Agroecology and Organic Farming

The Group of Agroecology and Organic Farming at the Institute of Crop Sciences and Resource Conservation (INRES) focuses on how agricultural production and nature and resource conservation can be reconciled through the targeted design of agroecosystems. We are also interested in how health, stability and resilience can be promoted in such systems in the long term.

Research focus

One area of interest is the design of crop systems through diversification, i.e. greater utilisation of diversity. This includes expanding the range of crops, e.g. through the increased cultivation of medicinal and aromatic plants, intercropping, cultivar mixtures, or the targeted promotion of pollinating insects through flower-rich plant species mixtures.

The production system of organic farming is where most of our research and teaching takes place, but conventional systems are also studied. Arable farming, grassland and fruit growing systems are analysed at various spatial and temporal levels, from individual plants to landscapes, from roots in the subsoil to the crowns of trees.

Determination of pollinator insects
Determination of pollinator insects © Volker Lahnert

Blue lupins have a strong taproot.
Blue lupins have a strong taproot. © Roman Kemper

Agroecology & Organic Farming

Our research questions are centred on the tension between agricultural production and biotic resource conservation. An important focus is on insects and their role in agroecosystems. For example, honeybees, wild bees, hoverflies and other pollinators are analysed, as well as ground beetles and other beneficial insects, including insects in watercourses. Another focus is the analysis of grassland and arable vegetation in relation to management factors.
Our teaching covers organic farming, agricultural nature conservation and animal and vegetation ecology.


The professorship was created in October 2017, merging the previous Chair of Agricultural and Production Ecology and the Institute of Organic Agriculture. The breadth of content and methodology in teaching and research is supported by the use of the Wiesengut campus, the scientific coordination of the network of organic pilot farms in North Rhine-Westphalia and a wide range of regional, national and international collaborations.

Mixed cropping
Mixed cropping © Thomas Döring

Contact us

Avatar Döring

Prof. Dr. Thomas Döring


Auf dem Hügel 6

53121 Bonn

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