Anja Bruell, born 1970 in Aachen,
is Diplom-Engineer for Landscape Planning. After finishing her undergraduate degree in Biology at the Technical University RWTH Aachen in 1992 she proceeded to the Technical University of Berlin intending to merge science and design with international environmental management within the interdisciplinary field of landscape planning. 1999 she finished her Master studies focussing on landscape ecology and development with a Diploma of excellence. During her studies she performed practical training in ‚Natural Resources Management' and ‚Ecological Engineering' at the professional services division of the Grand Canyon National Park, USA, 1994 and at the Stensund Ecological Center, Sweden, 1998 through a Leonardo-da-Vinci grant for knowledge transfer.
Subsequently to her studies she successfully took part in a post-graduate training in Management und Business leadership at the European Academy for Women in Politics and Economy Berlin e.V. Teaming with Grit Buergow & Ina Kueddelsmann she won the international FRU-Award for Landscape Futures of the Academy for Spatial Planning and Environmental Research, ARL Hannover.
During the years 2001-2004 Anja Bruell worked as staff member and associate of different contractors' partnerships. Her tasks included project and job site management for glass dome and façade construction projects including building integrated photovoltaics. Among other projects she managed the construction of a Solar Aquatic System (greenhouse system for wastewater recycling) for the Ecological Engineering Group Inc. in the US.
2002 she founded „aquatectura – studios for regenerative landscapes" together with Grit Buergow in Berlin and Aachen and developed the design concept Aquatecture® complementary to solar architecture. Since then she conducts diverse design and consulting projects in the fields of regenerative landscape design and integrated water, land and resources management (www.aquatectura.de).
Furthermore Anja Bruell works as a board member and expert of the International Ecological Engineering Society (www.iees.ch) for international activities and projects, i.e. in a capacity building programme for sustainable land management of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification in Bulgaria, and lately in the EU collective research project BIOPROS dealing with the use of suitable wastewater sources for the production of biomass in short rotation plantations.
Short Information on the PhD Thesis: „Biomass – a renewable energy source? Complementary production of biomass within the context of a sustainable land and resources management" (working title)
Biomass is a renewable but not inexhaustible energy source. Its property of 're-growing' and assumed CO2-neutrality, through which it used to count as regenerative and sustainable energy source, is not inherently given, but depends on the renewability of soil (and its humus stocks), water and nutrient availability, stable climatic conditions as well as other vital landscape functions. These diverse ecosystem services, mainly regenerated by the land and water managing activities of vegetation, are not only prerequisites for the productivity of the bioenergy sector itself, but also determine production conditions, viability and quality of life of human societies and their economies. Therefore biomass cannot be regarded as a regenerative energy source ‚per-se'. Bioenergy technologies are to be reviewed and developed within suitable land-use systems and the context of their region/ watershed and a sustainable land and resources management.
Presently the international introduction of sustainability standards and certification systems is politically favoured and implemented to assess and safeguard biomass production sustainability. However, product certification schemes are limited since they cannot account for indirect effects such as land-use displacement resulting from macro-economical interdependencies. This is expected to be dealt with by some sort of landscape governance reaching from national land-use planning up to global biomass and land management strategies.
The thesis of this dissertation is that a sensible assessment and successful development of biomass production sustainability needs to be undertaken in relation to (1) a consensus about basic and desirable living conditions and quality of life obtained from land management activities in the landscape, and (2) a common understanding of the general role of different biomass forms as well as the context specific contribution of human and non-human biomass producers thereto.
The objective is therefore to investigate bases for regional reference building and to draft a standardised adaptive mechanism laid out as a task of professional landscape management creating and maintaining such reference systems on multiple scales. Special focus is given to the relation of sustainability and renewability as well as the key role of integrated water and land management for the regeneration of ecosystem services.
The reference building process is primarily developed with regard to complementary biomass production practices and bioenergy technologies, but could also serve to assess and sustainably design other technologies and production processes at their landscape interface.
The dissertation applies an interdisciplinary research approach. Suitable concepts mainly from the fields of social-ecology, ecological economics, landscape sciences and management systems are investigated and synthesized within a logical framework. Mainly literature and document analysis's are performed and complemented by expert interviews and design studies. The concept of (Re)Productivity (Biesecker & Hofmeister 2006) serves as guiding theme.
The dissertation is supervised by Prof. Sabine Hofmeister at the Faculty of Environment and Technology, Institute for Environmental Strategies, Environmental Planning of the Leuphana University Lüneburg in Germany.