Biography: Professor, Dr. Gabriela Christmann is a sociologist and the Head of the Research Department “Dynamics of Communication, Knowledge and Spatial Development” at the Leibniz Institute for Research on Society and Space (IRS) Erkner, Germany. She studied social work at the University of Applied Sciences Ravensburg-Weingarten (1981-1985) and sociology and political science at the University of Konstanz (1985-1991). Dr. Christmann received her doctorate at the University of Konstanz in 1996. In 2003 she habilitated at the Technische Universität Dresden. Dr. Christmann publishes widely and is a guest editor of numerous special issues of international refereed journals and served as a section editor for the “Encyclopedia for Urban and Regional Studies” (Wiley-Blackwell). She is active in policy advice and is a member of or associated with numerous expert groups working for the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food as well as the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community in Germany as well as for the Directorate-General of Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Commission.