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Contributions from the project

An important goal of our project BioDivKultur is to share our project with others through actions and contributions. All contributions from the project as well as information on actions or findings are presented below chronologically in the timeline. Have fun browsing!

November 2023

Publication by Johanna Freudenberg

In November, a social science and linguistic analysis of insect-friendly gardening among different types of gardeners was published in collaboration with ISOE by Melina Stein, Lukas Sattlegger and our doctoral student in linguistics Johanna Freudenberg.

Workshop: Biodiversity Policy

On November 8, the workshop “Biodiversity Policy” organized by the political science department took place at the Lichtenberghaus in Darmstadt.

The rapidly advancing global loss of biodiversity is one of the greatest challenges of our time. Although increasing urbanization is contributing to this problem, many cities are also home to a remarkable diversity of species.

As part of our research project BioDivKultur, we are organizing a public all-day workshop in Darmstadt, in which we will discuss political developments in the field of biodiversity conservation with a special focus on insect conservation in cities and municipalities. The workshop will provide a platform for a joint exchange on the opportunities and challenges of biodiversity conservation in urban areas. Speakers from the federal, state and local levels, as well as from organizations such as the Association of Cities and Towns, will share their perspectives and experiences on current political developments. The focus will be on a joint exchange through presentations and discussions at various levels. We want to make the workshop deliberately open, so that there is room for exchange, questions and comments.

October 2023

Publication by Sonja N. K. Daum

In October, the book “Die Ästhetik der Technowissenschaften des 21. Jahrhunderts” by Marco Tamborini was published, in which Sonja Daum, our doctoral student in philosophy, wrote the chapter “Eine Praxis der (technischen) Fürsorge. Aesthetics and Biodiversity Conservation”.

Exploring Eco-Discourses - a


Interdisciplinary Research School

From October 9-11, the Linguistics Department organized the workshop “Exploring Eco-Discourses – an interdisciplinary Research School”.
Young academics from all disciplines who deal with ‘eco-discourses’ were invited. We asked about the role of language and communication in the discourse on ecological topics and issues such as Fridays for Future. The focus was on the interdisciplinary networking of the research field and the methodological reflection of the normative attitude towards ecological issues.

Action week October 09-15
Attention biodiversity!

"Achtung Artenvielfalt!"

We took part in the nationwide action week “Attention biodiversity”! 2021 was launched by the BMBF Research Initiative for Biodiversity Conservation (FEdA) and the Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung. Organizers this year are FEdA and the Leibniz Natural History Museums – the Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin, the Senckenberg Museums in Frankfurt am Main, Görlitz & Dresden and the Leibniz Institute for Biodiversity Change Analysis in Bonn & Hamburg.

September 2023

GFÖ Conference Leipzig

In September, the biologists took part in the GFÖ conference in Leipzig. Johanna Berger gave a presentation entitled “From Science to Practice: Disentangling and Mitigating the Effects of Mowing on Grassland Arthropods” and Margarita Hartlieb presented her poster on the mowing intensity index.

Insect talk with breakfast

Administration and nature conservation associations – opportunities for more biodiversity in the city with Karin Lübbe, Head of the Environmental Office of the City of Science Darmstadt & Niko Martin, BUND

August 2023

Insect talk with breakfast

Insects at eye level – creepily fascinating? with Dr. Nadja Simons, Biologist & Prof. Dr. Alfred Nordmann, Philosopher

July 2023

Insect talk with breakfast

Discourse insect diversity and what language has to do with it with Prof. Dr. Nina Janich, linguist & Prof. Dr. Markus Lederer, political scientist

June 2023

Film ARTHROCALYPSE

ARTHROCALYPSE (5 minutes – director and picture design: Daniela Magnani Hüller, producer: Johanna Berger and Daniela Magnani Hüller, editor: Nadja Issler)
Hidden in the urban grass thicket, a diverse insect race lives in peaceful idyll until a strange object enters their world.
A group of explorers collects the remains of civilization. What remains after the devastation?
More films by Daniela Magnani Hüller here: www.magnanima-film.de

Insect talk with breakfast

About knowing and not knowing about insects with Margarita Hartlieb, biologist & Johanna Müller, communication designer

Mai 2023

The garden, insects and us - a comparison of gardener types

Wild cottage gardens, Mediterranean parks or spacious lawns – the ideas of the perfect garden are diverse. This variety of garden styles also has an influence on how insect-friendly the respective gardens are and what options are available for insect protection measures. The preference for a style and the corresponding garden design depend on various factors, such as the individual’s relationship to nature, their own lifestyle and the demands placed on the garden and its use. In an interview study with gardeners from Frankfurt, we investigated how these factors interact and shape garden design. The result is five gardener types that summarize different gardening styles and can be the starting point for various insect protection activities.

Krautschau 2023

On the day of biodiversity (22.05.) the nationwide “Krautschau” took place andwe were part of it again this year!

In a participatory star walk, various Krautschau walks met at different starting points: In the Martinsviertel on Riegerplatz, in the Johannesviertel on Viktoriaplatz, in the city center on Georg-Büchner-Platz, at the Woog, on the forecourt of the youth hostel and in Bessungen in the north of the Orangerie, at the future BUND Center for Urban Nature.

During the walks, attention was drawn to wild plants growing along and on our paths between paving stones, on the curb or between cracks in walls. At the Karolinenplatz the different routes of the star walk finally met for the joint conclusion. A final photo was taken together and the event ended in the Schlossgartencafe.

The nationwide herbaceous show was again coordinated by Julia Krohmer (Senckenberg). More information on the nationwide herbaceous show is available here:

WIESION - All about insects, spiders, mowers and meadowisions

The bioversum Jagdschloss Kranichstein is currently working diligently on a new exhibition on the subject of insects, spiders, meadows and mowing. What exactly are insects and spiders? What is meant by meadows and how were they formed? What does haymaking have to do with insects and why does the issue of mowing affect more than just people with their own lawns?

The exhibition “Wiesion” is dedicated to all these questions and many more.

On May 17 at 6 p.m. the ceremonial vernissage took place at the Jagdschloss Kranichstein.

In 2023, the Wiesion exhibition can still be seen at the Landmarkt Experience at Kranichstein Hunting Lodge from September 29 to October 1, 2023.

The exhibition will then be on display again at bioversum Jagdschloss Kranichstein from Friday, March 22, 2024 (first weekend before the Hessian Easter vacations), when it will be expanded to include new stations, games and an accompanying app. From April 2024, we will be showing another exhibition in collaboration with BUND in the Darmstadt city area, which will feature various types of urban nature spots and show the importance of green islands in urban areas for biodiversity.

Interview with project coordinator Genevieve Walther

"Making biodiversity more effective as a value and usage interest in green space design in terms of communication, policy and practice"

Gardens, parks and green strips are an important habitat for insects. In the BioDivKultur project, an interdisciplinary team of experts is focusing on values, usage interests and options for action in the design and maintenance of these green spaces in order to use them more effectively for the preservation of biodiversity. Genevieve Walther, ecologist and coordinator of the BioDivKultur joint project, reports on news from the project and the collaboration of the interdisciplinary team.

Biodiversitätskulturen

In May, our PhD students participated in the FEdA Impulse Meeting 2023 and presented the poster “Biodiversitätskulturen”. What exactly connects all disciplines and subprojects, you can see here:

Hackathon AT EYE HEIGHT

Anthro – Arthropo – Hackathon – Arthropothon – Arthropo – Anthro – Arthropozän – Arthropothon

Biodiversity Hackathon / Lab for Human-Insect Relationships
From FR 5 to SO 7 May 2023, LAB3 hosted our Hackthon.
In an ideas workshop, human-insect relationships were explored to enable biodiverse peaceful coexistence – on green spaces, in urban spaces.

