WIMEK combines fundamental, strategic, applied and participatory research in natural and social environmental sciences. WIMEK especially promotes interdisciplinary research focusing on the interactions between ecological, chemical, physical and socio-economic processes and their interactions with society. This is considered to be essential for a solid contribution towards solving complex environmental problems.
Our research programme strongly concentrates on the components of the cause-effect chain of environmental problems:
- The causes of environmental deterioration and climate change (human activities, causes and determinants of these activities).
- The behaviour of substances and other materials within an environmental compartment and their transfer between compartments.
- The consequences on ecosystems and society.
- The prevention, abatement and/or mitigation of the effects of environmental stress.
WIMEK's research programme is fully embedded in SENSE and follows the structure of the SENSE research programme. In this programme, SENSE concentrates on environmental problems in a multidisciplinary approach.
The four Core Themes of SENSE reflect the main research efforts with regard to environmental change:
- Environmental contaminants and nutrients
Chair: Professor J. (Jacob) de Boer (IVM-VU);
- Environmental processes and ecosystem dynamics
Chair: Professor A.J. (Jan) Hendriks (RU Nijmegen);
- Global Environmental Change
Chair: Professor C. (Carolien) Kroeze (ESA-WU);
- Sustainable development and social change: actors, institutions and governance
Chair: Professor G. (Gert) Spaargaren (ENP-WU).
SENSE has currently created 20 Research Clusters. Each research cluster is a network within SENSE that covers a number of specific topics. The researchers within a cluster communicate actively with each other on these topics, look for cooperation possibilities, and organise events. Additional Research Clusters will be added as new fields of research emerge.