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Marina Knickel

My research interests lie at the intersection of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary (TD) sustainability research, social sciences and humanities, and innovation studies. My main area of expertise is structuring and fostering learning and collaboration processes in TD research focussed on agri-food and rural-urban issues. To examine such processes, I elaborated and applied an integrative conceptual-analytical approach considering 1) TD sustainability research as an approach, 2) Living Labs as a shared collaborative space with knowledge co-production, experimentation and co-innovation at its core, and 3) learning as a process. This work was based both on qualitative and quantitative research methodologies and grounded in rich empirical data. In my current and future work, I am particularly interested in the ways to strengthen interdisciplinary collaboration in sustainability science as well as science-society collaboration and the functioning of a Living Lab approach in agri-food and social-ecological research - conceptually, methodologically and practically.

By now, I have 5+ years of academic experience in various countries across the globe – Italy, Germany, Austria, Portugal, the Netherlands, Latvia, China and Russia. My research experience so far includes work in 4 EU-funded research projects covering a thematic spectrum from food systems and agri-food innovation to urban-rural linkages and digitalisation in rural areas. Between the years 2018 and 2022, I have been a PhD researcher at the Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment (University of Pisa, Italy). During this period, I have worked on two projects as a guest researcher at Wageningen University (the Netherlands) and Baltic Studies Centre (Latvia): 1) Horizon 2020 project ROBUST on rural-urban relations and 2) Interreg project Food Pro·tec·ts in the Dutch-German cross-border region Euregio Rhein-Waal.

I believe that connecting science with society via clear and engaging communication is paramount. I am therefore also very interested in effective science communication and accessible academic writing.