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Prof. Dr. Andra-Ioana Horcea-Milcu

Project leader, Head of the "Cultures of Sustainability" section

Kassel Institute for Sustainability
Mosenthalstr. 8
34117 Kassel

 (Prof. Dr. Andra-Ioana Horcea-Milcu)

I am a sustainability scientist and thinker. I have a background in exploring social-ecological systems and experience in place-based transdisciplinary research for sustainability transformation. I am interested in leveraging the transformative potential of socially engaged knowledge co-creation in real-world contexts. My research journey allowed me to develop a focus on the role of values as leverage points, as a purpose, as something that can be consciously engaged with, activated, and mobilized for the sake of sustainability. I stand for kindness.

Kassel Institute for Sustainability  (Prof. Dr. Andra-Ioana Horcea-Milcu)

Social media  (Prof. Dr. Andra-Ioana Horcea-Milcu)

Research foci  (Prof. Dr. Andra-Ioana Horcea-Milcu)

  • (Transformative) sustainability science
  • Transdisciplinary knowledge co-creation in sustainability science
  • Values as a lever for sustainability transformation
  • Inner dimensions of sustainability transformation: values and cultures

Curriculum Vitae  (Prof. Dr. Andra-Ioana Horcea-Milcu)

  • 2023: Professor affiliated with Kassel Institute for Sustainability (one of the four co-directors) and with the Faculty of Humanities and Cultural Studies leading the unit of Cultures of Sustainability

  • 2022-2023: Fellow, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS), Potsdam

    2020-2022: Fellow, Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship hosted by Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca

    2019-2020: Postdoctoral researcher at Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS), Helsinki

    2015-2019: Postdoctoral researcher at Leuphana University of Lueneburg

    2011-2015: PhD thesis: „The relationship between people and nature in traditional rural landscapes: a case study from Southern Transylvania”. Leuphana University of Lueneburg

    2008-2010: MA, Université Libre de Bruxelles

    2004-2008: License diploma (4 years), University of Bucharest

Memberships  (Prof. Dr. Andra-Ioana Horcea-Milcu)

  • Cost Action CA22156 Transformations International Experience and Research Network for Sustainable Futures (TransformERS)
  • Editor of the Sustainability Science Journal
  • Lead author of three assessments of the interdisciplinary Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES): IPBES Global Assessment (2016-2019), IPBES Values Assessment (2018-2022), IPBES Transformative Change Assessment (2022-)


