At the Research Centre, the following topics for Bachelor’s and Masters’ theses are currently available. If you are interested to carry out your research project on any of these topics, please send us a brief motivation statement in which you describe why you are a suitable candidate for this topic, and your transcript of records. We will get in touch with you shortly.

Tentative research topics

The potential of Paulownia tomentosa in agroforestry systems – a literature review.

P. tomentosa (princess tree, empress tree, Kiri-Baum, Blauglockenbaum) is a deciduous hardwood tree native to central and western China. It is fast-growing, has importance in Traditional Chinese Medicine, and may possess some potential for cultivation as bioenergy crop or inclusion in agroforestry systems in the Rhine-Waal region in the context of climate change adaptation. The purpose of this thesis is to compile and evaluate the existing literature on this tree species use a systematic literature review approach.

Level: Bachelor/ Master
Period: Summer Term 2022 or later
Supervising professor: Prof. Darr, Prof. Gebauer

 

Caveats and Opportunities of Planting Urban Trees: Predictors for Effective Communication

Which are the factors that influence whether a public communication campaign for planting urban trees is effective? Which environmental and economic, social and cultural aspects of such initiatives foster or hinder their public acceptability? Which caveats and concerns, hopes and expectations do citizens express when confronted with plans for urban trees to be planted in their neighbourhood, and which are the communication measures these attitudinal changes correlate with?

Level: Bachelor/ Master
Period: Summer Term 2022 or later
Supervising professor: Prof. Gerber, Mr. Bomblat (Stadt Kleve)

Analysis and economic valuation of the environmental services provided by urban trees in Kleve, Germany.

Using the existing roadside trees cadastre and further secondary data, this thesis aims to quantify and valuate the diverse ecosystem services provided by urban trees in Kleve.

Level: Bachelor/ Master
Period: Summer Term 2022 or later
Supervising professor: Prof. Darr, Mr. Bomblat (Stadt Kleve)

Inventory of trees in urban green spaces of Kleve municipality.

An urban tree cadastre exists of roadside trees in Kleve. In contrast, information on trees growing on other urban green space in Kleve is not yet available. The thesis aims to contribute to establishing a database, using tree and forest inventory methods.

Level: Bachelor/ Master
Period: Summer Term 2022 or later
Supervising professor: Prof. Gebauer, Prof. Darr, Mr. Bomblat (Stadt Kleve)

Development of a horticultural concept of an “edible forest” for Kleve municipality.

The municipality of Kleve plans to establish a multi-species perennial “food/ edible forest” near the city centre; the concept serves to identify suitable tree and shrub species, their spatial arrangement, and develop a management concept.

Level: Bachelor/ Master
Period: Summer Term 2022 or later
Supervising professor: Prof. Gebauer, Mr. Bomblat (Stadt Kleve)

Analysing the heat reduction effect of urban trees in Kleve.

Trees in cities can contribute to reducing the Urban Heat Island effect during hot summer days, thereby contributing to reduced energy consumption (for air conditioners) and health problems resulting from heat stress, for example. This thesis aims to experimentally determine the magnitude of this effect for selected urban green spaces in Kleve.

Level: Bachelor/ Master
Period: Summer Term 2022 or later
Supervising professor: Prof. Kleinke, Mr. Bomblat (Stadt Kleve)

Analysis and recommendation of suitable urban tree species and management strategies under conditions of climate change.

Dry summers, the spread of non-native tree pests and other consequences of global warming put high stress on urban trees. This research, through a review of literature and expert interviews, aims to identify promising approaches for the city of Kleve to make its urban trees future proof, including species selection and tree management strategies.

Level: Bachelor/ Master
Period: Summer Term 2022 or later
Supervising professor: Prof. Gebauer, Mr. Bomblat (Stadt Kleve)

Analysis of vegetation and plant biodiversity around “Haus Balken”

Carrying out a tree inventory and vegetation survey. The site is located in Xanten, ca. 20 km away from the campus.

Level: Bachelor/ Master Period: Summer Term 2022 or later Supervising professor: Prof. Gebauer

Analysis of soil biota around “Haus Balken”

The site is located in Xanten, ca. 20 km away from the campus.

Level: Bachelor/ Master Period: Summer Term 2022 or later Supervising professor: Prof. Wichern

Analysis of the water status at Hohe/ Niedere Ley
Limnological analysis, investigation of macrozoobenthos and/or aquatic flora, nutrient analysis (possibly in 2 separate theses). The site is located in Xanten, ca. 20 km away from the campus.

Level: Bachelor/ Master Period: Summer Term 2022 or later Supervising professor: Prof. Tiedemann, Prof. Kleinke

Economic valuation of selected ecosystem services around “Haus Balken”

Economic analysis based on the primary data collected in the other student research projects at Haus Balken, secondary sources, surveys if necessary. The site is located in Xanten, ca. 20 km away from the campus.

Level: Bachelor/ Master Period: After completion of vegetation, soil and water analyses, around Winter Term 2022-23 or later Supervising professor: Prof. Tiedemann, Prof. Darr

Conversion of a conventionally managed arable farm into a multifunctional woody polyculture/ agroforestry farm considering current CAP regulations

Including financial analysis and analysis of subsidy schemes and legal context. The total area is 2.5 ha. The site is located in Frasselt/ Kranenburg, ca. 10 km away from the campus.

Level: Bachelor/ Master
Period: Summer Term 2022 or later
Supervising professor: Prof. Darr

Analysis of ecosystem services and socioeconomic performance of traditional silvopastoral systems in the Brazilian Cerrado (several research topics)

The topic provides the opportunity for a field research stay in Brazil. The research will be carried out in the context of a DAAD-funded collaboration between HSRW, the Universidade Federal de Viçosa and Embrapa (national agricultural research institute located in Brasilia).

Level: Bachelor/ Master Period: Anytime 2022-2023 Supervising professor: Prof. Darr, Prof. Wichern, Prof. Becker and others

Analysis of ecosystem services and socioeconomic performance of agroforestry systems in Kyrgyzstan (several research topics)

The topic provides the opportunity for a field research stay in Kyrgyzstan, co-funded by the DAAD project. The research will be carried out in the context of a DAAD-funded collaboration between HSRW, ICRAF Central Asia (international agricultural research centre located in Bishkek) and further university partners.

Level: Bachelor/ Master Period: Anytime 2022-2024 Supervising professor: Prof. Darr, Prof. Wichern, Prof. Gebauer and others