The research association of the Agronauts assembles actors with diverse and interdisciplinary backgrounds. In the following the members are presented.
Jörgen Beckmann is a biologist who works on the topic of agrobiodiversity and seeds and plant breeding, especially for organic farming. He has been involved in all kinds of research activities, papers, seminars and speeches. As an author he gathered arguments for a more holistic understanding of plant breeding; he also deals with the necessary change of paradigm in the way we eat, distribute and produce food. Jörgen Beckmann is in the board of the Agronauten since 2014.
Dr. Roman Lenz, Professor at the University for Economy and Environment, Nürtingen-Geislingen, Dean of the faculty for landscape architecture, environment and urban planning and coordinator of the International Master of Landscape Architecture. He is part of research activities concerning environmental accounting and regional products including old varieties and their importance for nature protection (agrobiodiversity). He is vice chairman in voluntary engagement at the regional group of Slow Food Germany e.V. in Stuttgart with 550 members at the moment. From 2011-2014 was he chairman at the Archekomission of Slow Food Germany e.V.. He organizes and supervises events about landscape ecology, sustainable regional development and regional marketing.
Peter Volz earned his diploma in Social Sciences and South Asian-Studies in Berlin and Paris as well as his master’s in Environmental Governance in Freiburg. He is interested in the relation of society and agriculture and the building of sovereign and local food systems. He has been one of the founders of Agronauten and has been working on many projects regarding local supply chains, cooperation of citizens and farmers as well as governance innovations for short-added value-chains. He is teaching at universities and involved in projects in Germany, Europe and South Asia.
Dr. Philipp Weckenbrock studied geography and English studies in Freiburg and Cardiff. As part of the research project of the International Water Management Institute in South Asia he wrote a doctoral thesis about sustainability indicators of waste water irrigation systems in a periurban area in Pakistan. He collected agricultural practice with small farmers in Bolivia and Burkina Faso as well as on organic farms in the Freiburg region. He is now working at the chair for organic farming in Giessen as well as with Agronauten. He is a specialist of agro-forestry.
Hannes Gerlof studied network management and education for sustainable development, furthermore he is EU fundraising specialist. His main topics are support for entrance in agroecological agriculture, access to land, farm succession, open platforms for farming technology and networking to further develop agroecological cultivation methods. He has been active with the European Access to Land network for the Agronauten (www.accesstoland.eu). He is a filmmaker as well.
Juan Fernandez is an agricultural engineer from Spain with rich experience in setting up and managing local supply chains (Cooperative Las Toscas in Andalucia). Now he lives in Germany since many years and works with Agronauten and as an organic certifier. He has both practical experience as a farmer as well as theoretical knowledge.