Technical progress is advancing ever faster, and as a result, technical devices that are still highly topical today are seemingly hopelessly outdated in just a few years. If we think of smartphones, for example, they often end up in the trash after just a few years, and with them many valuable metals that are built into the electronics. These then have to be newly extracted through mining activities. In the process, mining is often associated with major problems for the environment during its active period and also after decommissioning.
Today, these and other environmental problems can no longer be solved by individual disciplines such as chemistry, geology and biology alone, but only through their networking with each other. For this reason, the study program Biogeosciences was established at the University of Jena.
Answers regarding pressing questions about how humanity affects our environment are based on processes and phenomena that build on both biological and geoscientific foundations.
Biotic diversity and complexity are closely coupled with processes in their physicochemical and geological-mineralogical environments. Conversely, fundamental geoscientific phenomena such as weathering and soil fertility development are co-directed by biological processes.
Complex problems such as climate change, acid rain, eutrophication, bioremediation, and biodiversity loss can only be understood in their interdisciplinary context, as they are caused by multiple interactions between biological, physicochemical, and geological-mineralogical processes.
Our understanding of fundamental environmental processes can therefore only be increased through the integration of biology and geosciences, as exemplified and uniquely accomplished in the Biogeosciences program.