Food for thought, topics, provocations:

  • Borderline: How beautiful can disgusting be?
  • The insects are dying out. Some speak of biocide.
  • Biodiversity: Can’t we do it ourselves?
  • Where are they actually? And what do they want to tell us?
  • Biodiverse out in the country and indoors in the city
  • Insect policy, for each other and with each other.

Artistic and biological, tinkering and programming, citizens came together – first just out of curiosity for the group work or already as a team with an idea in the luggage, the ultimate Lifehack! We thought and collaborated, contributing our ideas on the language, politics, philosophy, technology and biology of biodiversity. Promising approaches were further developed in the ideas workshop for two whole days and into the night. Thanks for coming!

February 2023

Take over Seminar

As part of the seminar “Science Communication”, which was led by Johanna Freudenberg, the students took over our social media channels. You can see the result if you scroll down along February.
All posts are also available on Instagram.

So look forward to super creative contributions – it will be fun, exciting and as always informative.

The ethical assessment of biodiversity -

The need to preserve biodiversity is undisputed. But why should we protect biodiversity? Based on this question, the distinction between instrumental and intrinsic values is explained. Both take a fundamental role in the discussion about the ethical evaluation of biodiversity. In the article, Sonja Daum, Markus Lederer and Johanna Berger from the BioDivKultur team tell us what their focus is when justifying the protection of biodiversity.

A home for insects

Ant Anton shows you in this video with a few simple measures how your home can also become a habitat for others:

🎧 Our podcast series “BioDivKultur chirps” can be found here. There we talk about our project and the motivation behind it.

💡 You can find everything about our impulse events here.

🌷 You can find everything you need to actively help shape Darmstadt’s cityscape here.

🏡 BUND informs you about everything you can do at home for other living creatures here.

What is BioDivKultur?

Which topics are addressed within the project and how do natural sciences and humanities work together?
Prof. Dr. Nico Blüthgen and Prof. Dr. Nina Janich explain this and much more in this video:

The water, the soil and the plants in between

This post is about what plants in general can do through their roots in terms of soil & water:

Plants are more than just the green or beautifully flowering part above ground, but are also considerable parts roots below ground. Roots primarily fulfill the plant’s needs for water & nutrients. However, their influence on the soil is also significant. Roots hold the soil together and give it a more stable structure, which prevents soil parts from slipping & washing away. In addition, the roots maintain the water permeability of the soil and prevent it from being further compacted. This allows the water to better penetrate and be held in the soil. In addition, the foliage acts as a kind of umbrella, provided the height & coverage are right. Generally, the more an area is overgrown with different species, the better these abilities.

Sampling in the cities Darmstadt, Bamberg and Göttingen

This (or something like it) is what it can look like when a bee has a Bad Fur Day.

In fact, especially in spring and autumn, the nectar in flowers can ferment after a rainfall, which is quite dramatic for a bee. Not only can such alcohol poisoning last up to 48h, but many bees do not survive it. And even if they survive them, they will be expelled from their colonies, otherwise they would contaminate the honey.

What can you do for bees in this situation? Well, against seasons and carelessness of bees can not be helped.
As a preventive measure, a water trough on the balcony can prevent a bee from sipping from forbidden juices.

Perhaps it might also be worth covering your alcoholic drink with a lid. This protects both animal and beer from torment. 😉

January 2023

Mowing workshop:
Conference proceedings published

At the 19th and 20th of September 2022 our mowing workshop took place at the Jagdschloss Kranichstein. Over the course of two days, we exchanged views with stakeholders from research and practice on the possibilities and limitations of insect-friendly mowing.
Those interested can now view the presentations and results of the mowing workshop in the proceedings:

December 2021

3rd BioDivKultur Workshop

At our 3rd workshop we worked together with our practice partners on the concepts of their projects. Planned activities include exhibitions, a nature trail, events and flyers.

Mowing workshop: Mowing in an insect-friendly way - but how?

