Susan Hanisch

Susan Hanisch
Friedrich Schiller University Jena | FSU · Biology Education

Dr. rer.nat.

About

50
Publications
15,720
Reads
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252
Citations
Introduction
After conducting my PhD research in tropical sustainable agriculture in south-western Madagascar, I became increasingly interested in education and its central role for a sustainable future. I now work in educational design research to advance the integration of perspectives in behavioral, evolutionary and sustainability science in Education for Sustainable Development.
Additional affiliations
July 2020 - June 2022
University of Leipzig
Position
  • Post-doc researcher / Prosocial Schools research coordinator
October 2019 - April 2022
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Position
  • Guest
Description
  • I work on an education outreach project to bring the science of evolutionary anthropology and human behavior into classrooms in Leipzig and beyond.
October 2019 - present
University of Leipzig
Position
  • Lecturer
Description
  • I offer seminars in Education for Sustainable Development for teacher training students across subject areas.
Education
January 2011 - April 2015
Universität Kassel
Field of study
  • Agronomy
October 2007 - February 2010
Universität Kassel
Field of study
  • Agricultural Sciences
October 2004 - May 2007
Friedrich Schiller University Jena
Field of study
  • Geography

Publications

Publications (50)
Preprint
Full-text available
We provide a brief overview of Prosocial: Using Evolutionary Science to Build Productive, Equitable, and Collaborative Groups by Paul Atkins, David Sloan Wilson, and Steven Hayes. The book offers a range of promising content for evolution education, and yet also highlights core conceptual challenges in modern evolution science discourse that educat...
Preprint
Full-text available
Teleological reasoning is viewed as a major hurdle to evolution education, and yet, eliciting, interpreting, and reflecting upon teleological language presents an arguably greater challenge to the evolution educator and researcher. This article argues that making explicit the role of behavior as a causal factor in the evolution of particular traits...
Article
Full-text available
Evolution education continues to struggle with a range of persistent challenges spanning aspects of conceptual understanding, acceptance, and perceived relevance of evolutionary theory by students in general education. This article argues that a gene-centered conceptualization of evolution may inherently limit the degree to which these challenges c...
Article
Full-text available
Evolutionary anthropologists commonly describe humans as a highly cooperative species, based on our evolved socio-cognitive capacities. However, students and the general public may not necessarily share this view about our species. At the same time, fostering our ability to cooperate is considered a key foundation for achieving sustainable developm...
Article
Full-text available
Many evolutionary anthropologists view cooperation as core to the evolutionary success of our species. Concurrently, many sustainability scientists view cooperation as core to the future sustainable development of our species. When it comes to biology education, however, it is unclear how or if students are being engaged in these scientific perspec...
Article
Full-text available
Protected area (PA) performance is thought to depend on effective conservation management and favourable socio-economic context. However, increasing evidence of continued biodiversity decline within PAs raises the question of whether fundamental ecological and socio-economic constraints might actually affect PA effectiveness. Here we quantify how t...
Preprint
Full-text available
A generalized conceptualization of evolutionary processes allows for a view of the cognitive, behavioral, and cultural variation in our everyday lives as elements of diverse evolving systems. Such a view invites questions about how cultural evolutionary processes may favor or hinder the expression of variant thoughts and behaviors, any of which may...
Preprint
Full-text available
Evolutionary concepts are used, with varying and arguable degrees of scientific utility, across a wide range of disciplines. Evolution education, however, remains overwhelmingly within the confines of biology education, when it is taught at all within general education. The reasons for this disciplinary myopism are complex, and normative guidance f...
Article
Is musicality an individual level adaptation? The authors of this target article reject the need for group selection within their model, yet their arguments do not fulfill the conceptual requirements for justifying such a rejection. Further analysis can highlight the explanatory value of embracing multilevel selection theory as a foundational eleme...
Article
Full-text available
Teleological reasoning is viewed as a major hurdle to evolution education, and yet, eliciting, interpreting, and reflecting upon teleological language presents an arguably greater challenge to the evolution educator and researcher. This article argues that making explicit the role of behavior as a causal factor in the evolution of particular traits...
