Agriculture & Food
In the course of her research at the Humboldt University, Dr. Neubert deals with land use, the different models, possibilities, challenges and questions that go along with it. She and her team can be described as Land Use Specialists.
Dr. Neubert leads research projects and teaches in the areas of: Rural and agricultural development, water resources management, climate change adaptation. Development and implementation of the participatory impact assessment method: MAPP.
- Trainings and consultations on topics such as: "International Cooperation for Sustainable Development".
Professor Hillman's research focuses on the influence of husbandry conditions and management practices on the welfare of farm animals. Her research in the area of animal welfare ranges from the validation of animal welfare indicators, including animal health, to the practical implementation of animal welfare measures.
Hillmann and her team concentrate on animal behavior. In addition, they use information on animal health, such as (stress)-physiological variables and economically relevant characteristics (e.g., meat quality).
Ethical and legal considerations also play a role in her research. However, practical problems in animal husbandry are in the foreground. Besides classical behavioral observations, often with the help of video recordings, stress-physiological, clinical and cognitive parameters are added, but also techniques for automated recording of animal behavior.
Many problems in animal husbandry are related to a disturbance in behavioral control. Professor Hillmann's basic research in behavioral control thus also leads to solutions of practically relevant behavioral problems in farm, pet, laboratory, and zoo animals. Such solutions work at the roots of the problems because they are based on causal understanding of the underlying control mechanism.
In both application and basic questions, the measurement and consideration of the animals emotion plays a critical role as a component in the control of behavior, as well as in relation to their welfare.
Her research thus moves in the area of tension between scientific/clinical basic research, application and questions from the fields of agricultural economics and social sciences.
- Equipment for behavioral observation (video/3D acceleration)
NaTiMon (BMEL): Development of basic principles for regular, indicator-based monitoring and reporting on the status of animal welfare of sheep and goats in Germany, as well as its change over time. This animal welfare monitoring is intended to take into account the various dimensions of animal welfare at the relevant stages of the animals' lives (husbandry, slaughter, transport)
PanSens ( Agricultural Pension Bank): The object of the sub-project is the application of the reference system for standing and lying times, the basic validation of the parameters movement activity and standing and lying times, and the scientific monitoring of the development work and the iteration for the detection of specific cow diseases. Practice partner: dropnostix GmbH
- Education and training for animal experimenters (selective)
H. Lorberg Baumschulerzeugnisse GmbH & Co. KG, Bein GmbH, Bayer Crop Science, XEROFLOR
Prof. Ulrichs is an expert in the field of ecophysiology of plants with a special focus on plants in urban spaces. His team studies processes, which determine plant growth, e.g. stress exposure in an urban environment. The emphasis of his research lies on the analysis of the secondary metabolite balance (incl. its nutritional function), substance allocation, competition and plant-insect interaction. Prof. Ulrichs other major field of expertise is the quality assurance in food supply chains of horticultural products, especially for perishable foodstuffs like fruits and vegetables in temperate zones as well as in tropical/subtropical regions.
- molecular methods
- in-vitro propagation
- electroantennogram studies
- trace gas analysis using photoacoustic spectroscopy
- German specialty chemicals group: development of nanostructured plant protection agents
- H. Lorberg Baumschulerzeugnisse GmbH & Co. KG (tree nursery): selection of climate-tolerant boulevard trees (Alleebaum)
- Bein GmbH: development of electrostatic application processes of nanostructured elements
- Bayer Crop Science: biosensors to prove the existence of plant viruses
- XEROFLOR: development of vegetation carriers to prevent soil erosion in the Alps
Prof. Schröder’s and his team’s research is focused on the non-destructive method of x-ray powder diffractometry to identify and characterise minerals. Subsequently, the powder samples can be analysed by other methods. The method of x-ray powder diffractometry and its content is closely related to the field of mineralogy and crystallography. Therefore, the method is used in materials research and building materials science. The team is working towards an implementation of the method in continuing and adult education, teaching and learning approaches. Materials suitable for x-ray powder diffractometry: Building materials, concrete, mortar, cement, fine and heavy ceramics, rocks, ores, sediments, ash, dust, filter and combustion residues. Potential fields of applications are: Clay mineralogical investigations (soil science - agriculture), archaeometric investigations (ancient colours and paints, bronze patina and archaeological ceramics), identification of unknown crystalline substances (fingerprinting), identification of crystalline phases, qualitative and semi-quantitative analyses of mixtures, isomorphisms, polymorphisms, determination of amorphous and crystalline states as well as state of crystallisation and particle sizes. The analysis is conducted with powder on a matrix < 32 µm and with texture specimen on a matrix < 2 µm.
- diffractometer “XRD 3003 Theta/Theta” (by Seifert) with the copper anode, qualitative mineral analysis and semi-quantitative phase analysis using the Rietveld-method
- full qualitative mineral analysis and semi-quantitative phase identification using the Rietveld method
- spectrometer “iCAP 6000” (by Thermo Scientific)
- multi-element analysis
- element determination using the ICP-OES acc. to DIN 38406-22
- determination of the ignition loss
- measuring of the pH value, the carbonate level, determination of iron soluble in oxalate solution and water content acc. to DIN 19683-4 in the soil
- determination of the exchange capacity of the soil and replaceable cations acc. to DIN 19684-8
- determination the composition of grain sizes by sieving acc. to DIN 19683-1, preparation with pyrophosphate of soda acc. to DIN 19683-1 and by laser diffraction
Prof. Grimm and his team mainly investigate the metabolic control of tetrapyrrole biosynthesis and photosynthesis. They also do research on the regulation of sucrose transport in plants. The plant science team is interested in studying the unique properties and functions of plant cells, such as intracellular communication between the nucleus and the two main plant organelles, plastids and mitochondria. Prof. Grimm’s group applies several experimental methods and techniques from the areas of biochemistry, genetics, molecular and cell biology in their research and in the training programs for students and young academics.