Horcea-Milcu, A.-I., Dorresteijn, I., Leventon, J., Stojanovic, M., Lam, D.P.M., Lang, D.J., Moriggi, A., Raymond, C.M., Stålhammar, S., Weiser, A., Zimmermann, S., 2024. Transformative research for sustainability: characteristics, tensions, and moving forward. Global Sustainability 7, TBD.
Augenstein, K., Lam, D.P.M., Horcea-Milcu, A.-I., Bernert, P., Charli-Joseph, L., Cockburn, J., Kampfmann, T., Pereira, L.M., Sellberg, M.M., 2024. Five priorities to advance transformative transdisciplinary research. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 68, 101438.
López-Rodríguez, M., Oteros-Rozas, E., Ruiz-Mallén, I., March, H., Horcea-Milcu, A.-I., Heras, M., Cebrián-Piqueras, M.A., Andrade, R., Lo, V.B.P.G., Piñeiro, C., 2023. Visualizing stakeholders’ willingness for collective action in participatory scenario planning. Ecology and Society 28, TBD.
Horcea-Milcu, A.-I., Koessler, A.-K., Martin, A., Rode, J., Moreno Soares, T., 2023. Modes of mobilizing values for sustainability transformation. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 64, 101357.
Mäkinen-Rostedt, K., Hakkarainen, V., Eriksson, M., Andrade, R., Horcea-Milcu, A.-I., Andrade, R., Anderson, B.D.O., Riper, van J.C., Raymond, M.C., 2023. Engaging diverse experts in the global science-policy interface: Learning experiences from the process of the IPBES Values Assessment. Environmental Science & Policy 147, 215–227.
Pascual, U., Balvanera, P., Anderson, C.B., Chaplin-Kramer, R., Christie, M., González-Jiménez, D., Martin, A., Raymond, C.M., Termansen, M., Vatn, A., Athayde, S., Baptiste, B., Barton, D.N., Jacobs, S., Kelemen, E., Kumar, R., Lazos, E., Mwampamba, T.H., Nakangu, B., O’Farrell, P., Subramanian, S.M., van Noordwijk, M., Ahn, S., Amaruzaman, S., Amin, A.M., Arias-Arévalo, P., Arroyo-Robles, G., Cantú-Fernández, M., Castro, A.J., Contreras, V., Vos, A. de, Dendoncker, N., Engel, S., Eser, U., Faith, D.P., Filyushkina, A., Ghazi, H., Gómez-Baggethun, E., Gould, R.K., Guibrunet, L., Gundimeda, H., Hahn, T., Harmáčková, Z.V., Hernández-Blanco, M., Horcea-Milcu, A.-I., Huambachano, M., Wicher, N.L.H., Aydın, C.İ., Islar, M., Koessler, A.-K., Kenter, J.O., Kosmus, M., Lee, H., Leimona, B., Lele, S., Lenzi, D., Lliso, B., Mannetti, L.M., Merçon, J., Monroy-Sais, A.S., Mukherjee, N., Muraca, B., Muradian, R., Murali, R., Nelson, S.H., Nemogá-Soto, G.R., Ngouhouo-Poufoun, J., Niamir, A., Nuesiri, E., Nyumba, T.O., Özkaynak, B., Palomo, I., Pandit, R., Pawłowska-Mainville, A., Porter-Bolland, L., Quaas, M., Rode, J., Rozzi, R., Sachdeva, S., Samakov, A., Schaafsma, M., Sitas, N., Ungar, P., Yiu, E., Yoshida, Y., Zent, E., 2023. Diverse values of nature for sustainability. Nature 813–823.
Andrade, R., van Riper, C.J., Goodson, D.J., Johnson, D.N., Stewart, W., López-Rodríguez, M., Cebrián-Piqueras, M.A., Horcea-Milcu, A.-I., Lo, V., Raymond, C.M., 2023. Values shift in response to social learning through deliberation about protected areas. Global Environmental Change 78, 102630.
Soininen, N., Raymond, C.M., Tuomisto, H., Ruotsalainen, L., Thorén, H., Horcea-Milcu, A.-I., Stojanovic, M., Lehtinen, S., Mazac, R., Lamuela, C., Korpelainen, N., Vainio, A., Toivanen, R., McPhearson, T., Nagatsu, M., 2022. Bridge over troubled water: managing compatibility and conflict among thought collectives in sustainability science. Sustainability Science 17, 27–44.
Chambers, J.M., Wyborn, C., Klenk, N.L., Ryan, M.E., Serban, A., Bennett, N.J., Brennan, R., Charli-Joseph, L., Fernández-Giménez, M.E., Galvin, K.A., Goldstein, B.E., Haller, T., Hill, R., Munera, C., Nel, J.L., Österblom, H., Reid, R.S., Riechers, M., Spierenburg, M., Tengö, M., Bennett, E.M., Brandeis, A., Chatterton, P., Cockburn, J.J., Cvitanovic, C., Dumrongrojwatthana, P., Paz Durán, A., Gerber, J.-D., Green, J.M.H., Gruby, R., Guerrero, A.M., Horcea-Milcu, A.-I., Montana, J., Steyaert, P., Zaehringer, J.G., Bednarek, A.T., Curran, K., Fada, S., Hutton, J., Leimona, B., Pickering, T., Rondeau, R., 2022. Co-productive agility and four collaborative pathways to sustainability transformations. Global Environmental Change 72, 102422.
