Martin is passionate about simulation model development and analysis to better understand complex phenomena. This activity, she feels, becomes most meaningful for the purpose of untangling ecological dynamics, which are intertwined with human ingenuity to celebrate a more or less sustainable lifestyle. Her applied methods range from agent-based, system dynamics modeling to diverse participatory approaches.
Since 2013, she has worked with centre associate professor Maja Schlüter, and focuses on the application of resilience principles to analyse case studies and improve their management. This primarily involves the stepwise formalisation of social-ecological interactions and specification of characteristic system patterns, such as regime shifts and bundles of ecosystem services, on multiple levels to investigate them through computational models.
Martin is interested in a variety of modelling tools which enable investigating the dynamics of ecosystems that interlink with human well-being. Towards this aim, Martin develops bioeconomic, agent-based, and system dynamics models and simulates decision-making in the human-environmental interface. Further, she engages in multiple participatory stakeholder activities in order to link generic models closer to empirical grounds.
Martin graduated in computer science and biology and holds a PhD in biology from the University in Cologne, Germany, where she was supervised by Prof. Michael Bonkowski and Dr. Anja Linstädter. The topic of her PhD was pastoral livelihood security and rangeland management in drylands using ecological-economic modelling approaches. The project was conducted in close collaboration with the Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) in Leipzig in the Department of Ecological Modelling, where most of the work was carried out and supervised by Prof. Karin Frank and Dr. Birgit Müller.
Beyond simulating complex features from social-ecological systems, Martin is interested in disentangling and translating these complexities for transdisciplinary activities or environmental education purposes. Along with her PhD, Martin developed a board game on pastoral rangeland management (“NomadSed”) and was involved in analysing and improving an online game on sustainable land management (“LandYous”).
Awards and achievements:
2019 - Journal / article
Freshwater ecosystems are under a constant risk of being irreversibly damaged by human pressures that threaten their biodiversity, the sustainability of ecosystem services (ESs), and human well‐being. Despite the implementation of various environmental regulations, the challenges of safeguarding freshwater assets have so far not been tackled successfully. A promising way forward to stop the loss of freshwater biodiversity and...
2016 - Journal / article
Livestock grazing in drylands supports pastoral livelihoods but is facing multiple changes including shocks such as severe droughts. Herdsmen specifically cite drought events as a reason for the abandonment of their transhumance practices. The purpose of this study is to assess the relevance of drought as a driving force for losses of livelihood security leading to a specific systemic change – households abandoning transhumant...
2015 - Journal / article
Land is a limited resource providing various services. Decisions on land use shape the distribution of these life support functions and thus require understanding of complex feedbacks between decisions on land use and human resource appropriation. Due to multiple nonlinear feedbacks between management, productivity, environmental quality, and human well-being, complexity is an inherent property of land systems. We present an...
2015 - Journal / article
Modeling social-ecological interactions between humans and ecosystems to analyze their implications for sustainable management of social-ecological systems (SES) has multiple challenges. When integrating social and ecological dynamics, which are often studied separately, one has to deal with different modeling paradigms, levels of analysis, temporal and spatial scales, and data availabilities in the social and ecological domai...