Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society

Breadcrumb Navigation

Lena Schlegel

Lena Schlegel, MA

Doctoral candidate

Lena Schlegel holds a BA in political science and sociology and an MA in peace studies and international relations from the University of Tübingen. She won the Sustainability Award for Theses for her master’s thesis “Decarbonising the Human: A Posthumanist Epistemic Critique and More-than-Human Ethics for Low-Carbon Transitions.” After completing her MA, she worked as a research associate for an interdisciplinary EU project on disaster management at the International Center for Ethics in the Sciences and Humanities (IZEW) in Tübingen.

In 2021, she received a doctoral scholarship from the Heinrich Böll Foundation within the thematic cluster “Transformation Research” and joined the Rachel Carson Center’s Doctoral Program Environment and Society. Her dissertation project explores the role of human-nature relations in climate (in-)action in the context of the Australian Black Summer. From April 2022 to April 2023, she conducted fieldwork at the University of Melbourne. Her research is situated at the interface of global governance, social theory, and environmental ethics, with a focus on feminist new materialisms, relationality, and care. She also teaches BA and MA classes on global environmental and health governance, nature-society relations, and ecological emotions.


  • with Nathaniel Otjen, Shannon Lambert, Hannah Della Bosca, and Blanche Verlie. “Multispecies Grief in the Wake of Megafires.” Edge Effects, 6 June 2023, https://edgeeffects.net/multispecies-grief-megafires/.
  • “Photography as an ‘Art of Noticing’ Climate Loss in More-than-Human Relationships of Care.” SEI Magazine, no. 7 (2022–23): 16–21. https://www.sydney.edu.au/content/dam/corporate/documents/sydney-environment-institute/publications/reports/usyd_sei-magazine_mar-2023.pdf.
  • “Another World Was Possible: How Sociological Imagination Could Have Helped Solve the Climate Crisis.” In The 2051 Munich Climate Conference: Future Visions of Climate Change, edited by Benno Heisel, Theresa Spielman, Andreas Wehrl, and Christina Wehrl, 18–25. Bielefeld: transcript Verlag, 2023. https://doi.org/10.14361/9783839463840-004.
  • “Between Climates of Fear and Blind Optimism: The Affective Role of Emotions for Climate (In)Action.” Geographica Helvetica 77, no. 4 (2022): 421–31. https://doi.org/10.5194/gh-77-421-2022.
  • with Leonie N. Bossert. “Anthropozentrismus (in) der Krise: Warum Probleme nicht mit der Denkweise gelöst werden können, die sie auch hervorgerufen hat [Anthropocentrism in Crisis: Why Problems Cannot Be Solved with the Same Mindset That Created Them].” GAIA: Ecological Perspectives for Science and Society 31, no. 1 (2022): 14–18. https://doi.org/10.14512/gaia.31.1.5.
  • with Leonie N. Bossert. “Mit Umweltethik gegen Pandemien: Warum Tierrechte und Naturschutz auch den Menschen nutzen [Environmental Ethics on Pandemics: Why Even Humans Can Benefit from Animal Rights and Nature Conservation].” GAIA: Ecological Perspectives for Science and Society 30, no. 2 (2021): 77–81. https://doi.org/10.14512/gaia.30.2.4.