Hi there! My name is Simon Benedikter and I joined the Tropical Forestry team at TUD this September as post-doc fellow. After having spent more than 10 years working and living in Vietnam, where I was involved in both research and practical development-related projects, I returned to Germany last year in autumn. Although having just started work, I feel very comfortable in my new working environment due to the many supportive and kind colleagues I met and the enthusiastic atmosphere in the team. Thank you for this warm-hearted welcome!
I’m a social scientist by training with an interdisciplinary and a long-standing engagement with society-nature relations, natural resources management and governance, and rural development in Southeast Asia. I hold a diploma in Southeast Asian Studies and earned a PhD in Development Studies from the University of Bonn. Before joining TUD, I served as a GIZ-sponsored policy advisor in the Vietnamese Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, where I specifically worked on ecosystem-based adaption for social-ecological systems. Prior to that, I was a researcher at the Center for Development Research and the Institute of Hygiene and Public Health, both University of Bonn, with a thematic focus on water resources.
The next three years working at TUD, I will be serving as a research coordinator within the IKI/BMUB- funded project concerned with production-forest driven landscape restoration in Vietnam, Laos and Thailand. As such I will undertake practice-oriented research aimed at crafting sustainable community-private sector partnerships and business models to promote forest-driven landscape restoration pathways in the three aforementioned countries. What I particularly like about our institute, and also this project, is the idea to reach beyond research as an end in itself, but to pursue practical objectives that benefit local livelihoods and promote sustainable development.
Since I grew up in the Southwest of Germany and used to live along the Rhine River, I’m very excited about my relocation to the Elbe Valley, a region in Germany that is fairly unknown to me. So I’m always grateful for insider hints what to do in and around Dresden.
By Simon Benedikter