D’Amato, D., Korhonen-Kurki, K., Lyytikainen, V., Matthies, B.D., Horcea-Milcu, A.-I., 2022. Circular bioeconomy: Actors and dynamics of knowledge co-production in Finland. Forest Policy and Economics 144, 102820.
Hakkarainen, V., Mäkinen-Rostedt, K., Horcea-Milcu, A.-I., D’Amato, D., Jämsä, J., Soini, K., 2022. Transdisciplinary research in natural resources management: Towards an integrative and transformative use of co-concepts. Sustainable Development 30, 309–325.
Horcea-Milcu, A.-I., 2022. Values as leverage points for sustainability transformation: two pathways for transformation research. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 57, 101205.
Horcea-Milcu, A.-I., Leventon, J., Lang, D.J., 2022. Making transdisciplinarity happen: Phase 0, or before the beginning. Environmental Science & Policy 136, 187–197.
Horcea-Milcu, A.-I., Zaman, S., Filyushkina, A., López-Rodríguez, M.D., Cebrián-Piqueras, M.A., Raymond, C.M., 2022. The relationship between values and knowledge in visioning for landscape management: relevance for a collaborative approach. Ecosystems and People 18, 498–513.
Raymond, C.M., Cebrián-Piqueras, M.A., Andersson, E., Andrade, R., Schnell, A.A., Battioni Romanelli, B., Filyushkina, A., Goodson, D.J., Horcea-Milcu, A.-I., Johnson, D.N., Keller, R., Kuiper, J., Lo, V., López-Rodríguez, M.D., March, H., Metzger, M., Oteros-Rozas, E., Salcido, E., Sellberg, M., Stewart, W., Ruiz-Mallén, I., Plieninger, T., van Riper, C.J., Verburg, P.H., Wiedermann, M.M., 2022. Inclusive conservation and the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework: Tensions and prospects. One Earth 5, 252–264.
Zaman, S., Korpilo, S., Horcea-Milcu, A.-I., Raymond, C.M., 2022. Associations between landscape values, self-reported knowledge, and land-use: a public participation GIS assessment. Ecosystems and People 18, 212–225.
Martin, A., O’Farrell, P., Kumar, R., Eser, U., Faith, D.P., Nicolas Gomez-Baggethun, E., Harmackova, Z., Horcea-Milcu, A.-I., Merçcon, J., Quaas, M., Rode, J., Rozzi, R., Sitas, N., Yoshida, Y., Ochieng, T.N., Koessler, A.-K., Lutti, N., Mannetti, L., Arroyo-Robles, G., 2022. The role of diverse values of nature in visioning and transforming towards just and sustainable futures, in: Christie, M., Balvanera, P., Pascual, U., Baptiste, B., González-Jiménez, D. (Hrsg.), Methodological assessment of the diverse values and valuation of nature of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. ipbes, Bonn, S. TBD.
Lam, D.P.M., Martín-López, B., Horcea-Milcu, A.-I., Lang, D.J., 2021. A leverage points perspective on social networks to understand sustainability transformations: evidence from Southern Transylvania. Sustainability Science 16, 809–826.
Chambers, J.M., Wyborn, C., Ryan, M.E., Reid, R.S., Riechers, M., Serban, A., Bennett, N.J., Cvitanovic, C., Fernández-Giménez, M.E., Galvin, K.A., Goldstein, B.E., Klenk, N.L., Tengö, M., Brennan, R., Cockburn, J.J., Hill, R., Munera, C., Nel, J.L., Österblom, H., Bednarek, A.T., Bennett, E.M., Brandeis, A., Charli-Joseph, L., Chatterton, P., Curran, K., Dumrongrojwatthana, P., Durán, A.P., Fada, S.J., Gerber, J.-D., Green, J.M.H., Guerrero, A.M., Haller, T., Horcea-Milcu, A.-I., Leimona, B., Montana, J., Rondeau, R., Spierenburg, M., Steyaert, P., Zaehringer, J.G., Gruby, R., Hutton, J., Pickering, T., 2021. Six modes of co-production for sustainability. Nature Sustainability 4, 983–996.
Leventon, J., Duçse, I.A., Horcea-Milcu, A.-I., 2021. Leveraging Biodiversity Action From Plural Values: Transformations of Governance Systems. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 9, 609853.
Hakkarainen, V., Anderson, C.B., Eriksson, M., van Riper, C.J., Horcea-Milcu, A.-I., Raymond, C.M., 2020. Grounding IPBES experts’ views on the multiple values of nature in epistemology, knowledge and collaborative science. Environmental Science & Policy 105, 11–18.
