liz lawCEED environmental researcher selected for prestigious German government program

A CEED associate researcher who is pioneering new methods to evaluate trade-offs in environmental policies has been selected into the German Government’s Green Talents program.

Recent University of Queensland School of Biological Sciences PhD graduate and UQ Future Leader recipient Dr Elizabeth Law received travel and living costs for a two week tour of German research institutes  from October 15 to 29 this year.

Dr Law will also be sponsored for a three month research stay at one German research institute next year.  

CEED Director Associate Professor Kerrie Wilson congratulated Dr Law on being selected for the initiative, which encouraged high potential international researchers into postdoctoral or PhD research in Germany.

Researchers selected for the program will visit Siemens AG, the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, the Max-Planck Institute for Plasma Physics, TU Hamburg, SASSCAL, and the Alfred Wegener Institute.

During the second week they will have one-on-one meetings with three potential supervisors.

Dr Law will visit Professor Tobias Kuemmerle from Humboldt University, Berlin during this phase. Professor Kuemmerle’s research interests are in balancing biodiversity conservation and humanity’s resource needs. 

Dr Law said their work was complimentary as she was developing more comprehensive and rigorous methods to evaluate environmental, economic and social trade-offs.

“These trade-offs are inevitable and pervasive in sustainable development,” Dr Law said.

“We need to understand them so people can balance the needs and expectations of multiple stakeholders, and to ensure effective environmental policies.”

Dr Law, who has been a conservation biology researcher at UQ since 2011, was awarded her PhD in 2015 for a study on land management strategies to enhance biodiversity and ecosystem services in production landscapes. 

Her current research focuses on the complexities of sustainably managing agricultural production  landscapes to both capitalise on and enhance their multifunctional capacity, and to provide outcomes that are effective, efficient and equitable for all stakeholders.

She said production landscapes faced increasing pressure to deliver multiple outcomes.

“These include providing food, fibre, biofuels and water, conserving remaining flora and fauna and mitigating climate change impacts,” she said.

Dr Law tackles this problem from a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach, using case studies across Australia, Asia and Canada.

She currently coordinates research across several teams associated with ARC Discovery and Woodspring Trust grants.