Holger Gerdes is a Senior Fellow at Ecologic Institute and coordinator of the Institute's bioeconomy activities. He evaluates and applies participatory tools for the effective management of natural resources in the emerging bioeconomy. Having a background in environmental and resource economics, he also works on the economic valuation of biodiversity and ecosystem services and on the assessment of the socio-economic implications of environmental change. He is fluent in German and English and has good knowledge of French and Dutch.
Since 2019, Holger Gerdes coordinates the project Bio-based Strategies and Roadmaps for Enhanced Rural and Regional Development in the EU (BE-Rural). Between 2015 and 2018, he coordinated the project Promoting Stakeholder Engagement and Public Awareness for a Participative Governance of the European Bioeconomy (BioSTEP). He is also responsible for Ecologic Institute’s contribution to the long-term research project Sustainable Subsoil Management as Part of the Bioeconomy (Soil³).
Currently, Holger Gerdes also contributes to the project Improving the Market Access of Sustainable Bio-based Products (BIOBRIDGES). Within the project Knowledge, Assessment, and Management for Aquatic Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Across EU Policies (AQUACROSS) he implemented a case study in the Azores. Before, he coordinated Ecologic Institute's contribution to the project Biodiversity and Sustainable Development in the EU's Outermost Regions and Overseas Countries and Territories (NetBiome-CSA), which aimed at strengthening European research cooperation for smart and sustainable management of tropical and subtropical biodiversity in the EU's overseas entities. In the context of the project Restoring Rivers for Effective Catchment Management (REFORM), he contributed to the assessment of the socio-economic costs and benefits related to river restoration in the EU. Within the project Fish Friendly Innovative Technologies for Hydropower (FIThydro), he evaluated the public acceptance of alternative hydropower solutions. Within the project A New Environmental Accounting Framework for Policy Analysis (EXIOPOL), he analysed the influence of environmental valuations on agricultural policy-making in the EU.
Besides his involvement in national and European research projects, Holger Gerdes works on service and framework contracts for a variety of public authorities. For instance, he provided support to the European Commission's Directorate-General for Research and Innovation on future research & innovation policies for bio-based products. He supported the European Environment Agency (EEA) in the context of Ecologic Institute's activities in the European Topic Centre on Biological Diversity (ETC/BD), focusing on tasks related to ecosystem assessments and natural capital accounting. For the European Commission's Directorate-General for the Environment, he contributed to the assessment of the Economic Benefits of the Natura 2000 Network. For the EU's Committee of the Regions (CoR), he carried out studies on 'Multilevel Governance of our Natural Capital' and 'Implementation of Natura 2000 and the Habitats and Birds Directives'.
Holger Gerdes is actively involved in communication and education activities in the area of environmental and resource economics. Since 2010, he has supported the Zürich-Basel Plant Science Center (Switzerland) in the design of a PhD course on evidence-based policy-making for which he develops student assignments on topics related to the valuation of natural capital. He has also prepared and taught seminars at the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin (Germany) in the context of a course on ecosystem services and land use.