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Christian Neuwirth is dedicated to the DK-project “A spatiotemporal systems approach for agro-environmental decision support”, which belongs to the research cluster Time and Process.
He obtained his bachelor’s degree in Geography (2007) and his master’s degree in Applied Geoinformatics (2010) from the University of Salzburg. Between October 2009 and October 2011 he worked as a project collaborator at the Research Studio iSpace, where he was involved in the research projects CLISP (Climate Change Adaptation by Spatial Planning in the Alpine Space) and REBLAUS (Crossborder risk and natural hazard management based on regional lightning analyses).
As a consequence of his work experience he has gained a solid background in GIS and process modeling, with a preference of environmental disciplines such as hydrology and geomorphology. Moreover, due to the activities in the previously mentioned research projects, the application of risk management concepts plays a key role in his occupational history.
PhD Thesis Topic: A spatiotemporal systems approach for agro-environmental decision support
This PhD is aiming at the simulation of climate change effects on the intensification and structural change in grassland farming by means of an approach called Spatial System Dynamics (SSD). According to Olesen & Bindi (2002) lower harvesting yield due to possible increase in water shortage or extreme weather events may also affect current trends of intensification of agriculture. Major intention is to isolate this effect from other factors in the system and to reveal options to mitigate undesired changes by means of policy evaluation.
The modeling of agricultural systems requires an interdisciplinary approach, which is able to model dependencies and feedback across physical and socioeconomic domains. System Dynamics (SD) allows to logically link these cross-domain relationships based on causal assumptions. SD is a powerful approach for modeling dynamic behavior of complex systems. Moreover, the graphical building block structure facilitates participatory model design and the involvement of domain experts.
In order to take spatial processes in the system into consideration, SD software is coupled with a Geographic Information System (GIS). The coupling of the non-spatial, dynamic SD with a spatial but relatively static GIS produces synergy effects and improves the modeling efficiency (SSD approach).
SSD applications exhibit limitations when it comes to the exchange and update of data. A seamless interaction between SD and GIS is still not achieved. Thus, the technical improvement of this approach is a further objective of the PhD.
Neuwirth, C., Castellazzi, B. (2013): Visualizing systems: A graphical approach for simulating mountain torrent dynamics. In: Conference proceedings of the 6th International Perspective on water resource and the Environment (IPWE 2013) 7-9 January 2013; Izmir (Turkey).
Neuwirth, C., d’Oleire-Oltmanns, S. & Eisank, C. (2013): A proposal for mapping historic irrigation channels to reveale insights into agro-climatic systems. A case study in Upper Austria. In: Car, A., Griesebner, G. & Strobl, J. (Eds.), Proceedings of the Geoinformatics Forum Salzburg. Berlin/Offenbach, Wichmann
Neuwirth, C., Hofer, B. (2013): Spatial sensitivity of grassland yields to weather variations in Austria and its implications for the future. Applied Geography ,45, 332-341.