Chapter
Full-text available
The Covid-19 pandemic has required schools and students to radically and immediately adapt teaching and learning processes to more distributed, digital, and home-based learning strategies for an indefinite period of time. This situation provides an unprecedented opportunity for students and teachers around the world to reflect on the purpose and de...
Article
Full-text available
When people must share things, what does it mean to share fairly? Do all people around the world have the same idea of what is fair or unfair? Are humans born with a feeling about what is fair and unfair, or is it something we learn as we grow up? Scientists study how people from different cultures choose to share things in various situations, and...
Poster
Full-text available
Community-based approaches to interdisciplinary evolution education have the potential to advance basic scientific questions in cultural cognition while empowering youth and educators to evolve preferred futures in schools and society. This poster highlights work from the Evolving Schools project within the EvoLeipzig Community Science Lab in the D...
Article
Agricultural production on the Mahafaly Plateau in SW-Madagascar has traditionally been based on subsistence rain-fed agriculture, with yields declining as a result of low soil fertility, recurrent droughts, and erratic rainfall. Market-oriented vegetable production in this area may help households improve their nutrition and diversify their income...
Article
Full-text available
We provide a brief overview of Prosocial: Using Evolutionary Science to Build Productive, Equitable, and Collaborative Groups by Paul Atkins, David Sloan Wilson, and Steven Hayes. The book offers a range of promising content for evolution education, and yet also highlights core conceptual challenges in modern evolution science discourse that educat...
Book
Full-text available
Our creative commons teacher's guide provides an accessible and easy to read overview of current scientific questions, methods, and insights across evolution, behavior and sustainability science as well as ways to bring these perspectives into the classroom and to connect them to themes in traditional subject areas, to student well-being, and to is...
Book
Full-text available
Die übergreifenden Konzepte, Leitfragen, Methoden und Forschungsthemen der Evolutionsbiologie, Verhaltens- und Nachhaltigkeitswissenschaften bieten einzigartige Möglichkeiten für einen fächerverbindenden/-übergreifenden und alltagsrelevanten Unterricht, insbesondere im Bereich der Bildung für nachhaltige Entwicklung. Wie können Sie diese Chancen n...
Preprint
Full-text available
Evolution education is, by default, the domain of biology education, and as such, historical conceptions of evolutionary change drawn from the Modern Synthesis strongly influence our conceptualization of what evolution is and how evolutionary analyses are to be conducted. There is a surface logic to this influence, however, it abstracts out a robus...
Preprint
Evolution education continues to struggle with a range of persistent challenges spanning aspects of conceptual understanding, acceptance, and perceived relevance of evolutionary theory by students in general education. This article argues that a gene-centered conceptualization of evolution may precisely contribute to and exacerbate these challenges...
Preprint
Full-text available
Evolutionary theory in the 21st century has been embraced, albeit with varying degrees of controversy and consensus, across wide ranging disciplines. From biology and anthropology, to medicine, psychology, economics, sustainability science, computer science, and many more, core concepts of heritable variation and selection have been utilized by sci...
Chapter
Evolutionary Studies (EvoS) examines the emergence and persistence of complex adaptive systems, including human social-ecological systems. Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) aims to empower students with the skills to develop and sustain human social-ecological systems that reflect the shared values of our species. The aims of EvoS and ESD...
Book
Full-text available
Future demand in agricultural output is supposed to match the needs of 9 billion people with less input of resources. Can we transform our agricultural practices and move behind existing paradigms to develop innovative and sustainable agriculture production systems? A transformation of the regime is needed: a change in the socio-economic system thr...
Poster
Full-text available
Cultural evolution science is generally far off the radar from biology education and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), yet advances in this field may offer important educational innovations. This poster and extended overview outline the need for a flexible educational design concept for translating scientific advances into pedagogical pr...
Poster
Full-text available
