551-0209-00L  Sustainable Plant Systems (Seminar)

SemesterAutumn Semester 2023
LecturersM. Paschke, S. F. Bender, G. S. Bhullar, F. Liebisch, further lecturers
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish


551-0209-00 SSustainable Plant Systems (Seminar)
**together with University of Zurich and University of Basel**
Dates: October 25 & December 7, 2023 (14:00 – 18:00)

More information: Link
2 hrs
25.10.14:15-18:00ML F 39 »
07.12.14:15-18:00HG F 26.1 »
M. Paschke, S. F. Bender, G. S. Bhullar, F. Liebisch, further lecturers

Catalogue data

AbstractParticipants will be able to discuss and understand sustainability in the context of plant science research. A special focus will be on research in agro-ecological systems and on building sustainable food systems.
ObjectiveParticipants will be able to:
(1) Review issues of sustainability in the context of plant science research and literature on sustainable agriculture and the food system.
(2) Analyze and interact on several case studies in agroecology and the food system.
(3) Use SDGs in your case study as a target and assessment system.
ContentFuture society has to feed nine billion people, therefore agriculture but also food, waste and resource management has to go hand in hand in the use of less resources. We will discuss current research in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Focus of the seminar will be on:
(1) Research in agro-ecological systems. Can we transform the impact of our agricultural practices below the planetary boundaries? Where does current research indicate on directions for a transformation of current practice?
(2) Building sustainable food systems: How could local food systems be build and scaled up?.

The course will be organized with two workshops (half days, 14:00 - 18:00) and an self-study/ group work phase in between the workshops.

The course will be organized with two workshops (half days, 14:00 - 18:00) and an intensive, well-structured self-study/ group work phase in between the workshops.

Case studies will include:
• Case Study 1: How can Swiss farmers move to zero environmental impact?
• Case Study 2: What influence do the consumers in developed (importing) countries have on sustainability of (mainly) small-holder farming in the developing (sourcing) countries?
• Case Study 3: Sensor based fertilization techniques for sustainability?
• Case Study 4: The sustainable development goals (SDG) and sustainable urban food systems.

Online learning material is for example provided on:

•Nitrogen supply in tropical low input conservation agriculture
•Nitrous oxide emissions from agriculture
•Role of vascular plants in methane emissions from soil
•Mycorrhizal symbioses for soil nutrient management in agroecosystems

More information: Link
Lecture notesAccess to the learning platform:https://lms.uzh.ch/auth/RepositoryEntry/3604873218/CourseNode/83441794245107 (use your AAI login)
Subject-specific CompetenciesConcepts and Theoriesassessed
Method-specific CompetenciesAnalytical Competenciesassessed
Social CompetenciesCommunicationfostered
Cooperation and Teamworkfostered
Self-presentation and Social Influence fostered
Personal CompetenciesCreative Thinkingfostered
Critical Thinkingassessed
Self-awareness and Self-reflection fostered
Self-direction and Self-management fostered

Performance assessment

Performance assessment information (valid until the course unit is held again)
Performance assessment as a semester course
ECTS credits2 credits
ExaminersM. Paschke, S. F. Bender, G. S. Bhullar, F. Liebisch
Typeungraded semester performance
Language of examinationEnglish
RepetitionRepetition only possible after re-enrolling for the course unit.

Learning materials

Learning environmentSustainable Plant Systems
Only public learning materials are listed.


No information on groups available.


There are no additional restrictions for the registration.

Offered in

Biology (General Courses)Complementary CoursesZ DrInformation
Doctorate Environmental SciencesGraduate Programme in Plant SciencesWInformation