This website uses cookies

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using our website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Cookie Policy.

Visiting researchers

The Institute always hosts guest researchers from Germany and abroad, who use the infrastructure of the Institute and present their projects for discussion.

Begüm Kocabalkanli

Begüm Kocabalkanli is currently a MSc. Student in the European Urban Studies program at Bauhaus University, Weimar. She previously studied Architecture (BSc.) at Yaşar University, Izmir (TR) where her graduation project approached the Eşrefpaşa, Konak district as an urban palimpsest, accompanying the interplay of different layers (historical, etc.) and embodied it within the narrative of an archaeology museum. She has also worked as an architect where she further realised her curiosity regarding the preliminary phase of a design process (contextual analysis) which later on led into her master’s choice.

As a guest researcher at the IfL Geographies of belonging and differenceresearch group,her project aims to understand the negotiation of urban diversity through everyday neighbourhood-level practices in the case of Leipzig’s inner east. With a keen focus on the context of Eisenbahnstraße as a porous and emerging space produced by its minorities, her research takes an ethnographic stance towards the neighbourhood social space in the aim of understanding the potentials of mundane urban micro-publics (cafes, markets, community centres) in provoking constructive social change through creating a sense of community and initiating encounters within plurality.



Athina Avagianou

Athina Avagianou is an Architect (BSc) and an Urban and Regional Geographer (MSc). She is currently developing her PhD thesis at the Geography Department of University of the Aegean (Lesbos, Greece). Her major aspiration is to offer a theoretically - informed empirical analysis and study of contemporary policies in the field of social and sharing economy vis-a-vis youth unemployment in Mediterranean EU; I also envisage to offer a holistic account of the spatial dimensions of such policies.

Part of her PhD thesis is funded by the YOUTHShare Project. This project aims at reducing youth unemployment in coastal and island regions of Mediterranean EU by advancing young NEETs skills in trans-locally resilient agri-food production and the pertinent circular economies. By boosting the potential of social entrepreneurship in those sectors through sharing economy by means of an integrated multi-scalar methodology and practice, the project aims at reducing economic disparities and increasing social integration.



Dr Karol Kurnicki

currently works at the University of Lancaster, where he investigates flexibility in energy demand and is also affiliated with the Institute of Advanced Study, University of Warwick, where in September 2020 he completed the Marie Curie WIRL-COFUND Fellowship. During his fellowship at Warwick he investigated  car parking as im|mobility in the context of social practices and infrastructures. This project also looked at digitalisation of im|mobilities and social media as tools to publicise social situations of mobility. His previous engagement with Leibniz-IfL includes PUTSPACE fellowship (Nov. 2020 - Mar. 2021), during which he worked on a research paper about digital reconfiguration of publics in the context of transportation, organised a workshop about Mobility as a Service (MaaS) platforms and wrote a science fiction story exploring issues of digitalisation and dataification in mobilities.

During his stay at the IfL he plans to finish the manuscript of the research article and prepare proposals for international research funding in the area of mobilities research. As part of the visit he also intends to contribute to ongoing projects and publications in the area of transportation,  infrastructuring, mobility studies as well as critical and human geography.