This study is part of a research project in theMahafaly Plateau in south-western Madagascar where measures are investigated to increase cropping system productivity under multiple constrains in order to improve people’s livelihoods. In the present study we assessed soil chemical and microbial parameters of soils as indicators for soil fertility fro...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Provides an overview of the project at Betanimena Station, Toliara, outlining how and why the NGO Big Red Earth is supporting the University of Toliara to strengthen leadership on education, research, and development issues in the southwestern region of Madagascar.
Thesis
Full-text available
The Mahafaly Plateau in south-western Madagascar is characterized by harsh climatic conditions, such as regular droughts and dry spells, low levels of infrastructure, rising insecurity, high illiteracy rates and crop damage due to locust outbreaks. With 97% of the population working in agriculture, increases in cropping system productivity are at t...
Article
Full-text available
The current study investigated how the presence of tamarinds and manure affect (1) soil chemical properties; (2) C and N mineralization; (3) microbial biomass indices (C, N, and fungal ergosterol); (4) microbial residues, that is, amino sugars; and (5) the germination of sorghum seeds in soils of the littoral zone in southwestern Madagascar. Soil p...
Conference Paper
Betanimena Station was formerly a pillar of agronomic research for the region yet, until recently, was abandoned for several decades due to political deadlock, lack of resources and human capacity. Community stakeholder are working towards a shared vision of education, research, and development programs through a civic ecology approach.
Poster
In the Mahafaly region, agriculture is constrained by low and erratic precipitation, by low soil organic matter and nutrient contents. Farmers cultivate cassava, maize, sweet potato, millet and legumes with hand tools, neither using plant protection agents nor chemical or natural soil amendments. Even though subsistence production is dominant, farm...
Poster
Logo Tropentag Tropentag 2013, September 17 - 19, Stuttgart-Hohenheim, Germany ”Agricultural development within the rural-urban continuum” Agricultural Innovations in Cropping Systems of Semi-Arid Southwestern Madagascar under Multiple Ecological and Socio-Economic Constraints Susan Hanisch1, Hendrik Hänke2, Andreas Buerkert1, Jan Barkmann2 1Univer...
Article
Full-text available
Little is known about the traditional coffee cultivation systems in Central Aceh, Indonesia, where coffee production is a major source of income for local Gayo people. Based on field observations and farmer interviews, 14 representative agroforestry coffee plantations of different age classes (60–70 years, 30–40 years, and 20 years) as well as seve...
Article
Full-text available
The objectives were to investigate (1) to which extent water-stable macro- and microaggregates sequester organic matter (OM) in a minimum tillage (MT) system compared to a conventional tillage (CT) system and (2) if the content of biochemically stabilized OM differs between both tillage systems, and (3) to study the temporal dynamics of the distrib...
Article
Full-text available
The impact of projected climate change on the long-term hydrological balance and seasonal variability in the federal German state of Thuringia was assessed and analysed. For this study projected climate data for the scenarios A2 and B1 were used in conjunction with a conceptual hydrological model. The downscaled climate data are based on outputs of...
Article
Full-text available
The impact of predicted climate change on the hydrological dynamics and long term hydrological balance in the federal German state Thuringia was investigated and analysed. For this study the prognostic climate data, provided by the statistical regionalisation approach WETTREG, which is based on results of the global climate model ECHAM5/MPI-OM, was...

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Projects

Projects (3)
Project
Evolution education has traditionally been the domain of biology education, yet evolution science today is a robustly interdisciplinary endeavor. This project aims to explore the potential challenges and opportunities for engaging students in kindergarten through secondary education in the perspectives and controversies surrounding extensions of evolutionary theory beyond biology. We move towards this goal through two approaches: > Clarification of core concepts in evolution across disciplines or perspectives. > Clarification of potential learning opportunities and challenges for teaching evolution as an interdisciplinary science.
Project
Global ESD works internationally to support sustainability education initiatives that connect concepts in human evolution, behavioral ecology, and sustainability science. By linking scientific perspectives on social change with students and classrooms seeking to make the world a better place, our aim is to foster a more global discussion about where we are going in the light of where we all have come from.