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Tanya Baycheva



Dr. Tanya Baycheva-Merger

Chair of Forest and Environmental Policy
Tennenbacher Str. 4

D - 79106 Freiburg

Telephone: +49 177 603 5337



Summary of Expertise and Research Interests

Dr. Tanya Baycheva-Merger is Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Chair of Forest and Environmental Policy, University of Freiburg, Germany. Her expertise and research interests revolve around the nexus of environmental data governance, in particular sharing, access and use of information, and digitalization- i.e. adoption and use of digital technologies in the field of environmental management.  Currently, her work focuses on examining how data governance issues, such open sharing of data, data privacy and security, ownership and control influence social acceptance of digital water technologies and actors´ collaboration in water management.  She holds a Ph.D. in Forest and Environmental Policy from the University of Freiburg, with her dissertation titled "The politics of forest information exchange in Europe: an actor-centered institutionalist approach."


Research Projects

  • (2023-2026) StressRes: Monitoring and model system for the assessment of stress on groundwater resources and drinking water management
  • (2021-2023) InteW2: Integrated management of forests and water under changing climatic conditions: Risks, measures, transferability
  • (2019 -2020) WOOD SUPPLY 4.0: Assessment of the Industry 4.0 potentials in the Forest Wood Supply Chain
  • (2015-2019) DIABOLO: Distributed, integrated and harmonized forest information for bio-economy outlooks



As of June 2024, a teaching fellow at University College Freiburg (UCF): Module coordinator /lecturer “Environmental (Information) Governance in the Digital Age”

At University of Freiburg (2021- present), lecture/s in:

  • Module “Environmental Policy Analysis”
  • Module “Ecosystem Management”
  • Module “Forest Policy Analysis”
  • Module “Sustainable Land Use in a Changing Climate”
  • Module “Analyse der Waldpolitik”
  • Module “Research Skills”



  • Fleicia Graubner: Challenges and Opportunities of Digitalization in Groundwater Management- A systematic literature review, Bsc thesis, 2024
  • Sofia Konstantinova: Implementation of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework by private actors, Msc thesis, 2024
  • Javkhlan Nyamjav: Institutitional and actor-oriented factors constraining the adoption of Rangeland Law in Mongolia, Msc thesis, 2023
  • Braoin Florence MacLauchlan: Increasing material circularity of construction waste in Germany and France: an actor-centred institutionalist approach, Msc thesis, 2023
  • Mirijam Schöbe: Rules and norms affecting farmers´ use and management of groundwater in southwest Germany – A case study, Msc thesis 2023
  • Denicia Kaissie: Fragile foundation of international environmental laws leads to weak implementation procedure in domestic jurisdictions, research paper, master level, 2023
  • Mihaela Panayotova: Politische Instrumente für Wald und Wasser im Klimawandel in Deutschland, Bsc thesis, 2022
  • Yana Vasileva: Implementing the EU Renewable Energy Directive: Bulgaria and Germany, Bsc thesis 2021
  • Isabella Sousa: Actors and institutions: influence on territorial and environmental management in indigenous lands in Brazil, Msc thesis, 2023


Work Experience

  • 2021 - present: Post-Doc Researcher, Chair of Forest and Environmental Policy, University of Freiburg
  • 2015 - 2019: PhD Student, Chair of Forest and Environmental Policy, University of Freiburg
  • 2010 - 2015: Researcher, European Forest Institute (EFI), France and Germany
  • 2014 - 2015: Consultant, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), home-based
  • 2009 - 2010: Project Assistant, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Environmental Law Centre, Bonn, Germany



  • Ph.D. in Forest and Environmental Policy, Faculty of Environment and Natural Resources, University of Freiburg, Germany
  • M.Sc. International Master of Environmental Science, Cologne University, Germany
  • B.Sc. Environmental and Resources Management, Technical University of Brandenburg (BTU) Cottbus



