Skip to main content

Sophie Ittner


Sophie Ittner

Msc (Geoecology)



Sophie Ittner is a Fellow in the fields of agriculture and soil at Ecologic Institute. Her research interests include the impact and acceptance of sustainable agriculture measures, in particular in the context of soil protection, climate and water. She is also interested in landscape management and resource conservation, landscape ecology and soil science. She works in German and English.

Sophie Ittner coordinates Ecologic Institute's contribution to the Soil Mission Support project. Together with stakeholders, the project is developing a European roadmap for R&I on soil and land management. In the research project on the sustainable management of subsoil as part of the bioeconomy (Soil³), Sophie Ittner is working on the acceptance of measures and an extended cost-benefit analysis at the societal level, assessing the impact of subsoil management on ecosystem services. Furthermore, Sophie Ittner supported the evaluation of agricultural measures supported by the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) on climate, biodiversity and soil for the European Commission's Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development. For the European Topic Centre on Inland, Coastal and Marine Waters (ETC-ICM), she supported the preparation of a report on Water & Agriculture and for the European Topic Centre on Biodiversity (ETC-BD) she contributes to the State of Nature report.

Before joining Ecologic Institute, Sophie Ittner worked as a research assistant at the Department of Soil Science, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (Germany). She examined the ecological aspects of pasture-based dairy production and analyzed the effect of grazing on the quality of soil and yield.

Sophie Ittner studied Geoecology at the University of Potsdam (Germany). During her studies she focused on the effects of agriculture on diverse soil functions. Her Master's thesis analyzed the effect of global land use change on ecosystem services, where she also supported the development of a model based tool for stakeholder to assess global land use strategies.

Contact Sophie Ittner by Email

The data sent will only be processed for the purpose of processing your request. You will find further information in our privacy notice.

Selected projects by Sophie Ittner


Land and soils are essential for life on Earth. They supply humanity with food, purify water, store carbon and support a rich biodiversity. Yet one third of the global land is considered as degraded and this process is continuing due to higher food production,... Read more

Soil Mission Support: Towards a European research and innovation roadmap on soils and land management

The aim of the project is to evaluate the agricultural extension services in Schleswig-Holstein with regard to their impact on the protected goods water, climate, soil and biodiversity. In addition, new advisory measures, incentive and control instruments are to be... Read more
© Universität Bonn
Fertile soils are an indispensable resource for agriculture and the Bioeconomy as a whole. Subsoils contain a major part of the nutrients essential for plants, a resource potential that has thus far not yet been fully understood nor used. In order to harness this... Read more
| Fotolia © noorhaswan
Soils are an enormous reservoir of carbon, containing nearly twice as much carbon as the atmosphere. Preventing soil carbon from entering the atmosphere is essential for climate mitigation efforts. Moreover, agricultural soils also carry a large potential for additional... Read more

Coordination of International Research Cooperation on soil Carbon Sequestration in Agriculture (CIRCASA)

©2014 Erik van den Elsen (Alterra)
Soils provide a range of functions upon which humans depend, such as food production, water regulation, a physical basis for construction, biodiversity and habitat for organisms, and nutrient cycling and carbon storage. In Europe, soils are threatened by numerous... Read more

Preventing and Remediating Soil Degradation (RECARE)

| ©tai111|
The aim of the project participants is to provide the German Federal Environment Agency (UBA) with scientific support in communicating the results of the IPCC Special Reports on "Climate Change and Land" (SRCCL) and "The Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate" ... Read more
Selected publications by Sophie Ittner
Cover der Publikation "State of nature in the EU 2020"


The European Environmental Agency (EEA) published their landmark report on the state of nature in the EU on 19th October 2020, representing the most comprehensive assessment of the status of European nature and biodiversity to date. Supported by Ecologic Institute... Read more

EEA, 2020: State of nature in the EU. Results from reporting under the nature directives 2013–2018, Technical report No 10/2020, European Environment Agency, Copenhagen.

publication's first page of the pdf

© 2021 Hinzmann, Ittner, Kiresiewa and Gerdes

The subsoil could play an important role for agricultural climate adaptation strategies. It is defined as soil layers below the working depth of 30 cm. The subsoil often receives little attention in farming practice. Yet, plants extract between 10 and 80% of their... Read more

Hinzmann M, Ittner S, Kiresiewa Z and Gerdes H (2021). An Acceptance Analysis of Subsoil Amelioration Amongst Agricultural Actors in Two Regions in Germany. Front. Agron. 3:660593. doi: 10.3389/fagro.2021.660593

publication's cover

© European Environment Agency (EEA)

As part of its work within the ETC-ICM, Ecologic Institute has contributed as lead author to a new European Environment Agency (EEA) report examining the multiple pressures that agriculture put on Europe's water. The report shows that that a wider uptake of sustainable... Read more

EEA 2021: Water and agriculture: towards sustainable solutions. EEA report 17/2020. Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, 128pp.

Urbanisation is an ongoing global trend that results in a considerable level of new land take and the loss of soil and its functions. This article reveals how different EU cities have addressed these issues through specific approaches with a focus on efficient land use.... Read more

Naumann S. et al. (2019) Land Take and Soil Sealing—Drivers, Trends and Policy (Legal) Instruments: Insights from European Cities. In: Ginzky H., Dooley E., Heuser I., Kasimbazi E., Markus T., Qin T. (eds) International Yearbook of Soil Law and Policy 2018. International Yearbook of Soil Law and Policy, vol 2018. Springer, Cham

RECARE Policy Brief
The problem of historical contamination remains an important gap in European policymaking on soils. Political commitment is required to address the issue of historical contamination systematically by providing a common EU framework to guide and facilitate activities at... Read more

Frelih-Larsen, Ana et. al. 2018: Remediating Historical Soil Contamination: Effective Measures and Policy Solutions. RECARE Policy Brief. Ecologic Institute: Berlin.

Hidden beneath the humus-rich topsoil, the subsoil usually receives little attention in agricultural practice. Yet, plants cover between 10 and 80% of their nutrient and water needs from subsoils. Measures to improve the subsoil could help in bridging droughts and... Read more

Frelih-Larsen, A.; Hinzmann, M.; Ittner, S. (2018). The 'Invisible' Subsoil: An Exploratory View of Societal Acceptance of Subsoil Management in Germany. Sustainability 2018, 10, 3006.

Selected events by Sophie Ittner
The European CIRCASA stakeholder workshop took place in Brussels on 5 December 2018. The workshop was part of a series of workshops that took place in eight regions across the world in. Ecologic Institute was responsible for designing the interactive workshop concept... Read more

Workshop:Soil Carbon Sequestration in Agriculture – CIRCASA Stakeholder Workshop

Brussels, Belgium
Im Soil³-Projekt entwickeltes Gerät für die mechanische Unterbodenverbesserung | © Dr. Oliver Schmittmann, ILT Bonn
In order to determine the acceptance of measures to enhance the subsoil in agriculture, Ecologic Institute organised two stakeholder workshops in North Rhine-Westphalia (Germany) in March 2020. The first workshop took place on 2 March in Bad Sassendorf (near Soest) and... Read more

Workshop:Better Use of Deep Soil Layers in Agriculture as Preparation for Dry Periods

Bad Sassendorf, Kleve, Germany
A presentation by Sophie Ittner on key messages of the latest Special Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on the current state of land systems and future risks of climate change. Important recommendations for action for society and politics are... Read more

Discussion:Climate Change, Soil and Agriculture: Where do we stand and what we can do

Berlin, Germany