Dr. Sabine Hänel receives the HAW-PostdocPLUS certificate
Biodiversity researcher graduates from HTWD postdoc program
Sabine Hänel from the Faculty of Agriculture/Environment/Chemistry has successfully completed the postdoc program at HTW Dresden. For this, she fulfilled an extensive catalog of achievements in two qualification phases.
The performance spectrum of the postdocs
The goal of the HTW Postdoc Program is to attract highly talented young scientists with a completed doctorate for research and teaching and thus qualify them for a professorship or permanent scientific position at a university of applied sciences (HAW). The HTW postdocs go through two qualification phases within five years. The conception and implementation of independent courses and the supervision of student theses are as much a requirement as the attendance of further training courses in higher education didactics. In addition, emphasis is placed on the acquisition of third-party funding, the publication of papers, and the supervision of doctoral procedures. Participation in the work of the university's committees is also acknowledged.
In April, Dr. Sabine Hänel presented her final work status to the Senate Commission on Research as well as to the Deans and the entire Rectorate. Her very good performance in the program was recognized by the committees, particularly in view of the fact that Dr. Hänel completed the extensive qualification catalog under difficult pandemic conditions. She showed particular commitment in the implementation of alternative and individual courses. Professor Arne Cierjacks, who acted as a mentor in the program, emphasized the importance of Ms. Hänel's work: "The multifaceted tasks in teaching, university life and research that the postdocs take on are of enormous value for the further development of teaching and research at the entire university."
Focus on biodiversity research
In the course of her work, Ms. Hänel promoted cooperation with Saxon partners, including the Institute of Botany and the Institute of Meteorology and Hydrosciences of the TU Dresden, as well as the Friends of Nature of the Eastern Ore Mountains. Her achievements in the field of research deserve special mention. The botanist has repeatedly been successful in obtaining third-party funding for research projects in the field of biodiversity. Among these, the research project "Abiotic stress influences microclimate by changing vegetation properties", which received funding from the German Research Foundation (DFG), is particularly noteworthy. Coordinated by Dr. Hänel, the project team is investigating how the composition of grasses and forbs in a meadow affects the temperature and humidity of the habitat. The researchers are developing insights into the extent to which vegetation types are able to modify and even stabilize the microclimate under stress conditions. For another project commissioned by the State Office for the Environment, Agriculture and Geology (LfULG), the botanist undertook a comprehensive assessment of the influence of funded maintenance measures on the conservation status and species diversity of various grassland habitat types in Saxony in 2022.
Ms. Hänel sums up the past 5 years:
"I find my time as a postdoc at HTWD very enriching, because I was able to gain a lot of valuable experience as a researcher and lecturer in a very familiar atmosphere and, to my own surprise, discovered my joy in teaching. The advantages of the HTWD that I consider particularly worth mentioning are the diverse continuing education opportunities, the really good cooperation with the administration and the flat hierarchies, through which I was also able to discover common interests with significantly more colleagues across faculties than was the case at other universities. This allows employees to be better networked and to perceive themselves as part of something larger. In the future, it is desirable that further efforts be made at HTWD to better balance teaching and research so that teaching loads allow more opportunities for joint proposals, projects, and manuscripts."
The HTWD postdoc program was launched in 2015 and aims to strengthen the academic mid-level faculty. "The commitment of the program participants is outstanding," Prorector for Research and Transfer Gunther Göbel is pleased to say. "The postdocs are an enrichment for HTW Dresden. Their range of achievements in the program has multiplied considerably in recent years. We are certain that our young researchers are thus well prepared for the increased and complex demands of an academic career."