Bea Maas

Department of Botany and Biodiversity Research | Biodiversity Dynamics and Conservation | University of Vienna, Austria

Email bea.maas[at]
Project Name ECO-OLIVES
Publication Page–press.html
Field of research Conservation Biology, Agroecology
Keywords functional diversity | ecosystem services | conservation science

Balancing biodiversity conservation and food production


What is my research about?

Linking biodiversity conservation and landscape management is crucial to achieving the global Sustainable Development Goals that will safeguard human well-being in the future. The main objective of my research project “ECO-OLIVES” is to identify biodiversity-friendly land use approaches with a focus on Mediterranean olive agroforestry systems and make this knowledge widely accessible through software applications. The project includes several transdisciplinary pilot approaches at the local and landscape level that can be transferred and applied to virtually any other complex agroecosystem.

What was my path up to here?
Diverse perspectives and approaches shape my path. Through my studies in biology, I quickly realized that I wanted to combine basic research and the practical implementation of conservation evidence. What my curriculum in ecology did not provide for, I acquired myself through side studies in journalism, additional training in science communication and social science, as well as through my PhD in agroecology and working seven years in Indonesia – this has opened up many exciting perspectives and enriched my research!


Why is my project/work important?
Improving the use of ecosystem services such as natural pest control provided by birds, mammals, and insects is key to more sustainable agriculture. The potential of such “ecological management” approaches has been clearly demonstrated, but its practical implementation is limited to a few disciplinary case studies. The multidisciplinary approaches of this project aim to integrate environmental, social, and ecological data to contribute to the development and application of sustainable land use concepts that will conserve future resources.