Two agricultural experts elected to head the Leibniz Association

Two agricultural experts elected to head the Leibniz Association

Two bioeconomy experts will head the Leibniz Association in the future: Martina Brockmeier, an agricultural economist from Hohenheim, was elected as the new president and Barbara Sturm, an agricultural engineer from Potsdam, was elected vice-president.

Martina Brockmeier (links); Barbara Sturm (rechts)
Martina Brockmeier and Barbara Sturm (l.t.r.)

In April of this year, the Leibniz Association's Executive Committee nominated Martina Brockmeier as a candidate for the presidency. Now the assembled members have cast their vote: With a large majority, the agricultural economist from Stuttgart was elected as the new president of the renowned research organisation on 18 November. From 1 July 2022, Brockmeier will officially assume the office for 4 years. With Barbara Sturm, the members elected another agricultural expert to head the Leibniz Association. The Potsdam agricultural engineer will serve as Vice President for the next two years.

Research for the benefit of society

"I am delighted to have been elected President of the Leibniz Association," says Martina Brockmeier. "Supporting the Leibniz Association in applying its scientific findings for the benefit of society is one of the most interesting tasks in German science, which I accept with great pleasure." The professor will succeed Matthias Kleiner, who has held the post since 2014.

Integrating the competencies of the Leibniz institutes

Brockmeier has been Professor of International Agricultural Trade and World Food Economics at the University of Hohenheim since 2009. From 2017 to 2020, she was Chair of the Science Council - a science policy advisory body of the federal and state governments on the substantive and structural development of science, research and universities. In this role, she was also a member of the Leibniz Senate and previously established herself for many years in the Senate Evaluation Committee of the Leibniz Association and in the DFG Review Board. Currently, Brockmeier is a member of the Leibniz Association's Senate Committee on Strategic Projects, the German Academy of Science and Engineering (Acatech), the Academic Advisory Council of Heidelberg University and the GTAP Advisory Board of Purdue University (USA).

Barbara Sturm will be the new Vice-President. The agricultural engineer has been Scientific Director and Chair of the Board of the Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Engineering and Bioeconomy in Potsdam since October 2020. At the same time, she holds the professorship for agricultural engineering in bioeconomic systems at the Humboldt University in Berlin. Before moving to Potsdam, she headed the research group "Process and Systems Engineering in Agriculture" at the University of Kassel. "I am looking forward to the new task and will advocate for inter- and transdisciplinary cooperation in the Leibniz Association for Sustainability Goals," says Sturm. "We need to network the diverse competencies of the Leibniz institutes, from economics and social sciences, to life sciences, natural sciences and engineering, to environmental sciences, even more strongly than before, in order to jointly advance solutions for globally pressing issues such as food security, environmental and climate protection."

The agricultural engineer with a doctorate takes over from Kathrin Böhning-Gaese of the Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung (SGN), who is stepping down from the Leibniz Association's Executive Board after two terms in office.