Fam, D., Clarke, E., Freeth, R., Derwort, P., Klaniecki, K., Kater-Wettstädt, L., Juarez-Bourke, S., Hilser, S., Peukert, D., Meyer, E., Horcea-Milcu, A.-I., 2020. Interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research and practice: Balancing expectations of the „old“ academy with the future model of universities as „problem solvers“. Higher Education Quarterly 74, 19–34.
Fazey, I., Schäpke, N., Caniglia, G., Hodgson, A., Kendrick, I., Lyon, C., Page, G., Patterson, J., Riedy, C., Strasser, T., Verveen, S., Adams, D., Goldstein, B., Goldstein, B.E., Klaes, M., Leicester, G., Linyard, A., McCurdy, A., Ryan, P., Sharpe, B., Silvestri, G., Abdurrahim, A.Y., Abson, D.J., Adetunji, O.S., Aldunce, P., Alvarez-Pereira, C., Amparo, J.M., Amundsen, H., Anderson, L., Andersson, L., Asquith, M., Augenstein, K., Barrie, J., Bent, D., Bentz, J., Bergsten, A., Berzonsky, C., Bina, O., Blackstock, K., Boehnert, J., Bradbury, H., Brand, C., Böhme, J., Bøjer, M.M., Carmen, E., Charli-Joseph, L., Choudhury, S., Chunhachoti-ananta, S., Cockburn, J.J., Colvin, J., Connon, I.L.C., Cornforth, R., Cox, R.S., Cradock-Henry, N., Cramer, L., Cremaschi, A., Dannevig, H., Day, C.T., Lima Hutchison, C., Vrieze, A., Desai, V., Dolley, J., Duckett, D., Durrant, R.A., Egermann, M., Elsner, E., Fremantle, C., Fullwood-Thomas, J., Galafassi, D., Gobby, J., Golland, A., González-Padrón, S.K., Gram-Hanssen, I., Grandin, J., Grenni, S., Lauren Gunnell, J., Gusmao, F., Hamann, M., Harding, B., Harper, G., Hesselgren, M., Hestad, D., Heykoop, C.A., Holmén, J., Holstead, K., Hoolohan, C., Horcea-Milcu, A.-I., Horlings, L.G., Howden, S.M., Howell, R.A., Huque, S., Inturias Canedo, M.L., Iro, C.Y., Ives, C.D., John, B., Joshi, R., Juarez-Bourke, S., Juma, D.W., Karlsen, B.C., Kliem, L., Kläy, A., Kuenkel, P., Kunze, I., Lam, D.P.M., Lang, D.J., Larkin, A., Light, A., Luederitz, C., Luthe, T., Maguire, C., Mahecha-Groot, A.-M., Malcolm, J., Marshall, F., Maru, Y., McLachlan, C., Mmbando, P., Mohapatra, S., Moore, M.-L., Moriggi, A., Morley-Fletcher, M., Moser, S., Mueller, K.M., Mukute, M., Mühlemeier, S., Naess, L.O., Nieto-Romero, M., Novo, P., O’Brien, K., O’Connell, D.A., O’Donnell, K., Olsson, P., Pearson, K.R., Pereira, L., Petridis, P., Peukert, D., Phear, N., Pisters, S.R., Polsky, M., Pound, D., Preiser, R., Rahman, M.S., Reed, M.S., Revell, P., Rodriguez, I., Rogers, B.C., Rohr, J., Nordbø Rosenberg, M., Ross, H., Russell, S., Ryan, M.E., Saha, P., Schleicher, K., Schneider, F., Scoville-Simonds, M., Searle, B., Sebhatu, S.P., Sesana, E., Silverman, H., Singh, C., Sterling, E., Stewart, S.-J., Tàbara, J.D., Taylor, D., Thornton, P., Tribaldos, T.M., Tschakert, P., Uribe-Calvo, N., Waddell, S., Waddock, S., van der Merwe, L., van Mierlo, B., van Uden, P., van Zwanenberg, P., Velarde, S.J., Washbourne, C.-L., Waylen, K.A., Weiser, A., Wight, I., Williams, S., Woods, M., Wolstenholme, R., Wright, N., Wunder, S., Wyllie, A., Young, H.R., 2020. Transforming knowledge systems for life on Earth: Visions of future systems and how to get there. Energy Research & Social Science 70, 101724.
Lam, D.P.M., Martín-López, B., Wiek, A., Bennett, E., Frantzeskaki, N., Horcea-Milcu, A.-I., Lang, D.J., 2020. Scaling the impact of sustainability initiatives: a typology of amplification processes. Urban Transformations 2, 3.
Lam, D.P.M., Horcea-Milcu, A.-I., Fischer, J., Peukert, D., Lang, D.J., 2020. Three principles for co-designing sustainability intervention strategies: Experiences from Southern Transylvania. Ambio 49, 1451–1465.
Horcea-Milcu, A.-I., Martín-López, B., Lam, D.P.M., Lang, D.J., 2020. Research pathways to foster transformation: linking sustainability science and social-ecological systems research. Ecology and Society 25, 13.
Hartel, T., Scheele, B.C., Rozylowicz, L., Horcea-Milcu, A.-I., Cogălniceanu, D., 2020. The social context for conservation: Amphibians in human shaped landscapes with high nature values. Journal for Nature Conservation 53, 125762.
Horcea-Milcu, A.-I., Abson, D.J., Apetrei, C., Duse, I.A., Freeth, R., Riechers, M., Lam, D.P.M., Dorninger, C., Lang, D.J., 2019. Values in transformational sustainability science: four perspectives for change. Sustainability Science 14, 1425–1437.