The Plant Physiology group provides all necessary equipment and instrumentation for plant growth and molecular genetics, biochemical and physiological work:
- S1 greenhouse
- growth cabinets for Arabidopsis
- radionuclide laboratory
- HPLC equipped with diode array and fluorescence detector
- fluorescence spectrometer
- microtiter plate reader (w/ fluorescence detection)
- UV/Vis photometer • PAM-2000 fluorometer
- LI-COR photosynthesis device
- fluorescence microscope
- ultracentrifuges and high speed centrifuges including rotors
- clean benches
- incubators for growth of genetically modified bacteria and yeast
- several PCR machines, e.g. microplate readers and PCR light cycler
- confocal laser scanning microscope (CLSM)
- Oil mills: pigments in rapeseed oil
- Food-producing corporation: postharvesting treatment and storage of leafy greens
- Pharmaceutical group: vitamin synthesis and content in plants
G.F. Schreinzer Positronik, Steinbeis GmbH & Co. KG, Steinbeis GmbH & Co. KG, Pronova Analysentechnik GmbH & Co. KG, newtec Umwelttechnik GmbH
Biosystems engineering works at the interface between engineering and biological production processes. Prof. Schmidt and his team develop engineering solutions for a sustainable agricultural production of crops and other environmental friendly technologies. Prof. Schmidt’s research thus leads to innovative plant farming methods in greenhouses, outdoors and other intensive crop farming systems. Alternative energy supply systems (low energy greenhouses) and closed material cycles for intensive crop farming (water hygiene, sensor systems and algorithms for fully automated nutrient solution supply in closed cycles) are Prof. Schmidt’s research area. His main activity herein is the development of sensors for gas analyses, climate measurement technology and that of software supporting decision making in automation systems. Moreover, the team also provides energetic assessments in complete production systems and parts thereof as well as process analyses.
- Experimental greenhouses with energy and material flow analytics, CO2 enrichment, artificial lights and fog systems
- Plant monitors for continuous measurement of photosynthesis, transpiration, tissue temperature, stomatal conductance, climate measurement, gas analyses (Co2, ethylene), soil moisture sensors
- Freely programmable automation system for climate and process control in greenhouses
- G.F. Schreinzer Positronik, Steinbeis GmbH & Co. KG: Development of an automation system for greenhouses based on measurement details of plants (Phytocontrol)
- Steinbeis GmbH & Co. KG: National collaborative research project „The Low Energy Greenhouse“ („Zukunftsinitiative Niederigenergiegewächshaus“, ZINEG)
- Pronova Analysentechnik GmbH & Co. KG: Development of ionselective sensors for continuous recording of ion proportion in circulating nutrient solution systems; Development of measuring device to analyse phytometric reactions in plants
- newtec Umwelttechnik GmbH: Development of re-circulating irrigation system with reduced phytosanitary risk in greenhouses
zebris Medical GmbH, myon AG, Simi Reality Motion Systems GmbH
Prof. Arampatzis and his Department of Training and Movement Sciences are dealing with the interaction of the neural and musculoskeletal system in research and teaching. Of special interest for Prof. Arampatzis is the adaptation of the neural and musculoskeletal system by mechanical stress and its influence on human performance as well as motor control and motion security. Through an integrative approach of biomechanics, physiology and neuroscience, consequences for athletes and for people with degenerative changes of the neural and musculosceletal systems will be deduced. The main research focus of the department is on quantifying and changing the neuro-biomechanical potential of humans and on the investigation of its influence on the mobility in everyday life and sports. Considering this, the department also investigates the role of sports activities in order to prevent accidents and to preserve the quality of life for the elderly and people with chronic diseases.
The departments offers three large laboratories with modern sports science equipment:
- Motion Analysis Laboratory with a VICON system including twelve cameras and three AMTI force plates. Both the foundations of the force platforms as well as the camera mounts are decoupled from the sports ground of the laboratory to prevent the transmission of vibrations.
- Force Diagnostic Laboratory with DAVID and Technogym strength diagnostics equipment for all major muscle groups
- EMG laboratory with a Biodex System-3 and an Esaote ultrasound machine, which is used to study the muscle-tendon plasticity. To control the joint angle at the Biodex camera, mounts are available for installing eight VICON cameras. A large LCD-Screen provides the possibility for biofeedback. All labs are air-conditioned and are equipped with an uninterruptible power supply and complete darkening.
- zebris Medical GmbH: evaluation of pressure distribution measurements in treadmills
- myon AG: evaluation of a wireless electromyography system aiming to quantify muscle activation
- Simi Reality Motion Systems GmbH: evaluation of a 3D motion capture system designed to analyse complex human movements