Dr Susanne Boerner PhD

Dr Susanne Boerner

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Assistant Professor in Human Geography

Dr Susanne Börner’s research focuses on youth everyday agency, emotions and urban well-being in the context of interconnected urban crises. Susanne is particularly interested in the experiences of those growing up and living ‘at the margins’, such as children and young people as well as multi-generational contexts of knowledge generation. Her Marie Curie Global Fellowship (2019-2023) explored how young people in Brazil can live better with and develop long-term (emotional) resilience in contexts of resource scarcity and disaster risk. Susanne has an interest in applied and impact-oriented research to identify pathways for integrating youth knowledge into public policies for a sustainable and healthy urban development. She particularly aims to learn from community-based knowledge, practices and relationships to generate positive change. 


  • PhD (Dr. phil, distinction magna cum laude), Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany, Department of Political Sciences / Institute of Social Sciences, Germany. Joint supervision with the University of Applied Health Sciences, Department of Community Health, Bochum, Germany, 2017.
  • M.Sc. Technology and Resources Management in the Tropics and Subtropics, Cologne University of Applied Sciences (now: Technical University of Cologne), Germany, and M.Sc. Ciencias Ambientales (Environmental Sciences), Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosí (UASLP), Mexico, 2013.
  • M.A. International Relations and International Organization, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, the Netherlands, 2009.
  • B.A. European Studies (Hon.), Maastricht University, the Netherlands, 2008


  • Module lead for the module Field Research Skills for Human Geography and Planning/ Physical Geography and Environmental Sciences (year 2) 
  • Dissertation Labs for Human Geography and Planning (year 2) 
  • Fieldcourse Rotterdam (year 1, Human Geography) 


Dr Susanne Börner is a senior researcher in the field of resource (in)security, youth agency, and disaster risk reduction. From 2019 to 2022, she is on a Marie Curie Global Fellowship to investigate young people’s local knowledge and social practices related to the food-water-energy nexus in relation to nexus threats (e.g., flooding and landslides) in disaster-prone communities in the Metropolitan Region of Sao Paulo, Brazil, using participatory research methods. With an interest in applied and impact-oriented research both in Latin America and in Europe, she aims to identify pathways for integrating youth knowledge into public policies for a sustainable and healthy urban development.

Other activities

  • Project management including backstopping missions for KfW (Drought Resilience, Djibouti) and GIZ (Agroforestry, Timor Leste), 2018.
  • Proposal writer. Employment creation for marginalized groups. Agroforesty project. Timor Leste. GIZ funded, 2018-2019.
  • Proposal writer. Regional funds for drought resilience. Djibouti. KfW funded, 2018-2019.
  • Proposal writer and project manager. Programme for the protection and sustainable use of natural resources. Madagascar. GIZ funded, 2017-2018.
  • Proposal writer. Soil Conservation and Rehabilitation (Phase II). GIZ funded, 2018.
  • Consultant, Department for Rural Development and Environment, GOPA Consultants, Bad Homburg, 2016-2019.
  • Trainer for Business English, German as a foreign language, and intercultural training for young women with a migration background, Association for Vocational Training (VbFF), 2013-2016.
  • Lecturer for the Undergraduate Seminar “Qualitative Content Analysis”, including curriculum development and implementation, Department of Community Health, University of Health Sciences (HSG), Bochum, Germany, 2016.
  • Lecturer for the Undergraduate Seminar “Environmental Justice”, including curriculum development and implementation, Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany, 2016.
  • Supervision of a bachelor thesis on Green Economy, Faculty of Political Sciences, Goethe University Frankfurt, 2016.
  • Member of the expert committee on environmental justice, German Environmental Action (Deutsche Umwelthilfe e.V.), 2014-2015.
  • Intern in the Climate Change Task Force, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH, 2011.


Recent publications


Koeckler, H, Shrestha, R, Aslam, AB, Berger, T, Börner, S, Cheung, C, Fabian, C, Shankavaram, H, Shrestha, R, Shrestha, S & Simon, D 2024, 'Physical activity in public space: insights from a global community of practice applying photovoice as a tool for digital participatory place analysis', Cities & Health. https://doi.org/10.1080/23748834.2024.2307739

Auerbach, J, Muñoz, S, Affiah, U, Barrera de la Torre, G, Börner, S, Cho, H, Cofield, R, Di Enno, CM, Grady-Lovelace, G, Klassen, S, Limeberry, V, Morse, A, Natarajan, L & Walsh, E 2023, 'Corrigendum: Displacement of the scholar? Participatory action research under COVID-19', Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems, vol. 7, 1170856. https://doi.org/10.3389/fsufs.2023.1170856

Börner, S 2023, 'Emotions matter: EMPOWER-ing youth by integrating emotions of (chronic) disaster risk into strategies for disaster preparedness', International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, vol. 89, 103636. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2023.103636

Börner, S, Kraftl, P & Giatti, LL 2023, 'More than participatory? From ‘compensatory’ towards ‘expressive’ remote practices using digital technologies', Qualitative Research. https://doi.org/10.1177/14687941231165882

Tayebi, N, van Köppen, M, Plunger, P, Börner, S & Banks, S 2023, 'Researching with care - participatory health research with Afghan women refugees in Germany during the Covid-19 pandemic: A case with commentaries', Ethics and Social Welfare. https://doi.org/10.1080/17496535.2023.2209364