Fischer, J., Horcea-Milcu, A.-I., Lang, D.J., Thale-Bombien, L., Abson, D.J., Apetrei, C., Clarke, E., Derwort, P., Dorninger, C., Duse, I.A., Freeth, R., Jagersma, N., Klaniecki, K., Lam, D.P.M., Leventon, J., Newig, J., Peukert, D., Riechers, M., Schaal, T., 2019. Balance Brings Beauty: Strategies for a Sustainable Southern Transylvania . Pensoft, Sofia, Bulgarien.
Shin, Y.-J., Arneth, A., Chowdhury, R.R., Midgley, G.F., Bukvareva, E., Heinimann, A., Horcea-Milcu, A.-I., Kolb, M., Leadley, P., Oberdorff, T., Madruga, R.P., Rondinini, C., Saito, O., Sathyapalan, J., Boafo, Y.A., Kindlmann, P., Yue, T.X., Krenova, Z., Osano, P., Palomo, I., Basher, Z., Pliscoff, P., 2019. Plausible futures of nature, its contributions to people and their good quality of life.
Kenter, J.O., Raymond, C.M., van Riper, C.J., Azzopardi, E., Brear, M.R., Calcagni, F., Christie, I., Christie, M., Fordham, A., Gould, R.K., Ives, C.D., Hejnowicz, A.P., Gunton, R., Horcea-Milcu, A.-I., Kendal, D., Kronenberg, J., Massenberg, J.R., O’Connor, S., Ravenscroft, N., Rawluk, A., Raymond, I.J., Rodríguez-Morales, J., Thankappan, S., 2019. Loving the mess: navigating diversity and conflict in social values for sustainability. Sustainability Science 14, 1439–1461.
Horcea-Milcu, A.-I., Abson, D.J., Dorresteijn, I., Loos, J., Hanspach, J., Fischer, J., 2018. The role of co-evolutionary development and value change debt in navigating transitioning cultural landscapes: the case of Southern Transylvania. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management 61, 800–817.
Horcea-Milcu, A.-I., Leventon, J., Hanspach, J., Fischer, J., 2016. Disaggregated contributions of ecosystem services to human well-being: a case study from Eastern Europe. Regional Environmental Change 16, 1779–1791.
Dorresteijn, I., Horcea-Milcu, A.-I., Leventon, J., Hanspach, J., Fischer, J., 2016. Social factors mediating human-carnivore coexistence: Understanding thematic strands influencing coexistence in Central Romania. Ambio 45, 490–500.
Nieto-Romero, M., Horcea-Milcu, A.-I., Leventon, J., Mikulcak, F., Fischer, J., 2016. The role of scenarios in fostering collective action for sustainable development: Lessons from central Romania. Land Use Policy 50, 156–168.
Fischer, J., Horcea-Milcu, A.-I., Hartel, T., Hanspach, J., Mikulcak, F., 2015. The future of people and nature in Southern Transylvania. Pensoft Publishers Ltd., Sofia, Bulgarien.
Loos, J., Horcea-Milcu, A.-I., Kirkland, P., Hartel, T., Osváth-Ferencz, M., Fischer, J., 2015. Challenges for biodiversity monitoring using citizen science in transitioning social-ecological systems. Journal for Nature Conservation 26, 45–48.
Hartel, T., Fischer, J., Campeanu, C., Horcea-Milcu, A.-I., Hanspach, J., Fazey, I., 2014. The importance of ecosystem services for rural inhabitants in a changing cultural landscape in Romania. Ecology and Society 19, 42.
Hanspach, J., Hartel, T., Horcea-Milcu, A.-I., Mikulcak, F., Mikulcak, F., Dorresteijn, I., Loos, J., von Wehrden, H., Kuemmerle, T., Abson, D.J., Kovács-Hostyánszki, A., Báldi, A., Fischer, J., 2014. A holistic approach to studying social-ecological systems and its application to southern Transylvania. Ecology and Society 19, 32.
Fischer, J., Horcea-Milcu, A.-I., Hartel, T., Hanspach, J., Mikulcak, F., 2014. Viitorul oamenilor şi al naturii în sudul Transilvaniei - Az emberek és a természet jövője Dél-Erdélyben. Pensoft Publishers, Sofia.
Horcea-Milcu, A.-I., Sherren, K., Hanspach, J., Abson, D.J., Fischer, J., 2014. Navigating conflicting landscape aspirations: Application of a photo-based Q-method in Transylvania (Central Romania). Land Use Policy 41, 408–422.
Horcea-Milcu, A.-I., Hanspach, J., Abson, D.J., Fischer, J., 2013. Cultural Ecosystem Services: A Literature Review and Prospects for Future Research. Ecology and Society 18, 44.
Mikulcak, F., Newig, J., Horcea-Milcu, A.-I., Hartel, T., Fischer, J., 2013. Integrating rural development and biodiversity conservation in Central Romania. Environmental Conservation 40, 129–137.