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A Boost for Post-doctoral Qualification

Carola Fricke and Linnea Hesse receive funding for young scientists

Freiburg, May 05, 2020

A Boost for Post-doctoral Qualification

Selected for the "Margarete von Wrangell Habilitation Programme for Women": Carola Fricke and Linnea Hesse (from left). Photo: Martin Schmitt, Marc Thielen

Successes for geographer Dr. Carola Fricke and biologist Dr. Linnea Hesse: they have been selected this year to receive funding for their post-doctoral qualifications from the “Margarete von Wrangell Habilitation Programme for Women”. Over the next five years the two University of Freiburg scientists will set up and complete their post-doctoral studies on their own research projects. The funding covers their own position as well as networking, educational and coaching services, and is financed by the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts and the University of Freiburg. The program's aim is to support young academics on the path to becoming a professor.

Carola Fricke: Geography and urban housing policy

Over the past decade European cities have developed a range of local strategies in response to the demand for housing – despite similar spatial and demographic challenges. In order to understand the connections between spatial, political and planning aspects of urban housing policy, Fricke is studying the dynamic geographies and the circulation of concepts and programs in selected European cities. To do this she is looking at the spatial dimension of urban housing policy from two perspectives: firstly the Freiburg geographer is analyzing the development of housing policy as a socio-political process between the two poles of abstract modeling and specific real-life approaches. This builds on the fact that applicable models influence urban housing policy, while at the same time often being restricted by specific local requirements and local and national standards. Secondly Fricke wants to study the extent to which housing is a process in which political concepts are transformed into material and spatial practices. The researcher theorizes these processes as a type of pragmatic learning, in which models and tools of housing policy are reevaluated time and again: from the abstract to the tangible, from the universal to the local. In addition Fricke wants to develop methods of comparing housing policies and their verbal, visual and material expression as well as spatial and biographic methods of recording housing policy development processes. The project is based at the Chair of Human Geography headed by Prof. Dr. Tim Freytag, at the Institute of Environmental Social Sciences and Geography.

Linnea Hesse: Functional Morphology and Biomechanics of Monocotyledonous Plants

About a quarter of all flowering plants are monocotyledons, this includes plants such as cereals, grasses, palms and orchids. Their stem structure is characterized by a comparatively filigree inner fiber composite structure that lacks the ability to develop mechanically stabilizing wood through secondary growth processes. This leads to limitations in the ability to mechanically adapt to a constantly changing natural environment. To date, very little is known about the 3D mechanical architecture of the stems of this group and their adaptation on various hierarchically organized material and structural levels. So Hesse wants to study the static 3D and dynamic 4D plant parameters using classic and modern methodical approaches – that is the morphology, biomechanics and ontogeny. The goals of the Freiburg biologist's research are to analyze the mechanical architecture of monocotyledons and their adaptability to mechanical and other environmental stimuli, and to transfer the knowledge from this into bioinspired technical fiber reinforced material systems and their production. Hesse combines organismic and methodical fundamental research within the Department of Botanics with materials science and biomimetics. Her project is based at the Botanical Garden and the institute headed by Prof. Dr. Thomas Speck and will be attached to the Living, Adaptive and Energy-autonomous Materials Systems (livMatS) Cluster of Excellence.


Dr. Carola Fricke
Human Geography
University of Freiburg

Dr. Linnea Hesse
Botanical Garden
University of Freiburg
Tel.: +49 761 203-2930

Press photo for download
Photos: Martin Schmitt, Marc Thielen