With the lecture “Understanding biodiversity dynamics – from human dominated systems to the fossil record”, Prof. Dr. Manuel Steinbauer presented his previous research work and discussed the focus of his new professorship “Sport Ecology” at the Bayreuth Center for Ecology and Environmental Research (BayCEER). The former student of the “Global Change Ecology” (GCE) master’s program in the Elite Network of Bavaria will therefore teach GCE students in the future.
Think nature and sports at the same time
In a well-attended lecture hall, Prof. Dr. Manuel Steinbauer gave the audience several examples of how the dynamics of ecological systems and the influence of human activities have changed over time. In the future, the former GCE student will research the effects of outdoor sports on nature and how the potential of sports can be used to raise people’s awareness of environmental issues. When asked about the relevance of the interdisciplinary topic “Sport Ecology”, Prof. Steinbauer emphasized two reasons: On the one hand, our society would tend to “think” about nature and sports at the same time, i.e. if we are planning a nature trip, this is often planned as a sporting event. For example, we travel to the Alps because we want to hike or ski there. On the other hand, sports offer a great potential to bring people closer to nature conservation issues.
From GCE to systems paleobiology to sports ecology
Sport ecology was not always the research focus of the interdisciplinary scientist who grew up in Middle Franconia.In 2004, he began his bachelor’s degree in geoecology at the University of Bayreuth and continued his studies from 2006 to 2009 with the then new master’s program Global Change Ecology. This was followed by his doctorate in 2013 and a three-year postdoctoral stay at the University of Aarhus in Denmark. From 2017 to 2019, Prof. Steinbauer was a professor for “System Paleobiology” at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. In August 2019, he accepted the call from the University of Bayreuth and returned as a professor for “Sport Ecology”.
Looking back on his time as a GCE student, the 36-year-old particularly emphasized the unique experiences gained through participation in international environmental and scientific conferences as well as the good methodological training provided in the program.
From the coming winter semester, Prof. Steinbauer will teach the new GCE students as a professor.