Heike Egner

Membership:  2010

Member Bio

Heike Egner is a human geographer with an interest in the relationships between society, humans, and the environment, as well as in cultures of risk in modern societies. She is co-leading the project “Communicating Disaster” at the Zentrum für interdisziplinäre Forschung (ZiF, Center of Interdisciplinary Research) in Bielefeld. She studied mass communications, politics, and geography at Johannes Gutenberg-University in Mainz (Germany), where she wrote her doctoral thesis in geography, receiving her PhD (Dr. rer. nat.) in 2001. In her postdoctoral work, she focused on the interplay between society, humans, and the environment, applying a systems theoretical perspective (mainly based on Niklas Luhmann’s theoretical approach). She received her venia legendi (postdoctoral lecture qualification, Habilitation) for geography in 2007. Egner has taught in Mainz, Frankfurt am Main, Kassel, Vienna, Munich and Innsbruck. She is the author of Gesellschaft, Mensch, Umwelt—Beobachtet (2007), the co-editor of Umwelt als System, System als Umwelt: Systemtheorien auf dem Prüfstand (2008) and Geographische Risikoforschung: Zur Konstruktion verräumlichter Risiken und Sicherheiten (2010).


  • With Kirsten v. Elverfeldt. "A Bridge over Troubled Waters? Systems Theory and Dialogue in Geography." Area 41, no. 3 (2009): 319-328.
  • Gesellschaft, Mensch, Umwelt - beobachtet. Ein Beitrag zur Theorie der Geographie. Erdkundliches Wissen, vol. 145. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner, 2008.
  • Edited with Beate M.W. Ratter and Richard Dikau: Umwelt als System - System als Umwelt? Systemtheorien auf dem Prüfstand. München: Oekom, 2008
  • "Überraschender Zufall oder gelungene wissenschaftliche Kommunikation: Wie kam der Klimawandel in die aktuelle Debatte?" GAIA 16, vol. 4 (2007): 250-254.
  • Egner, Heike (2005): "Making Deserts. Die Canyon Country-Landschaften in historischen und aktuellen Konstruktionen." Geographica Helvetica 60, vol. 2: 136-144.