According to the underlying Scientific Concept, a division of the general relation between cultural and natural environment into three general themes is essential:
- How did human groups conceive their natural and cultural environments and thus their landscapes? Which means were used by societies to structure their landscape?
- How did environmental conditions change and how was social space re-organised within the new local, regional, and global conditions? What kind of landscapes evolved after the iterative processes of the interaction between nature and society?
- How did demographic and technical changes influence the formation of social groups and landscapes? What kind of genetic differentiation is visible in animal and human groups after the pre-shaping of environmental conditions?
The three related research premises serve as the main research areas of the Graduate School: Society and Reflection (Cluster 1); Social Space and Landscape (Cluster 2); Adaptation and Innovation (Cluster 3).
As the universally relevant factors that underlie the concept of landscape as social space and natural environment bearing the activities of human groups require the thematic cross-linkage of several disciplines, the PhD research proposed within the clusters is centred on highly interdisciplinary sub-themes.