Auerbach, J, Muñoz, S, Walsh, E, Affiah, U, Barrera de la Torre, G, Börner, S, Cho, H, Cofield, R, Di Enno, CM, Grady-Lovelace, G, Klassen, S, Limeberry, V, Morse, A & Natarajan, L 2022, 'Call for reimagining institutional support for PAR post-COVID', Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems, vol. 6, 916384. https://doi.org/10.3389/fsufs.2022.916384

Auerbach, J, Muñoz, S, Affiah, U, Barrera de la Torre, G, Börner, S, Cho, H, Cofield, R, Di Enno, CM, Grady-Lovelace, G, Klassen, S, Limeberry, V, Morse, A, Natarajan, L & Walsh, E 2022, 'Displacement of the scholar? Participatory action research under COVID-19', Frontiers, vol. 6, 762065. https://doi.org/10.3389/fsufs.2022.762065

Börner, S, Kraftl, P & Giatti, LL 2021, 'Blurring the ‘-ism’ in youth climate crisis activism: everyday agency and practices of marginalized youth in the Brazilian urban periphery', Children's Geographies, vol. 19, no. 3, pp. 275-283. https://doi.org/10.1080/14733285.2020.1818057


Benites Lazaro, LL, Lauda-Rodriguez, ZL, Börner, S, Lampis, A & Giatti, LL 2023, Climate justice in Latin America: Mapping the key emerging debates. in Climate Justice in the Majority World: Vulnerability, Resistance, and Diverse Knowledges. 1 edn, Routledge Advances in Climate Change Research, Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003214021

Börner, S, Kraftl, P & Giatti, LL 2023, Youth participation with a purpose? Promoting the transformative power of remote critical action-reflection research with Brazilian youth in conditions of resource insecurity. in B Percy-Smith, NP Thomas, C O'Kane & A Twum-Danso Imoh (eds), Handbook of Children and Young People’s Participation: Conversations for Transformational Change. 2 edn, Routledge, London. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003367758

Giatti, LL, Börner, S & Carolina, MDC 2022, Learning about the nexus from vulnerable urban communities. in LL Benites Lazaro, LL Giatti, LS Valente de Macedo & JA Puppim de Oliveira (eds), Water-energy-food nexus and climate change in cities: Sustainable Development Goals Series. 1 edn, Sustainable Development Goals Series, Springer, Cham, pp. 203-215. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-05472-3_11

Commissioned report

Acton, J, Anderson, P, Andres, L, Angus, M, Amor, P, Arrowsmith, J (ed.), Asmelash, H, Bartington, S (ed.), Bengtsson, F, Bhullar, L, Bloss, W, Bonet, B, Börner, S, O Bonsu, N, Bryson, JR, Burns, V, Burrows, A, Calvert, C, Cassidy, N, Cavoski, A, Chadyiwa, M, Chapman, H, Chapman, L, Cockram, M, Degendardt, L, Dickinson, D, Ding, Y, Dobrzynski, D, Dolo, M, Dora, J, Ercolani, M, Ersoy, A, Farag, H, Ferranti, E, Fisher, R, Freer, M, Goldmann, N, Goode, CE, Greenham, S, Gulati, S, Hadfield-Hill, S, Harper, G, Hegerl, G, Hillmansen, S, Holmes, J, Huang, JJ, Huser, C, Jackson, R, Jaroszweski, D, Jefferson, I, Johnson, J, Kaewunruen, S, Kelly-Akinnuoye, F, Kettles, G, Kraftl, P, Krause, S, Leckebusch, GC, Lee, R, Lockwood, B (ed.), Lohse, J, Luna Diez, E, Lynch, I (ed.), MacKenzie, R, Maddison, D, Makepeace, J, Mann, V, Marino, R, Mavronicola, N, McDonald, M, McGowan, K (ed.), Metje, N, Ng, K, Nicol, J, O'Sullivan, C, Phalkey, N, Prestwood, E, Pyatt, N, Quinn, A, Radcliffe, J (ed.), Ravi, M, Reardon, L, Reeder, T, O’Regan, P, Remedios, L, Roberts, J, Rogers, C, Rungskunroch, P, van Schaik, W, Swan, J (ed.), Thomson, I, Toft, H (ed.), Tong, J, Botello Villagrana, F, Walton, A, Wason, C (ed.), Weir, C, Wood, R & Zhong, J 2021, Addressing the climate challenge. University of Birmingham. https://doi.org/10.25500/epapers.bham.00003451

Other contribution

Börner, S 2021, Adapting to uncertain times: transforming participatory research and researcher identities under covid-19. Latin American Geographies (LAG)-UK Blog. <https://lagukinfo.wixsite.com/lag-uk/post/adapting-to-uncertain-times >

Dutta, S, Börner, S & Ferranti, E 2021, Climate challenges – spotlight on community and stakeholder engagement. PortPostdoc Escape the Routine - a PERCAT online podcast series, University of Birmingham. <https://m.soundcloud.com/unibirmingham/climate-challenges-spotlight-on-community-and-stakeholder-engagement>

Hafferty, C, Montuori, B, Börner, S, Meziant, K, Dunwoodie Stirton, F & Wingfield, T 2021, Participation for sustainable, resilient, and equitable futures: where is it heading?. Participatory Geographies Research Group. <https://pygyrg.org/participation-for-sustainable-futures>

View all publications in research portal