Peer-reviewed articles, book chapters

  • Baycheva-Merger, T., Selter, A., Seijger, C., Häublein, S. (2024). Digital opportunity or a threat? Adoption of Internet of Things (IoT) Monitoring Systems for Natural Resources in Germany. In: Environments 2024, 11(3), 39;
  • Baycheva-Merger, T., Sotirov, M. (2020): The politics of an EU forest information system: unpacking distributive conflicts associated with the strategic use of forest information. In: Forest Policy and Economics 112: 102-110. http://10.1016/j.forpol.2020.102110
  • Baycheva-Merger, T. (2019). Forest policy information networks and the role of  trust:  cooperative  and  competitive  orientations  and  underlying  causes. In: Forests 2019, 10(4), 359; DOI: 
  • Baycheva-Merger T., Sotirov M., Holmgren S and Selter A. (2018). Institutional and Actor-Oriented Factors Constraining Expert-Based Forest Information Exchange in Europe: A Policy Analysis from an Actor-Centered Institutionalist Approach. In: Forests 9(3), 129; doi: 10.3390/f9030129
  • Baycheva-Merger T. and Wolfslehner, B. (2015). Evaluating the implementation of the pan-European C&I for SFM – A SWOT Analysis. In:  Ecological Indicators 60 (2016) 1192–1199
  • Bosela, M, Larocque G., Baycheva T., Valbuena R., Lier M. (2015). Criteria and Indicators of Sustainable Forest Management. In: Ecological Forest Management Handbook. CRC Press, 2015

Technical reports, policy briefs and conference papers

  • Baycheva-Merger, T. (2023). Motivations and abilities to adopt IoT monitoring tools for natural resources management. Presented at: International Interdisciplinary Conference on Digitalisation for Sustainability Transformations: Critical Perspectives, Lessons Learned & Future Prospects. Augsburg, 20-22 September, 2023
  • Baycheva-Merger T., Sotirov M., Holmgren S., Selter A. (2017). The institutional barriers of forest information exchange in   the European Union. Abstract book of the IUFRO 125th Anniversary Congress, 18 – 22 September 2017, Freiburg, Germany, p. 317
  • Holmgren, S., Sotirov, M., Baycheva- Merger, T., Selter, A., Blum, M (2017). The politics of forest information in EU: mapping use, provision, gaps and challenges related to forest information exchange. Abstract book of the IUFRO 125th Anniversary Congress, 18 – 22 September 2017, Freiburg, Germany, p. 72
  • Linser, S., Payn, T., Baycheva-Merger, T., Lier,  Gritten, D., Robertson, G., Laclau, P., Jafari M., Wolfslehner B. (2017). 25 years of C&I for SFM - Did they make a difference? Abstract book of the IUFRO 125th Anniversary Congress, 18 – 22 September 2017, Freiburg, Germany, p. 271
  • Holmgren S., Sotirov M., Baycheva-Merger T., Selter A., Blum M.,  Schadauer K., Freudenschuss A. (2017). Synthesis report on data demand and data provision, including data flows at the science-policy management interface and the barriers of data flows. DIABOLO D1.3
  • Holmgren S., Sotirov M., Baycheva-Merger T., Selter A. Kleinschmit D., Winkel G. (2016). List of data demanded by policies, political decision makers and key forest managers at different political levels and across different policy areas. DIABOLO D1.2
  • Baycheva-Merger T., Sotirov M., Winkel G., Kleinschmit D. (2015). List of policies relevant for sustainable multi-purpose forestry at EU level. DIABOLO D1.1
  • Baycheva-Merger, T. (2015).  B10 Public awareness and participation/ B11 Research, training and education. In: State of Europe´s Forests Report, 2015.  FOREST EUROPE Liaison Unit Madrid
  • 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
  • Wolfslehner, B., Baycheva T., Prins K., Lier M. (2013). Implementing Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management in Europe. European Forest Institute, 2013
  • Requardt, A., Baycheva T. (2011). Forest Policies, Institutions and Instruments by Policy Area. In: State of Europe´s Forests Report 2011 Part II Pan-European Qualitative indicators for Sustainable Forest Management. FOREST EUROPE/UNECE/FAO 2011.



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