© R. Vigh, IOER-Media
Dr.-Ing. Markus Leibenath, © R. Vigh, IOER-Media

Markus Leibenath, Dr.-Ing.

Dipl.-Ing. Univ. Landespflege (i.e. Landscape Ecology and Spatial Planning)
Postdoctoral qualification ("Habilitation") in Landscape Development 

Research Associate

Tel. +49 351 4679 285

Research Interests

I am a landscape ecologist and spatial planner who works with research designs rooted in political science and cultural geography. The focus of my research and teaching is planning and decision-making processes as well as wider societal discussions on landscapes, biodiversity and spatial development. The aim is to support social and political transitions to higher degrees of ecological sustainability and social justice.

Specifically, I deal with the following issues:

  • the relationship between landscapes and renewable energies,
  • ways to integrate the protection of biodiversity into socioeconomic development,
  • transboundary and European cooperation as well as
  • the role of language in conservation and spatial development politics, for instance with regard to terms such as "ecological networks", "resilience" and "ecosystem services".

I am interested in transferring scientific results into politics and practice. Therefore I participate, e.g., in strategy development and conflict resolution processes in various contexts. Furthermore, I am engaged in dialogues with individuals from non-governmental organisations, from politics, public administration and science to encourage reflection on socio-ecological challenges.

On the one hand I rely on neo-institutionalist governance concepts which allow the interplay of actors, institutions, ideas and values at different levels to be analysed and interpreted. On the other hand I work from a social constructionist and poststructuralist perspective, highlighting the constitution and contingency of actors, institutions, landscapes and practices, while opening space for critique. This is mainly achieved through discourse analysis.

Regarding methodology I apply mainly qualitative empirical techniques such as individual and group interviews, participant observation, action research, document and media analysis.

Professional experience


Landscape planner in several private planning firms


Doctoral student at Technische Universität Berlin

Since 2000

Research associate, IOER


Lecturer at Technische Universität Dresden


Coordinator of the Network of Spatial Research and Planning in Central, Eastern and South Eastern Europe (www.spa-ce.net)


Lecturer ("Privatdozent") at Technische Universität Berlin, chair group Landscape Planning and Landscape Development


Guest researcher in the Forest and Nature Conservation Policy Group at Wageningen University & Research


Company Secretary of the Landscape Research Group (LRG)


Apprenticeship in landscape gardening

Landscape Architecture and Ecology at Technische Universität München, including 2 terms as special student at Harvard University 's Graduate School of Design in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Graduation as PhD at the Institute for Landscape Development of Technische Universität Berlin

Postdoctoral qualification ("Habilitation") in landscape development at the faculty (or department) VI "Planen Bauen Umwelt" ("Planning Constructing Environment") of Technische Universität Berlin

Funding by the German Research Foundation DFG (as principal investigator)


Student grant fellowship of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung)

Doctoral fellowship of Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt