Doctoral Program Environment and Society

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Prof. Dr. Henrike Rau

Prof. Dr. Henrike Rau

Professor of Human Geography and Sustainability


Lehr- und Forschungseinheit Mensch-Umwelt-Beziehungen
Luisenstraße 37
80333 München

Room: A 301
Phone: +49 (0) 89 / 2180 - 4179

Degree Opportunity

Dr. phil. (Human Geography)

Research Interests

My core research interests lie in the areas of social-scientific and interdisciplinary sustainability research. My extensive research work to date has focused on (un)sustainable consumption patterns in the areas of mobility, energy and food. In particular, I have achieved international recognition for my research on the dynamics of mobility practices across the life course, diverse mobility cultures and the mobility-related (re-)distribution of temporal and spatial resources. I designed and led cutting-edge research on transport, mobilities and the ‘consumption of distance’ as part of CONSENSUS, a collaborative project (2009-2015) between Trinity College Dublin and NUI, Galway on consumption, environment and sustainability funded by the EPA Ireland ( I was the social science partner in the NUIG-based nZEB-Retrofit project (2014-2018) funded by Science Foundation Ireland. This project combined engineering and social science expertise to investigate household energy consumption in Ireland and the potential benefits and drawbacks of retrofitting initiatives. I am currently scientific lead and WP1 leader in ENERGISE, an inter- and transdisciplinary research project (2016-2019) on household energy use in Europe that is funded under the EU Horizon2020 programme ( My other areas of expertise are cross-cultural, comparative studies and qualitative and quantitative research methodologies.

Doctoral Students Supervised

RCC PhD candidates (ongoing)

  • Sevgi Mutlu Sirakova, Connected food: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Interspecies Encounters of Informal Food Transfers (2018-present, co-supervision with Prof. Dr. Michael John Gorman, LMU Munich/BIOTOPIA)
  • Talitta Reitz, Community Transformation and Ecological Restoration in Portland, Oregon, and Munich, Bavaria (2018-present, co-supervision with Prof. Dr. Christof Mauch, Rachel Carson Center, LMU Munich, EU-ITRN funding, RECOMS)
  • Pui Ting Wong, Electricity Demand. Explanations and Predictions on the Basis of Time-use Analysis (, 2018-present, co-supervision with Prof. B. Gill, LMU Munich, Department of Sociology).
  • Fausto Ignatov Vinueza, Die Ambivalenzen des Erfolgs: Diskurse über Entwicklung, Wachstum und Extraktivismus (2017-present, co-supervision with Prof. B. Gill, LMU Munich, Department of Sociology).

Past PhD candidates (completed)

  • Public Food Consumption and the Role of Organisations in Localised Food Systems (G. Goggins, 2012–2016, Galway Fellowship funding 2012-14; IRC funding 2014-16)
  • Reconnecting Children and Nature? A Sociological Study of Environmental Educa¬tion in Ireland (S. O’Malley, 2008-2014, IRCHSS funding 2009-12)
  • Society, Power and Climate Change: A Social Critique of Public Climate Change Receptivity in Ireland (E. Fox, 2008–2014; leave of absence in 2011-12)
  • Mobility Matters: Technology, Telework and the (Un)sustainable Consumption of Distance (M. Hynes, 2009–2013, CONSENSUS–EPA fellowship 2009–2013)
  • Curbing the Consumption of Distance? A Practice-theoretical Investigation of an Employer-based Mobility Management Initiative to Promote More Sustainable Commuting (B. Heisserer, 2009-2013, CONSENSUS–EPA fellowship 2009–2012)
  • Tacit Knowledge and Resistance: The Impact of Rural Knowledge–Based Cultures on the Implementation of Environmental Policy in Connemara (L. Moran, 2004–2011; IRCHSS funding 2005-7)
  • Parks and Protected Areas: Integrating Environmental Policies into the Tourism Product (N. Healy, co-supervision with Dr John McDonagh, Department of Geography, NUIG, January 2007-2010; EPA Ireland and NUIG funding)