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Enabling the well-considered use of natural resources.

The environment in which we live is strongly affected by degradation and many Earth systems are reaching their planetary boundaries. We focus on the interaction between humans and the environment to develop sustainable resource use practice and to mitigate against ecologically and societally detrimental impacts. We utilize environmental chemistry techniques to trace pollution spread and impact, landscape management practices to combat erosion and desertification, and implement long-term monitoring programs to generate empirical data on human-environment interactions.


Key questions:

  • What is the fate and impact of anthropogenic contaminants in the environment? With focus on microplastics and chemical pollutants.
  • How can Earth system knowledge be used to restore ecosystems?
  • What are the impacts of nitrogen deposition on biodiversity?
  • How have vital human life-support systems developed? With focus on water, food and energy systems.

The research carried out withing ELD is linked with many different educational programs across the University of Amsterdam. In this research theme we have particularly strong links with:

Further, ELD staff are currently developing exciting new teaching programs at the bachelor (Science Technology and Innovation) and masters (Complex Systems and Policy) which should be launched soon.