Dr. Alex Giurca

Alex holds a PhD from the University of Freiburg and a double-Masters degree from the University of Eastern Finland and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. His research interests and expertise are in the broader area of bioeconomy, spanning from sustainability transformations, innovation networks and environmental communication, with a particular focus on the actors, policies and politics of the forest-based sector. He uses a variety of methods including, but not limited to, social network analysis, qualitative content analysis, Delphi studies, quantitative and qualitative surveys as well as other mixed methods.


Im Neuenheimer Feld 130.1
Fon +49 6221 54-6530

Alex Giurca


  • 2015-2019 PhD, Albert-Ludwigs Universität Freiburg, Germany

  • 2012-2013 MSc, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden

  • 2011-2012 MSc, University of Eastern Finland, Finland

  • 2011- Exchange- Czech University of Life Sciences, Czechia

  • 2009-2010 Exchange- Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Germany

  • 2006-2010 BSc in Forest Engineering- Transylvania University of Brasov, Romania

Academic Exchange

  • 2018    Visiting researcher at the Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.    
  • 2017    Visiting research fellow at the University of Helsinki, Finland.
  • 2013    Visiting student at the National University of Laos, Vientiane, Lao PDR.
  • 2012    Visiting student at the Sao Paulo State University and the Federal University of Para in Brazil.
  • 2011    Visiting student at the Czech University of Life Sciences, Prague, Czech Republic.
  • 2010    Visiting student at the School of Forestry, University of Alberta, Canada.
  • 2010    Visiting student (summer school) at the University of Thessaloniki, Greece.
  • 2009-2010    Erasmus year at the Faculty of Forestry and Forest Ecology, Göttingen, Germany.


Work Experience

  • 2021 May- Present     Executive Manager- Heidelberg Center for the Environment (HCE), Heidelberg University, Germany.
  • 2019 Jan – 2021 May    Postdoctoral Researcher- Chair of Forest and Environmental Policy at University of Freiburg, Germany.
  • 2016 Jan- Dec 2018    PhD candidate- Chair of Forest and Environmental Policy at University of Freiburg, Germany/ Graduate School BBW ForWerts, Heidelberg University, Germany.
  • 2015 Apr-Dec 2015    Assistant Researcher- Chair of Forest and Environmental Policy at University of Freiburg, Germany.
  • 2014 Sep – Apr 2015    Administrator Nordic Council of Ministers (NORDEN)- Nordic Forest Research (SNS) Alnarp, Sweden.
  • 2014 Feb- Sep 2014    Intern- Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Sweden Uppsala, Sweden.
  • 2013 Jan- Sep 2013    Project Trainee- European Forest Institute-EFINORD (North European Regional Office of the European Forest Institute) Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • 2012 Jun-Aug 2012    Intern StoraEnso Karlstad, Sweden.
  • 2012 February- April 2012    Field Technician and Research Assistant State University of Sao Paulo (UNESP) Ilha Solteira , Brazil.
  • Apr 2011- Jun 2011    Field Technician and Research Assistant- Georg August University of Göttingen, Germany.