In the magazine “KommunalTechnik” published an interesting article on the results of our mowing workshop. Find it in the 6th issue 2022.
Here you can have a look at the article:
You can find the complete issue here.

On the road with the ARD film team

What can municipalities and companies do for biodiversity on their land? Together with the ARD film team, we took a closer look at a study plot from the BioDivKultur project. You can watch our contribution on Friday (09.12.) from 19:30 in the program KlimaZeit on tagesschau24 and in the ARD Media Library.

1 Year BioDivKultur

On thr first of December our project BioDivKultur celebrated its first anniversary. We look back on an eventful and exciting year and look forward to next year!

Okober 2022

Biodiversity and Peace

In October, our two PhD students Johanna (Biology) and Sonja (Philosophy) took part in the ECSA conference on “Citizen Science for Planetary Health” in Berlin and presented a poster on “Biodiversity and Peace”. What these two things have in common, you can see here:

Action week 10-16 October
Attention biodiversity!

We took part in the nationwide action week “Attention biodiversity”! 2021 was launched by the BMBF Research Initiative for Biodiversity Conservation (FEdA) and the Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung. Organizers this year are FEdA and the Leibniz Natural History Museums – the Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin, the Senckenberg Museums in Frankfurt am Main, Görlitz & Dresden and the Leibniz Institute for Biodiversity Change Analysis in Bonn & Hamburg.

September
2022

Project meeting with first group photo

Our project meeting this time took place at the Jagdschloss Kranichstein. In joint discussions, we looked back on eventful months. At the same time, ideas and plans for the next interdisciplinary actions and events were already discussed.

Mowing workshop: Mowing in an insect-friendly way - but how?

At the 19th and 20th of September 2022 our mowing workshop took place at the Jagdschloss Kranichstein. Over the course of two days, we exchanged views with stakeholders from research and practice on the possibilities and limitations of insect-friendly mowing.

We would like to thank all speakers for their great and interesting presentations. We would also like to thank the numerous participants for their interest in our workshop and the exciting discussions. The exchange was not least a great help for us to be able to dedicate ourselves to the topic of insect-friendly mowing with all its facets, hurdles, but also possibilities in the project. The discussions provided very important input for our further research and planned actions in the project.

Click here to find more impressions, photos, videos and soon the proceedings of the event:

Country market at the Jagdschloss Kranichstein

On the weekend before our mowing workshop, there was a country market from Friday to Sunday at the Jagdschloss Kranichstein. We were also represented there with our BioDivKultur experience stand. In addition, the biologists gave interesting lectures in German on “Meadows – What do they mean for the diversity of plants?” and on “At home in the garden – How do I help my neighbors?

Interview with Project speaker Prof. Nico Blüthgen about BioDivKultur

BioDivKultur - "Diverse green spaces just don't look like manicured ornamental lawns".

Parks, greenbelts, and commercial green spaces can provide important habitat for a wide range of insect species. Different design decisions play an important role in this. The BioDivKultur research project is investigating how biodiversity can be given greater consideration in green space design. Professor Dr. Nico Blüthgen reports in an interview on the motivation and goals of the interdisciplinary project.

BioDivKultur experience stand at the environmental fair

We were represented with a booth at the Umweltbörse and Regio-Faire fair on Saturday, September 3, at Friedensplatz in Darmstadt.
At our information booth at the Umweltbörse you can have photos taken with giant 3D insects in the background, experience how shaky ecosystems are and interactively learn about our project and 3D insects. The stele was provided by DiNArDA e.V..

August 2022

BioDivKultur chirps: We are now active on social media ​

You can also follow our project on social media! Through our channels, we post interesting information and provide insights into our work in the BioDivKultur project. Information about upcoming events and campaigns is also provided there.

Visit us! We are looking forward to seeing you.

