Elite Network: Global Change Ecology

Global Change Ecology

The Elite Graduate Program “Global Change Ecology” is devot­ed to under­standing and ana­lyzing the most im­portant and mo­mentous environ­mental concern of the 21st cen­tury, namely, global change. Problems of an entirely new and interdis­ciplinary nature require the estab­lishment of inno­vative ap­proaches in re­search and edu­cation. A special program focus is the link­ing of natural science perspec­tives on global change with ap­proaches in social science disci­plines.

The Elite Graduate Program at a glance

DegreeMaster of Science
Duration of studyFour semesters
Place of studyBayreuth
Admission requirementsBachelor or diploma in natural or environmental sciences or related disciplines
Language of instructionEnglish
Application deadlineJune 15th
Apply now
Begin of studiesWinter semester
HeadProf. Dr. Carl Beierkuhnlein
CoordinatorDr. Stephanie Thomas
Dr. Anja Jaeschke
Contact the coordinator
Further informationWebsite Global Change Ecology

Understanding Global Changes

The Elite Graduate Program “Global Change Ecology” aims at training highly qualified and mo­tivated students to be­come execu­tives, leading scientists, political advisors and busi­ness con­sultants. Solving global environ­mental problems requires not only a back­ground in natural, environ­mental and soci­o-economic sciences, but also transdis­ciplinary thinking, team work and crea­tivi­ty. Due to the societal costs of global change, there is a demand for highly skilled special­ists capa­ble of analyzing risks, applying scientific knowledge and fore­see­ing con­sequenc­es.

A close coopera­tion with nationally and in­terna­tionally active re­search institu­tions, NGOs, compa­nies and admin­istrations as well as in­dividu­al tutor­ing pre­pares students for work­ing on a global scale.

Interna­tional science schools, guest profes­sors and a stay abroad help to establish contact with leading research­ers and foreign stu­dents.

Candi­dates for thePro­gram "Global Change Ecology" are ex­pected to be inter­ested in ecologi­cal and societal issues, to have ex­cellent knowledge in nat­ural sci­ence and an out­standing ability to deal with complex ques­tions.

Potrait photo: Prof. Dr. Carl Beierkuhnlein

Global Change is the most important challenge of the 21st century. The GCE study program addresses various aspects and delivers capabilities to solve urging problems.

Prof. Dr. Carl Beierkuhnlein

Snippets of the program

GCE alumni report

GCE alumni report on their time after graduation and give helpful tips to current students.

Read the report

The picture shows Dr. Gesche Blume-Werry

From GCE student to professor

The former student of the “Global Change Ecology” (GCE) master’s program in the Elite Network of Bavaria will teach GCE students in the future.

Read the report

Portrait foto: Prof. Manuel Steinbauer

Snippets of the research

Changing Oceans

Jan-Christoph Fischer studied the changes in coastal waters around La Reunion and in the western Indian Ocean using remotely sensed data.

Grassland Management

Thomas Schmitt wrote his master's thesis within the project “Sustainable use of alpine and pre-alpine grassland soils in a changing climate” funded by the BMBF.


In order to better adapt a forest in Bayreuth to climate change, three students in the master's program "Global Change Ecology" initiated the "Klimawald" project. In the meantime, the idea has further spread outside of Bayreuth.