Daniel Pleissner

Assistant Director of Sustainable Science Groups


Name: Dr Daniel Pleissner
Current Career Status: Assistant Professor
Institution: Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Germany


I received a B.Sc degree in Biotechnology from the University-of-Applied-Science-Zittau/Görlitz in 2005 and a Dipl.-Ing. (eq. to M.Eng.) in Environmental Engineering from the International Graduate School Zittau in 2009. After research stays at the Technical University of Cracow and Aalborg University, I obtained a PhD degree in Biology from the University of Southern Denmark in 2012. Afterwards I joined the City University of Hong Kong as a Postdoc and worked on utilization of food waste as nutrient source in cultivation of heterotrophic microalgae. In 2014 I joined the Leibniz-Institute-for-Agricultural-Engineering-Potsdam-Bornim as a Research Scientist and dedicated my time to utilization of agricultural residues in biotechnological process for the production of lactic acid and poly(lactic acid). Since June 2016, I am an Assistant Professor at the Leuphana-Universität-of-Lüneburg. I am fanatic to work on the utilization of organic waste and in particular food-supply-chain-waste. Enormous amounts of resources are used for production, transportation and processing of food, and we have to find ways to recover the initial spent resources from the wasted material. In my spare time I like travelling and getting in touch with other cultures. If I cannot find time for travelling you may find me playing cross-golf and/or enjoying a cold beer in good company.
Statement of Interest

  1. Why do you wish to stand for your chosen position?
  2. How do you plan to support the mission and aims of NESSE in your position, if elected?
  3. Your experience in networking organizations, international projects, or any other experience that has prepared you for serving on the Executive Board of NESSE.

From my personal experience I know the importance of research in order to achieve the goals of sustainability. I also realized the importance of telling the latest developments of all aspects of sustainability to citizen and to emphasis on the advantages, but also on challenges that come along. Hence, an appropriate communication strategy is essential. NESSE provides an interesting platform and network to reach scientist, stakeholders and citizen. I would be thankful if I could get the chance to contribute to NESSE as a Director of Sustainable Science Groups. I consider this a key position as communication occurs with all members of the NESSE network, such as advisory board and local groups. Particularly the work with local groups is crucial in order to combine research activities and facilitate innovation. This makes a communication and sharing of latest developments necessary within the network. The fact that I did not manage a local group might be a drawback, but nothing is more fruitful than learning by doing. I just noted that no local groups exist in Germany and I will do my best to motivate students at the Leuphana University Lüneburg to establish one. Leuphana is a university dedicated to sustainability and NESSE should be here.

The values of NESSE are clear and straight-forward. We all work together for a “flourishing ecosystem, a healthy and balanced society, and a prosperous responsible economy” to achieve a sustainable future. I envision that it is extremely fruitful when local groups identify and communicate regional problems, and we all will work together to find solutions to tackle those problems. Irrespective if problems deal with the economic, social or ecological aspects of sustainability, we all will use our knowledge and expertise to help each other. This may also lead to interesting research questions. For instance it is of relevance, how the gap between local and global sustainability can be bridged? As a Director of Sustainable Science Groups I stand for intensifying communication and cooperation between groups globally, and to channel our efforts to innovative solutions which may make NESSE to a well-recognized solution-orientated network. I feel excited when figuring out the potential that comes along with all local groups and I would be grateful getting the chance to get in contact with all the motivated NESSE members.

As a Director of Sustainable Science Groups I will take care that the support of local groups is improved. People who are involved in setting up local groups are amazing. Considering the enormous effort that is needed to manage a local group, active NESSE members should be supported. The challenging question is, however, how can this be done more efficiently to get more sustainable scientists organized in local groups? Therefore, we all should work together and find ways to actively support people who are interested in setting up local groups.

I have been involved in several projects in Germany, Poland, Denmark and Hong Kong, and thus know the challenges and difficulties that come along with international projects and activities. With my international background and education I can handle cultural difficulties and with my personal interest in different cultures I am keen to deal with people from all over the world and bring them together to achieve the goals of sustainability. I am extremely well organized and looking forward to adding my skills to NESSE.