Photographers - Carolin Kugel

Carolin Kugel

Carolin Kugel


Carolin is a researcher at the Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research in Leipzig, Germany. Her research interests include the dialogue between science and policy, science communications and options for sustainable use of (tropical) forests. 

Why does Biodiversity fascinate you?
I love creativity, and nature is the most creative force on earth, for example when it comes to “inventing” species with a peculiar characteristic that gives them a very particular skill.

Where do you find Biodiversity in your everyday life?
In our kitchen. I currently count 42 spices there, and the spice shelf is still far from completion. To my husband, 4 colours & tastes of pepper are just the start of a diverse kitchen…

Also, my childhood would have been much less colourful, hadn’t we grown up in that fantastic hilly garden with fruit trees to climb, where our mother raises vegetables, bushes and flowers and where my sister and me kept newts and snails, found hedgehogs, sheltered birds and had a fox living under the garden house and spent hours watching the scenes in the pond, like dragonfly larvae on the hunt. I would be a different person today had I not been a part of all that back then. In particular with a global trend towards urbanization, I find playful environmental education for kids (who may otherwise not have access to nature in their everyday life) essential. That is why I chose the pictures of my cousins harvesting potatoes in the garden.

Why do you think it is important to create a network of Knowledge on Biodiversity and Ecosystem services?
Even though we only discovered a fraction of the diversity of life on earth and are far from understanding the entire “big picture” of how ecosystems work, we already have enough knowledge to reasonably support policy strategies about biodiversity use and conservation. A dialogue between political decision makers and scientists is essential to make effective use of the knowledge that is being produced every day in our research centers.

Carolin Kugel - Spices  Carolin Kugel - Kids harvesting potatoes Carolin Kugel - dog rose