Carolin Schurr is professor of Social and Cultural Geography at the University of Bern. She is the principal investigator of the SNSF project "Reproductive Geopolitics" project. MORE



Laura Perler is a postdoctoral researcher in Social and Cultural Geography at the University of Bern. In her research she investigates inequalities in relation to reproductive technologies and the Swiss asylum system.  MORE



Nora Komposch is a PhD student and assistant in Social and Cultural Geography at the University of Bern. She researches about migrant workers in Spain's strawberry industry. MORE



Mirko Winkel is the coordinator of the mLAB. The artist and curator teaches at the University of Bern and other places with the aim of synthesizing art with scientific research and socio-political concerns.



Yolinliztli Pérez-Hernández is a PostDoc in Social and Cultural Geography. She researches the experiences of sterilization (tubal ligation and hysterectomy) of low-income, rural, peasant, and indigenous Mexican women as part of national family planning and global birth control policies in developing countries. MORE  



Milena Wegelin is a social anthropologist and research associate at the Department of Perinatal and Maternal Health of the Bern University of Applied Sciences. Sie is collaborating with Laura Perler in her subproject “Governing and Contesting In/fertility within the Swiss Asylum Context”



Susanne Schultz is lecturer at the Department of Sociology at the Goethe University Frankfurt a.M. She is a visiting researcher who collaborates with the team of the project „Reproductive Geopolitics“ with a SNSF Scientific Exchange Grant in 2023. MORE



Veronika Siegl, holding a PostDoctoral position in Social and Cultural Geography, is a social anthropologist and gender researcher. Her research focuses on ethics, inequality and self-determination in the context of reproductive medicine.   MORE


Elusive Exposures Event Series

This project explores and attempts to trace the effects of pesticides and other contaminants on human bodies and the rest of the environment. A programme of events will take place throughout May 2022 at the Institute of Geography of the University of Bern. 

Elusive Exposures brings together artist Lucy Sabin, geographer Nora Komposch, and soil scientist Professor Adrien Mestrot. The programme they have devised combines artistic and scientific approaches. Collaborations take the form of creative mapping, excursions and workshops, symposia, and an art exhibition. 

Sabin will collaborate with Komposch and Mestrot to develop creative processes for making toxicity visible and communicating experiences of exposure. The residency team is guided by a commonly held question: How can we make exposures to toxicity visible while conveying scale and complexity? 

The inquiry draws upon preliminary fieldwork in Huelva, Southwest Spain, as well as local farming practices in the region surrounding Bern. Huelva is an area of intensive agricultural and industrial activity. Elusive Exposures began with the idea to create a digital map showing sources and trajectories of pollution in the province, such as pesticides, smokestacks, waste dumps, and heavy metals from mining.

The resultant programme is intended as a forum for developing multidisciplinary methods and networks that will feed into future research projects on related themes. Throughout this investigative residency, the team are joined by colleagues researching pesticides as well as partners at laboratories and farms.




Tour of Batati farm in Sutz | 08.00-12.30

See where food comes from; experience farming with Plant Protection Products. Open to all at GIUB. Max. 13 people. Priority to those who  can also attend the tour on 


RSVP by 02/05



Protecting plants, risking environments

16.00-18.00, Room 001, GIUB

Toxic relations are part of late industrial contexts. Toxicity is inscribed in bodies and landscapes. Since the publication of Silent Spring (Carson 1962), the toxic effects of pesticides have become increasingly apparent. Yet pesticides and their legacies of harm persist in widespread circulation, now more than ever.

Plant protection products or PPPs are, according to the European Commission, pesticides that “protect crops or desirable or useful plants”… while often risking the health of surrounding ecosystems. This symposium features a panel of three researchers from the University of Bern who approach the topic of plant protection products from different angles.  

Dr. Abdallah Alaoui considers what a sustainable transition might look like, within the context of global health. Dr. Natacha Van Groeningen examines the authorization and risk assessment of PPPs here in Switzerland. While Dr. Aurea C. Chiaia-Hernández traces the sources and trajectories of PPPs across the environment.



Uneven geographies of pesticide production, trade and use

12.00-14.00, Room 002

Berner Humangeographisches Kolloquium. Lecture by Professor Christian Berndt (Universität Zürich)



Tour of Balmeggberg farm plus lunch | 08.00-14.00

Experience land management following natural rhythms. Open to all at GIUB. Priority to those who can also attend the tour on 09/05. Max. 13 people

RSVP by 15/05



Exposición (exhibition/exposure)

Location and timings to be confirmed

A series of works in progress by artist-in-residence Lucy Sabin (UCL) inspired by fieldwork in Huelva with Nora Komposch


Take Part

To book your place on the fieldtrips, join the project mailing list, or suggest a collaboration email Lucy, Nora and Adrien at