research will be carried out together with the most important local universities. Implementation will be done with the Phnom Penh city administration, the General Department of Housing at the relevant ministry and by means of a secondary education demonstration project (Green School). Locally established multipliers such as the European Chamber of Commerce or a local construction carry out the dissemination of our approaches fair.
Within the project, the workgroup of Environmental Psychology focuses on main constraints and motives for pro-environmental everyday behaviour of people in Phnom Penh. The standardized measurement of environmental behaviours as well as associated predictors targets a deeper understanding of conditions for environmental behaviour in Cambodia. The main objective is the development of theory-driven, tailored intervention techniques.

The Build4People Project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research within the funding measure NUR: “Climate Adaptation and sustainable land use; funding area: Sustainable Development of urban areas”.
The joint project management is run by the Institute of Geography at the University of Hamburg. Latest project activities and the research topics of the other project partners are presented on the project homepage.

The project „KlimaHand – Climate-aware behavior as citizens and consumers“ systematically investigates how citizens estimate their carbon footprint and which scope of behavior change they perceive. The project is funded by the Ministry of Environment, Agriculture and Energy of Saxony-Anhalt.


Finished projects of the director and her team members



2017 - 2019
The Project Cargo bike depot ‘Citizen- and traffic-suitable implementation of inner-city depots for cargo bikes’ examines the usage of cargo bikes for transportation of goods in cities. The project’s aim is the development of an exemplary guideline for the implementation of inner-city depots within ideal logistic conditions and with high acceptance of all involved stakeholders (e.g. residents, road users).

The project is jointly implemented with the Department of Logistic Systems at the Institute of Logistics and Material Handling Systems (ILM) and supported by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) with funds to implement the 2020 National Cycling Plan (NCP).



2016 - 2019
The project ENavi (Energy transformation navigation system) investigates key factors of sustainable investment decisions in different sectors (heating and mobility) and target groups (households and companies). The results are meant to support decision makers for choosing appropriate measures to bring forward the German energy transition.



2016 - 2018
The joint project ECHO aims to further develop a reliable instrument (Change-intervention) to promote energy efficient behaviour in organisations. Particularly with regard to the integration of new elements, “change agents” will be specifically trained for initiating, accompanying and consolidating the necessary processes of sustainable development on-site. ECHO will be tested at several universities, optimised and maintained beyond the actual duration of the project. Campaign material will be provided online to be accessible to other interested parties. This database will be updated regularly beyond the project term. All project components will be monitored continuously. More information about the project is available here.


2015 - 2017
AdaptBehaviour - „Environmental psychology knowledge for administrative decision makers-improving behaviour change effects of climate adaptation and mitigation measures“. Main objective of this project is to analyse and demonstrate how an adapted and “translated” knowledge of environmental psychology may support administrative decision makers in the establishment and successful implementation of climate change adaptation and mitigation measures.

In cooperation with  Joanneum Research (Graz, Austria), AdaptBehaviour is funded by the Climate and Energy Fund (7th call Austrian Climate Research Programme ACRP) of the Austrian Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology and the The Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management.


2014 - 2016
"Green Lifestyles, Alternative Models and Upscaling Regional Sustainability (GLAMURS)" The overall aim of GLAMURS (Green Lifestyles, Alternative Models and Upscaling Regional Sustainability) is to develop a theoretically-based and empirically-grounded understanding of the main obstacles and prospects for transitions to sustainable lifestyles and a green economy in Europe, as well as of the most effective means to support and speed them up. GLAMURS is funded by the 7th Framework Programme of the European Union


2012 - 2016
(Determinants of Household Decisions and Behaviour & Effectiveness and Efficiency of Interventions) within the Helmholtz Alliance ENERGY-TRANS - Future infrastructures for meeting energy demands. Towards sustainability and social compatibility"

2011 - 2014
"Tailoring Intervention Instruments and Policy to Promote Emission Reduction in Norway: Applying the Self-Regulation Model of Behavioural Change" with Christian A. Klöckner (NTNU, Trondheim, Norway), in cooperation with Sebastian Bamberg (University of Applied Science, Bielefeld, Germany), Linda Steg (University of Groningen, Netherlands), Paul Stern (National Research Council, Division of Behavioural and Social Science and Education, USA), and Edgar Hertwich (NTNU, Norway). Funded by the Norwegian Research Council.


since 2008
"Changing environmentally relevant consumer behaviors in organisations - Development of an intervention measure to improve energy efficient behavior in a research network" together with Prof. Dr. Hermann-Josef Wagner Ruhr-Universität Bochum and the HIS GmbH Hannover; funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

2007 - 2009
The genesis of car fixation - an empirical comparison of different concepts together with Dr. Anke Blöbaum (Ruhr-Universität Bochum) funded by the German Research Foundation (MA 1977/8-1).


2006 - 2007
The influence of descriptive, personal and social norms on the waste reducing behavior of children and parents - a comparison of German and Japanese citizens in cooperation with Prof. Dr. Yukio Hirose (Graduate School of Environmental Studies, Nagoya University, Japan) & Dr. Kaori Ando (Nara Women's University, Japan); funded by the German Research Foundation (Ma 1977/5-1).

2005 - 2006
Consumers' Contribution to Environmental Protection: The Structure of Environmental Behaviours and Attitudes, together with Christopher Bratt, Vibeke Nenseth (NIBR, Norway) und Paul Stern (National Research Council, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, USA); funded by the Norwegian Reserach Programm RAMBU (RAMmebetingelser for en Bærekraftig Utvikling) and by the German Research Foundation (MA 1977-3).

2003 - 2005
Environmentally Significant Behavior From a Cross-Cultural Perspective - Umwelthandeln im Kulturvergleich, together with Dr. Anke Blöbaum (Ruhr-Universität Bochum) in cooperation with Prof. Dr. Yukio Hirose (Graduate School of Environmental Studies, Nagoya University, Japan) & Dr. Kaori Ando (Nara Women's University, Japan); funded by the German Research Foundation (BL 527/1-1).

2003 - 2005
Situational context or habit - Implementing environmentally sustainable traffic mode use in sensitive periods of life together with Dr. Anke Blöbaum; funded by the German Research Foundation DFG (MA 1977/2-1).

2001 - 2003
Theory-driven Intervention to promote an environmentally sound travel mode choice together with Dr. Anke Blöbaum, Dr. Marcel Hunecke und PD Dr. Rainer Höger; funded by the German Science Foundation DFG (MA 1977/1-1).

1995 - 2001
As part of the priority program "Global Environmental Change - Social and Behavioral Dimensions" funded by the German Science Foundation (Management together with PD Dr. Rainer Höger and Prof. Dr. Rainer Guski):
Responsibility and Environmental Behavior - The Interaction between Ecological Norm Orientation and Situative Factors. (HO 1175/5-3) (1999-2001)
Responsibility and Environmental Behavior: The Interaction of Personal Ecological Norms and External Costs. (HO 1175/5-2) (1997-1999)
Responsibility and Environmental Behavior - Energy Consumption and Travel Mode Choice (HO 1175/5-1) (1995-1997)

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