Where our experts advise


Below you find some of the advisory bodies where our UFZ experts collaborate:

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) was established following a series of food crises to be a source of scientific advice and communication on risks related to the food chain. The Agency is funded by the European Union and operates independently of European legislative and executive bodies (Commission, Council, Parliament) and EU Member States.
The Panel on Plant Health (PLH) reviews and assesses the risks of harmful organisms which could affect the safety of the food chain.

Expert at the UFZ:
Dr. Hans-Hermann Thulke , Department of Ecological Modelling, member of the panel


The European Topic Centre on Climate Change Impacts, Vulnerability and Adaptation (ETC/CCA) was commissioned by the European Environment Agency (EEA) and supports it in the development of strategies and annual management plans in the field of climate change impacts, vulnerability and adaptation for the whole of Europe. The international consortium of the Centre consists of European institutes and organisations and is led by the Italian Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change (CMCC).

Project duration: January 2019 to December 2021

Expert at the UFZ:
Dr. Andreas Marx , Climate Office for Central Germany (head), member of the consortium


The European Topic Centre on Inland, Coastal and Marine waters (ETC/ICM) is an international consortium that supports the European Environment Agency (EEA) in its mission to inform policy makers and the public on the development and implementation of sound environmental policies in the European Union and other EEA Member States. It is led by the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ).

Expert at the UFZ:
Prof. Dr. Dietrich Borchardt , Department of Aquatic Ecosystems Analysis (head), member of the consortium


The World Biodiversity Council (IPBES - Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services) advises policy makers on the state and development of biodiversity and their ecosystem services. IPBES does not conduct its own research, but collects and assesses existing knowledge worldwide. The assessments are used to derive non-binding recommendations and options for action to protect biodiversity, which are intended to support policy-makers in their work.

Experts at the UFZ:
Dr. Julian Rode , Department of Environmental Politics
Prof. Dr. Ralf Seppelt , Department of Computational Landscape Ecology (head)
Prof. Dr. Josef Settele , Department of Conservation Biology (head)


JPI Urban Europe – the knowledge hub for urban transitions – was established in 2010 to address today's global urban challenges, with the aim of developing a European research and innovation hub for urban issues and creating European solutions through coordinated research. Its mission is to connect public authorities, civil society, academics, innovators, businesses and industry to create a new environment for research and innovation.

Expert at the UFZ:
Prof. Dr. Sigrun Kabisch , Department of Urban and Environmental Sociology (head), chair of the board


The National Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech) advises politicians and society on technical science and technology policy issues and represents the interests of the German technical sciences at home and abroad.
The non-profit association is financed by institutional funding from the federal government and the 16 German states as well as by donations and project-related third-party funding.

Experts at the UFZ:
Prof. Dr. Andreas Schmid , Department of Solar Materials (head)
Prof. Dr. Georg Teutsch , Scientific Managing Director at the UFZ


The German Bioeconomy Council (BÖR) advises the Government on the implementation of the national bioeconomy strategy with the aim of creating optimal framework conditions for sustainable economic activities based on biobased resources.
The Bioeconomy Council is an independent and honorary advisory body. Its recommendations and background papers are public.

Expert at the UFZ:
Prof. Dr. Daniela Thrän , Department of Bioenergy (head), co-chair of the council


The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) was established to strengthen consumer health protection. It prepares expert opinions and statements for the Federal Republic of Germany on questions of food and feed safety as well as on the safety of chemicals and products.
The BfR is part of the portfolio of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL). It is independent in its scientific assessment and research.

Expert at the UFZ:
Prof. Dr. Gerrit Schüürmann , Department of Ecological Chemistry (head)


The German Committee for Disaster Reduction (DKKV) works with international organisations and initiatives active in the field of disaster reduction. It is a centre of competence for all questions of national and international disaster reduction.
The DKKV is funded by membership fees, subsidies from projects and consultancy assignments as well as other contributions, mainly donations.

Expert at the UFZ:
Prof. Dr. Reimund Schwarze , Department of Economy, member of the board


The German Association for Water, Wastewater and Waste (DWA) brings together water and waste management experts and managers from municipalities, universities, engineering offices, public authorities and companies while also preparing technical standards, contributing to standardisation work, supporting research and promoting education and training.
The DWA is a non-profit organisation free of any political or economic influence. It is active both nationally and internationally. In Europe, it is the organisation with the highest number of members in its field.

Expert at the UFZ:
Prof. Dr. Roland-A. Müller , Environmental and Biotechnology Centre (head)


The Expert Commission on Fracking (acc. to the Water Resources Act § 13a paragraph 6) - was set up by the German Government to research interventions that might affect the water balance by hydraulic fracturing of rocks for oil and gas extraction and their effects on the environment. The Commission is independent and serves to provide scientific advice to the German Bundestag.