July 2022

Visit to the InsectMow project

On 19.07. visited the project BioDivKultur the project InsectMow in Hohenheim. At the cooperation project InsectMow, scientists from the universities of Tübingen and Hohenheim are working on the development and evaluation of an insect- and spider-friendly disc mower. Special scouring devices are developed and tested once. These should scare the animals away in time so that they flee and do not come into contact with the mower. In addition, the mower is modified so that fewer animals are sucked into the mower and killed during mowing. In addition, the InsectMow project would like to develop a standardized test procedure and a label for insect- and spider-friendly mowers together with the DLG test center. In this way, the effectiveness of such mowing technology should be easier to test and also reward in the future.

We would like to thank the InsectMow project for the exciting insights and hospitality! We are very much looking forward to future cooperation and to our next meeting at the Mahdworkshop.

Project week on the topic of insect-friendly mowing

This year there was again a project week together with the Berthold-Brecht-School on the topic of insect-friendly mowing. The students learned about the background to species and insect extinction, what role mowing plays in this, and how scientists go about researching such issues. Like a real study, together with the students mowing observations on the school grounds were made, hypotheses were developed, sampling was carried out and these were subsequently evaluated.

June/July 2022

Sampling in the cities Darmstadt, Bamberg and Göttingen

Equipped with biocoenometers and suction cups, the biologists traveled to the cities Darmstadt, Bamberg and Göttingen to sample a total of 249 areas for their arthropod diversity. Study areas were parks, roadside vegetation, traffic verges, sheep pastures, mowing meadows and company grounds. The freezers are now full of samples and we are already busy sorting. In any case, we are already very excited about the results!

At this point, we would like to thank all the farmers, associations and companies, who supported us during the sampling! Like the Tennis club H.o.t. and GTC in Göttingen and the company Lambrecht meteo GmbH. A very warm thank you also goes to public offices of the cities for their support in planning and implementation.

June 2022

First overall project meeting in presence

On 22.06 the BioDivKultur project met in the premises of Lab3 to discuss the progress already made and the way forward. Thank you for the hospitality! https://www.lab3.org/ It was the first big project meeting in presence with a following dinner together.

Also present this time was DiNArDA e.V. https://www.dinarda.org/to talk about first common ideas for the integration of 3D insect models.

Excursion to Zwingenberg

In mid-June, the Zwingenberg landscape conservation association “Alte Burg” invited us to spend an afternoon together in the Zwingenberg Steingeröll. Equipped with landing nets, air-permeable boxes, cameras and lots of identification books, arthropods were collected and identified for more than four hours on an unmown dry meadow. Some club members were also present and participated in plant determinations. The sunny property with a beautiful view of the Rhine Valley and Auerbach Castle has a lot to offer both zoologically and botanically. Thus, the project team was able to identify at least 11 different grasshopper and mantis species, 6 bug species, 6 moth species, 4 beetle species, and various hymenoptera (bees, bumblebees, and others). The hot afternoon ended – suitably accompanied by fireflies – with an evening picnic.

Mowing experiments at Jagdschloss Kranichstein

Within the framework of a master’s thesis and a teacher’s thesis, the first mowing experiments were carried out at the Jagdschloss Kranichstein.

Through the mowing process itself, the mowing of meadows kills many insects or destroys their refuges and food resources. The mowing experiments were used to investigate different mowing devices and their mortality on arthropods. This involved mowing with beam mowers, power scythes, mulchers, and scythes on several experimental plots. By means of biocoenometers, one suction sample was taken before and one after mowing, and mown material was also collected. This will be used to determine how insect-friendly or -damaging which mowing equipment and processes are and what protective measures can be taken. In the meantime, the samples are in the laboratory are being evaluated. We are already very excited about the results!

May 2022

Herbaceous show 2022

On the day of biodiversity (22.05.) the nationwide herbaceous show took place andwe were there again!

This year we also set out to draw attention to the hidden plant diversity in Darmstadt.
With a
total of four groups, we labeled numerous plants in the city using chalk to draw attention to the “overlooked diversity”.

