Press Release | Expedition Anthropocene - An Interdisciplinary expedition to Ecuador

From 22 February to 9 March, six members of the Young Academy are searching in Ecuador for the sometimes disturbing traces of man in his environment and want to test how interdisciplinary research works today.

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Never before have humans intervened so intensively in the Earth system – they are the driving force of a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene. On 22 February, six members of Die Junge Akademie from different disciplines will embark on a journey of discovery, in search of signs of human influence on the environment. Just like the expedition Alexander von Humboldt took 200 years ago, their research trip will take them to Ecuador and the volcano Chimborazo. Using methods from glaciology, biology, chemistry, acoustic ecology, computer science and medicine, they will investigate the impact of human activity at different altitudes and in different vegetation zones. They will explore the continuing climate change and its consequences for humankind, the retreat of the glaciers, biodiversity, acoustic ecological changes and the potential presence of microplastics in snow and ice.

During the expedition, the musicologist Miriam Akkermann (Technical University of Dresden) will carry out sound ecology studies at various altitudes.  The physician Martin-Immanuel Bittner (Arctoris) will conduct interviews to find out more about the influence of climate change on assumptions and experiences of the local population. As a biologist, Christian Hof (Technical University Munich) will focus on questions of biodiversity research.  The creation and evaluation of image profiles and data collections will be the focus of computer scientist Dirk Pflüger (University of Stuttgart).  The climate scientist Ricarda Winkelmann (Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and the University of Potsdam) will investigate the retreat of glaciers and the composition of ice, and will investigate together with the chemist Robert Kretschmer (Friedrich Schiller University Jena) whether microplastics can also be detected on glaciers that were not transported by water.

All information about the expedition can be found on the website

Download the press release from 24.02.2020 here.

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1 Kt. : Kolor. (45 x 37 cm); Ohne Maßstab. - Titel unten. - Höhenmessungen, Bodenbeschaffenheit, Vegetation u.ä. in Tabellen links und rechts der Karte. - Aus: Humboldt, A.: Ideen zu einer Geographie der Pflanzen. Tübingen 1807. - Relief: Einzelberge Quelle: Leibniz-Institut für Länderkunde, Leipzig

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