Universiteit Leiden

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Eva Sievers

PhD candidate

E.M. Sievers
+31 71 527 2727

Eva started her interfaculty PhD at the Department of Environmental Biology in July 2023 focussing on transformative change and knowledge transfer in the science-policy interface.

More information about Eva Sievers

Professional experience

Eva graduated from Leipzig University in 2020, where she obtained her BSc degree in Geography and Leiden University in 2022, where she received her MSc degree in Governance of Sustainability. For her Bachelor’s thesis, Eva looked into the management of global warming effects in the European Water Framework Directive (WFD), and more specifically investigated the consideration of social-ecological system (SES) features in the Elbe river basin (thesis). Her Master’s thesis research targeted the science-policy interface and focussed on place-based knowledge transfer in a local-to-global and knowledge-to-action context. Eva used a transdisciplinary research approach to understand how place-based knowledge can enhance the effectiveness of global sustainability initiatives and trigger action among decision-makers. By exploring structural barriers to knowledge transfer, Eva identified a need to shift away from short-termism towards more long-term SES goals, prioritise learning over knowing, and open up value systems of decision-making, as they are currently often limited to neoliberal capitalist principles, over-emphasising short-term and individual gains. Eva’s Master’s thesis was awarded with the Stans Award for the best student thesis 2022 (article).

Between October 2021 and June 2023, Eva worked as a scientific researcher at Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) in the Horizon 2020 project NEXOGENESIS (project). As part of the governance team, she was involved in developing and applying a co-creation framework for water-energy-food-ecosystem (WEFE) nexus governance in the project’s case studies, including the Jiu river basin (Romania) and the Inkomati-Usuthu catchment area (South Africa).

Research topic

Eva’s PhD research focusses on transformative change, aiming to trigger action towards more sustainable and just futures. Therefore, Eva targets the science-policy interface and investigates how local bottom-up initiatives can enhance the effectiveness and inclusivity of global sustainability transitions by providing complementary and locally relevant knowledge. Her research aims to provide insights on when, how and why local bottom-up initiatives can inform decision-making at the global scale and trigger to action beyond the local context. Eva tries to find a practical access to the principle ‘think globally, act locally’ to enable transformative change towards more sustainable and just futures that is strategic and sweeping.

PhD candidate

  • Science
  • Centrum voor Milieuwetenschappen Leiden
  • CML/Environmental Biology

Work address

Van Steenis
Einsteinweg 2
2333 CC Leiden
Room number B2.08B



  • No relevant ancillary activities
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