We would like to thank the many interested people, who actively supported us in the campaign this year!

The nationwide herbaceous show was coordinated this year by Julia Krohmer (Senckenberg). More information on the nationwide herbaceous show is available here:

Our first project trip

Project excursion to the traveling exhibition on insect protection at the Schatzinsel Kühkopf environmental education center

Babette & Lisette Darmstädter Echo

This comic was published in the Darmstädter Echo on 13.05.22. Drawn by Steffen Jobst.

March 2022

TU Darmstadt is looking for sampling areas

Support our research to preserve biodiversity!

The biologists of the Technical University of Darmstadt are looking for
Companies and farms with mowed grassland, meadows or field edges that would make them available for a survey.
The surveys are planned this year for June/July in Darmstadt, Bamberg and Göttingen and will involve a one-time walk-through of the site for approximately 1-2 hours. Both intensively mowed lawns and extensively mowed taller stands are examined.

You can find more information about the study here.

You want to support our research? Then please feel free to contact us:
Genevieve Walther
Technische Universität Darmstadt
E-mail: gwalther@bio.tu-darmstadt.de
Phone: 06151 16-20049

Lecture on the influence of mowing on arthropods

On 16.03.2022 the biologists of the BioDivKultur project gave a lecture on the influence of mowing on arthropods in grassland.
Insights into the current state of research showed what mowing practices exist and which impact they have on arthropods. Prospects for insect-friendly mowing concepts were also presented.

If you have any questions about the lecture or the literature presented, please contact the Biologists of the BioDivKultur project.

December 2021

Official launch of BIODIVKULTUR ​

On 01 December 2021, the BioDivKultur project could officially start!

September 2021

Podcast -
What motivates species protection (measures)?

In this podcast, young scientists from the departments of linguistics, political science and biology at the TU Darmstadt talk about perspectives and research results on the topic of species conservation.

Interview Alfred Nordmann

In this video, artist Rainer Lind interviews philosopher of technology Alfred Nordmann about how he came to the BioDivKultur project as a philosopher of science and technology and what research questions interest him in the project.

July 2021

Herbaceous show in Darmstadt

On the occasion of the nationwide Krautschau, the BioDivKultur project also paraded through Darmstadt together with students and committed conservationists. The aim of the campaign: draw attention to as many plant survival artists as possible that grow everywhere in the city between wall cracks and pavement joints and mark them with chalk. This is to draw attention to the diversity in the city and to increase the appreciation of herbs.

The video of the herbaceaus show was created in collaboration with the artist Rainer Lind.

Project week on the topic of insect-friendly mowing

Together with teachers from the Berthold-Brecht-Schule, the BioDivKultur project organized a course on insect-friendly mowing for a project week. Students learned about the background of species and insect extinction, the role of mowing, and how scientists work on such researching issues. As in a real study, together with the students, mowing observations on the school grounds were made, hypotheses were developed, sampling was carried out and then evaluated.

June 2021

Insect investigation in Darmstadt

Together with students from the Technical University Darmstadt, the first green spaces in and around Darmstadt were sampled for the BioDivKultur project. The areas were park lawns, roadside strips, insect-friendly flowering areas, sheep pastures, and wildlife grazing areas. Insects and arachnids were examined using a biocoenometer, an insect aspirator, as well as soil traps, ant baits, and soil samples. In addition to insects and arachnids, plant diversity on the plots was also studied. Through the different ways of cultivating the areas, knowledge about their influence on the flora and fauna there should be obtained.

The artist Rainer Lind accompanied us during the investigations at the Bürgerpark and shows in his short video how our area was sampled with the biocoenometer and the insect aspirator.

January 2021

Interview with Genevieve Walther

In this interview, Ms. Walther talks from an ecological perspectiveabout the problems and possible solutions, which will be investigated in the BioDivKultur project .

The BioDivKultur project is funded by the Research Initiative for Biodiversity Conservation of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

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