Expert at the UFZ:
Prof. Dr. Holger Weiß , Department of Environmental Informatics (deputy head), vice-chair of the commission


The German Government established the Nationaler Wasserstoffrat (German Hydrogen Council) with the resolution on the National Hydrogen Strategy in 2020. The task of the Council is to advise and support the Government in the implementation and development of the Hydrogen Strategy by making proposals and recommendations for action. The German Hydrogen Council consists of 26 experts from science, industry and civil society.

Expert at the UFZ:
Prof. Dr. Katja Bühler , Department of Solar Materials, member of the council


The National Committee of the Federal Republic of Germany (NK) for the International Hydrological Programme (IHP) of UNESCO and the Hydrology and Water Resources Programme (HWRP) of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has been integrated into the International Centre for Water Resources and Global Change (ICWRGC) in Koblenz. The IHP/HWRP Secretariat is responsible for implementing the decisions of the NK, and supported by a scientific advisory board.
The work of the Secretariat is funded by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety and the Federal Foreign Office.

Expert at the UFZ:
Prof. Dr. Dietrich Borchardt , Department of Aquatic Ecosystems Analysis (head), member of the board


The German Advisory Council on the Environment (SRU) assesses the environmental situation in Germany and advises the German Government on its future environmental policy. It was established in 1971 by decree of the Government at the Federal Ministry of the Interior. The Environmental Council is not bound by instructions and decides itself on the topics of its expert reports, statements and other publications which are also available online.

Experts at the UFZ:
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Köck , Department of Environmental and Planning Law (head), member of the council
Prof. Dr. Josef Settele , Department of Conservation Biology (head), member of the council


In 2004, the Federal Environment Agency set up the Soil Protection Commission to promote soil protection and to make it more visible in environmental policy and in people's awareness. It brings together the main actors in soil protection from science, the field and administration.

Expert at the UFZ:
Prof. Dr. Bernd Hansjürgens , Department of Economy (head), chair of the commission


The German Science and Humanities Council advises the German Government and the Regional Governments on all questions concerning the content and structural development of science, research and higher education. They also contribute to securing the international competitiveness of science in Germany within the national and European science system. The Science and Humanties Council issues recommendations and statements mainly in two fields of science policy being:
- the scientific institutions (universities, universities of applied sciences and non-university research institutions), in particular on their structure and performance, development and funding,
- overarching issues of the science system, selected structural aspects of research and teaching, and the planning, evaluation and management of individual fields and disciplines.

Expert at the UFZ:
Prof. Dr. Beate Escher , Department of Cell Toxicology (head), member of the council


The Central Committee on Biological Safety (ZKBS) of the Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety is an honorary expert committee that examines genetically modified organisms (GMOs) for possible risks to humans, animals and the environment and issues statements on the findings.

Expert at the UFZ:
Dr. Walter Durka , Department of Community Ecology, member of the commission

The Working Group on Adaptation to the Consequences of Climate Change (AG Klima) was founded by the Saxony-Anhalt state government in 2007. Under the leadership of the Ministry for the Environment, Agriculture and Energy (MULE), ministries and specialised authorities concerned, municipal umbrella organisations, universities, the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research and the German Weather Service drew up the strategy for adapting to the consequences of climate change, continue to update it and regularly report on its implementation.

Expert at the UFZ:
Dr. Andreas Marx , Climate Office for Central Germany (head), member of the working group


The Energiebeirat Sachsen (Saxony Energy Advisory Council) has existed since 2007 and advises the Saxon Government on energy policy issues.

Expert at the UFZ:
Prof. Dr. Daniele Thrän , Department of Bioenergy (head), member of the board


The Expertenkommission Wohnungspolitik Leipzig (Leipzig Housing Policy Expert Commission) has been established in 2006 in order to develop housing policy concepts and strategies for Leipzig's urban development and housing market development.

Expert at the UFZ:
Prof. Dr. Dieter Rink , Department of Urban and Environmental Sociology (deputy head), member of the commission


The Gewässerbeirat Sachsen-Anhalt (Saxony-Anhalt Water Advisory Council) was founded in 2004 and serves to promote the dialogue between the water management administration and the social groups affected by the implementation of the Water Framework Directive. A 25-member body of experts acts state-wide and provides expert advice as well as suggestions and recommendations.

Expert at the UFZ:
Prof. Dr. Markus Weitere , Department of River Ecology (head), member of the council


The independent Naturschutzbeirat Halle (nature conservation advisory board of the city of Halle) was formed in 2010 and advises the lower nature conservation authority of the city of Halle (Saale) on matters of nature conservation and landscape management. The meetings of the advisory board are not open to the public.

Expert at the UFZ:
Dr. Stefan Klotz , Department of Community Ecology (head), member of the council