  1. Giurca, A., Beford, N. and Taylor, A. (2022) Exploring Transformative Policy Imaginaries for a Sustainable Post-COVID Society. 344: 131053. Journal of Cleaner Production.
  2. Holmgrem, S., Giurca, A., Fischer, K., Söderlund, C., Stenius, T., Andtbacka, H., Rohlin, L., Johansson, J.  (2022) Whose transformation is this? Unpacking the ‘apparatus of capture’ in Sweden’s bioeconomy. 42: 44-57 Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions.
  3. Riemann, L., Giurca, A., Kleinschmit, D. (2022) Contesting the framing of bioeconomy policy in Germany: the NGO perspective. Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning. DOI: 10.1080/1523908X.2022.2071689
  4. Aggestam, F. and Giurca, A. (2021) The Art of the “Green Deal”: Policy pathways for the EU Forest Strategy. Forest Policy & Economics 128:102456.
  5. Holmgren, S., D’Amato, D. and Giurca, A. (2020) Bioeconomy imaginaries: A review of forest-related social science literature. Ambio, 49: 1860–1877
  6. Masiero, M., Secco, L., Pettenella, D., Da Re, R., Giurca, A., Wallin, I., Salvalaggio, A., Stetter, T., Giertliová, B., Návratilová, L., Výbošťok, J., Pülzl, H., Ranacher, L., Stelzer, C., Carreira, A., Malkamäki, A., Sopanen, J., Holmgren, S., Mark-Herbert, C., and Bernö, H. (2020) Bioeconomy perception by future stakeholders: hearing from European forestry students. Ambio, 49, pages1925–1942(2020)
  7. Giurca A. (2020) Unpacking the network discourse: Actors and storylines in Germany's wood-based bioeconomy. Forest Policy and Economics. 110: 101754.
  8. Giurca A and Metz T (2018) A social network analysis of Germany’s wood-based bioeconomy: Social capital and shared beliefs. Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions, 26:1-14.
  9. Giurca A and Späth P (2017): A forest-based bioeconomy for Germany? Strengths, weaknesses and policy options for lignocellulosic biorefineries Journal of Cleaner Production, 2017; 153: 51-62.
  10. Stein M., Giurca A.,Kleinschmit D. (2018) „Wir sind die Bioökonomie“ – Perspektiven von Akteuren aus dem deutschen Forst- und Holzsektor. AFJZ 10.23765/afjz0002019
  11. Korhonen, J., Giurca, A., Toppinen, A., Brockhaus, M. (2018) Actors, politics and innovations in Finland’s forest-based bioeconomy. Sustainability 10(10), 3785.
  12. Kleinschmit, D., Arts, B., Giurca, A., Mustalahti, I., Arnaud.S and Pülzl, H. (2017) Environmental concerns in political bioeconomy discourses. International Forestry Review, 15: 41-55
  13. Hodge D, Brukas V, Giurca A (2017): Forests in a bioeconomy: bridge, boundary or divide? Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research. 32: 582-587.
  14. Gavrilut I., Halalisan A-F., Giurca A. and Sotirov M. (2015) The Interaction between FSC certification and the implementation of the EU Timber Regulation in Romania; Forests,7 (3): 1-13.
  15. Giurca, A. and Jonsson, R. (2015) The opinions of some stakeholders on the European Union Timber Regulation (EUTR): an analysis of secondary sources; iForest. 8: 681-686.  
  16. Giurca A., Jonsson R., Rinaldi F., Pryardy R. H. (2013) Ambiguity in Timber Trade from Efforts to Combat Illegal Logging- Potential Impacts on Trade Between South-east Asia and Europe. Forests, 4 :730-750.


Book Chapters and Scientific Reports

  • Giurca A., Kleinschmit D. (2020) Übergang zu einer forstbasierten Bioökonomie? Ein Vergleich von Deutschland und Finnland. In: Konrad W., Scheer D., Weidtmann A. (eds) Bioökonomie nachhaltig gestalten. Technikzukünfte, Wissenschaft und Gesellschaft / Futures of Technology, Science and Society. Springer VS, Wiesbaden. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-658-29433-5_7
  • Pülzl,H., Giurca,A., Kleinschmit,D., Arts,B., Mustalahti,I., Sergent,A., Secco,L., Pettenella,D., Brukas, V. (2017) The role of forests in bioeconomy strategies at the domestic and EU level  in: Towards a sustainable European forest-based bioeconomy– assessment and the way forward , Eds: Winkel, G. European Forest Institute, Joensuu, pp 36-51
  • Sotirov, M., Storch, S., Aggestam, F., Giurca, A., Selter, A., Baycheva, T., Eriksson, O., Sallnäs, O., Schüll, O., Trubins, R., Borges, J., McDermott, C., Hoogstra-Klein, M., Hengeveld, G., Pettenella, D. (2015): Forest Policy Integration in Europe: Lessons Learnt, Challenges Ahead, and Strategies to Support Sustainable Forest Management and Multifunctional Forestry in the Future. INTEGRAL EU Policy Paper.
  • Jonsson R., Giurca A., Masiero M., Pepke E., Pettenella D., Prestemon J. and Winkel G. (2015). Assessment of the EU Timber Regulation and FLEGT Action Plan. From Science to Policy 1. European Forest Institute.
  • Giurca A., von Stedingk H. (2014) FSC Pesticide Policy in Sweden (Report).  Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), Uppsala, Sweden.