The Anthropocene Biosphere

The Anthropocene is characterized by growing anthropogenic pressure on ecosystems and shrinking biosphere integrity, resulting in a geohistorically novel configuration of the biosphere. How can this Anthropocene biosphere be understood at the systemic level, especially with regard to its interactions with the technosphere? Which are the perspectives and opportunities for establishing a balance between technosphere and biosphere in the future?

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Projects Related to the Anthropocene Biosphere

Petrochemical Technosphere

Chemical industries play a major, yet in technology studies still underestimated role in the establishment of the technosphere and for the course of history in the Anthropocene. Artificial  fertilizers, ammunition, plastics, fuels, pharmaceuticals are drivers for paradigmatic Anthropocene dynamics in all spheres of the Earth- and socio-technical systems. (Great Acceleration Observatory). Via their industrial technicality, a large set of molecules need to be addresses as part of the technosphere. It is the ongoing „transformation of chemistry“ towards sustainable process structures, that calls for an understanding of the full scope of industrial chemicals for the actual historical condition.  more

Teleconnections: A Spatiotemporal Atlas of the Technosphere

How did a state shift in planetary conditions occur in the wake of local transformations and how does that state shift feed back to such localities, further spurring their transformations? Can we map, and thereby discern, the systemic drivers and their mutual interdependencies that mesh the global fabric of the Anthropocene? In the collaborative project Teleconnections we seek to develop a new visual grammar representing social, technological, and ecological transformations across space and time, helping to get an evolving technosphere into view. more

Cosmoperceptions of the Forest

The starting point for the project, conducted in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut, is existing initiatives in Indigenous and traditional territories in South America and Europe, that work to regenerate relationships between many species, human and non-human, based on the ways of life of Forest Peoples. more

Mapping Capitalist Expansion

This project maps forest cover loss, alongside the forms of political resistance that have obstructed deforestation, during the era of global capitalist expansion from the late 1400s onwards. more

AI Assistant for Geoanthropology

The project aims to create an AI assistant to support research in the emerging, highly interdisciplinary field of geoanthropology. The new generation of generative AI is starting to transform scientific practice across all disciplines. In particular, large language models (LLMs) are rapidly becoming better at understanding text and quickly generating accurate responses, making this technology broadly applicable across many domains, including science. more

Perspectives on Global Forest Stewardship

This project explores humanity's evolving relationship with forests, examining how cultural, scientific, and technological advancements have shaped our interactions with natural resources over time. Emphasising the global impact of deforestation, which accounts for 11% of carbon emissions, it aims to foster transnational collaboration among scholars to study the transmission and adaptation of environmental knowledge across regions. Rooted in Geoanthropology, the project investigates historical forest management's role in carbon emissions and its broader influence on geological and ecological systems. Through initiatives like a forthcoming virtual workshop and exhibition, it seeks to promote education and outreach on forest stewardship, highlighting historical narratives and their contemporary relevance for sustainable resource management and curriculum development worldwide. more

Pan-African Evolution

The Pan-African Evolution project is focused on understanding the early periods of human prehistory, and how early human shaping of the earth had cascading effects down to the present day. more


The WAMSA project, funded under the EU Horizon 2020 programm builds on both previously described work and emerging data from West Africa. Over the last decade, this region is yielding provocative insights that increasingly challenge early narratives about human biological and cultural evolution. Recent introgression of archaic specimens in the modern genome and very long persistence of Middle Stone Age (MSA) technology have been emphasized. The aim is to explain this distinct regional Stone Age Sequence. In other words what are the forces driving forces West African MSA “cultural anachronism”? Are climatic trends sufficient to explain long-lasting behavioral stability? Can demographic conditions between 150 and 11 thousand years ago explain it? Did connections exist between structured populations? Were West African populations geographically separated from the rest of the continent isolated? Were there natural barriers (eg. ecological) separating them from the rest of the continent?  more


The ERC funded IslandLab project will document long-term legacies and feedbacks between ecological changes, societal responses and ecosystem resilience on the island of Malta. more

Past Human Impacts on the Tropics and Connected Earth Systems

The last 5 years of research in the tropics have not only started to demonstrate the long record of human presence emphasized above, but also the fact that human societies have left legacies of varying nature and intensity on different aspects of tropical ecosystems and their associated earth systems. This project applies varied methods to build detailed records of human interactions with different aspects of these environments across space and time including: more

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