Rachel Carson Center, LMU Munich, Germany
Zhanna’s research interests lie at the intersection between social sciences and humanities and include community engagement, political ecology, narrative, environmental justice, and postmodernism.
Zhanna holds a MSc degree in Urban Studies. For her graduate program, she attended six universities in four European capitals and wrote her thesis on how technology and social media affect tourism patterns in Berlin and Madrid. For her BA degree, Zhanna focused on the emigration of the Kazakhstan-born Germans after the fall of the Soviet Union. Zhanna’s research experience includes projects on housing, heritage and memory, spatial segregation, and community resilience both in Europe and Kazakhstan. As an ESR at the Rachel Carson Center, she will be looking at how the establishment of the Bavarian Forest National Park has been affecting livelihoods of local communities and what has been changing in people’s relationship to the forest in the past half-century.
This project seeks to understand how the establishment of Germany’s first National Park (Nationalpark Bayerischer Wald) in the 1970s has transformed livelihoods and environments in the easternmost region of Southern Germany. It studies the relationship between social and ecological change over time and asks what impact the conservation of nature has had on local communities. One of the major research questions will address the issues of sustainability of local communities in light of major landscape transformation (end of logging industry, bark beetle infestation etc.). The doctoral student who works on this project is expected to study, analyse and interpret historical and scientific records (mostly in German) and create a narrative environmental history that helps us understand both pasts and potential futures of the Bayerischer Wald.