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Prof. Dr. Uli Beisel


Institut für Geographische Wissenschaften

Fachrichtung Humangeographie


Malteserstr. 74-100
Raum K 184
12249 Berlin
+49 30 838 – 60756


Uli Beisel’s Forschung beschäftigt sich mit der Verräumlichung globaler Ungleichheiten und Bedingungen von gesellschaftlichen Transformationsprozessen, insbesondere in den Themenbereichen NaturenKulturen, Planetary Health und Environmental Justice. Ihre Arbeit ist in dem interdisziplinären Feld der feministisch und postkolonial geprägten Science and Technology Studies, dem Ansatz der more-than-human Geographie und in Global Health verortet.

Uli Beisel hat zu 'mosquito-parasite-human entanglements' in der Malariakontrolle in Ghana und Sierra Leone gearbeitet, und ist weiterhin von Praktiken der Grenzziehung zwischen menschlichen und nicht-menschlichen Organismen, und deren Möglichkeiten zur Koexistenz fasziniert. Ihre Forschung ist von der Frage geprägt wie wir mit Organismen und Substanzen, die für die menschliche Gesundheit schädlich sind, gut zusammenleben können. In diesem Zusammenhang interessiere Uli Beisel sich für mutierende Moskitos und resistente Parasiten; zoonotische Krankheiten; Insektizide, Pestizide und Toxine; Technologien und Infrastrukturen in der Weltgesundheit und deren Krisen; Vertrauen in Biomedizin; Politiken von Evidenz, Spekulation und Ignoranz; Mobilität(en) von Organismen, Dingen und Ideen.

Sie ist Teil des Editorenkollektivs des Open Access Buchverlags Mattering Press (https://www.matteringpress.org) und Associate Editor der Fachzeitschrift Science as Culture (https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/csac20/current).


Wintersemester 2021/22

  • GK - Mensch-Umwelt-Beziehungen
  • V - Grundlagen der Geographischen Entwicklungsforschung
  • S - Grundlagen der Geographischen Entwicklungsforschung
  • S - Mensch-Umwelt-Beziehungen (Geogr. Entwicklungsforschung)
  • C Forschungskolloquium Anthropogeographie (Entwicklungsforschung)

Sommersemester 2021

  • S - Projekt I: Geographien von elektronischem Müll
  • LFP - Projekt I (AB Entwicklungsforschung): Geographien von elektronischem Müll
  • V - Regionale Studien: Regionale Geographie Südasiens
  • S - Regionale Studien: Regionale Geographie Südasiens
  • C Forschungskolloquium Anthropogeographie (Entwicklungsforschung)

 Trust in medicine after the EVD epidemic

Förderung: DFG - Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

Laufzeit: 2016 - 2022

Projektteam: Prof. Dr. Uli Beisel, Dr. Sung-Joon Park (Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg), Dr. Sylvanus Spencer (Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone), Esther Mukowa und Prof. Dr. Paul Richards (Njala University, Sierra Leone), Dr. John Ganle (University of Ghana), Dr. Grace Akello (Gulu University, Uganda)

The scale of the EVD epidemic in the West African countries has been unprecedented. Lack of trust in medicine has been identified as one of the major factors in the scientific literature, in media reports, and global health discourses, which accelerated the spread of EVD and posed a central challenge to the Ebola response. Our project investigates the social, medical, and historical conditions of the formation of trust in medicine in African contexts. Taking the EVD outbreak in Sierra Leone as our empirical starting point, we conduct a comprehensive case study of trust in medicine in Sierra Leone, a site of prolonged EVD epidemic and radical insecurity. This will be complemented by studies in Uganda and Ghana, evaluating previous experiences of short-term EVD outbreaks (Uganda) and recent preparedness interventions in a neighboring country (Ghana). In these three country case studies we analyze how and to what extent trust is built in health service delivery. We ask how trust relations have been shaped by the EVD outbreak, how trust is being (re)built in health service delivery after the EVD epidemic, and to what extent trust forms the social basis for epidemic preparedness. Comparing individual and collective experiences of the institutionalization of care in Sierra Leone with Uganda and Ghana enables us to produce a systematic and in-depth analysis of trust in contexts of radical insecurity and poverty. Such an analysis grounded in the lived everyday realities in African countries is urgently needed in order to devise culturally appropriate and locally accepted epidemic preparedness measures.

Planned obsolescence, circular economies and ecologies of electronic devices in transdisciplinary perspective

Förderung: Exzellenzcluster Afrika Multipel, Universität Bayreuth, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

Laufzeit: 2020 - 2024

Projektteam: Prof. Dr. Uli Beisel, Dr. Grace Akese (University of Bayreuth/Freie Universität Berlin), Dr. John Kuumuori Ganle (University of Ghana)

Planned obsolescence denotes design practices that are assumed to build an artificially limited life into a technical device. This discourse links electronic waste to the logics of capitalism and renders the design of devices into a process imbued with politics. It also transforms the electronic product into waste, or rather into a material object that has outlived its intended usage patterns. However, the fact that an electronic device has reached its intentioned shelf-life does not mean its life is over. To the contrary, this is a moment, where the device enters into different processes of transfer and transformation. In this project that combines anthropology and engineering studies we are interested in the intentioned and improvised registers of mobility of electronic devices – their physical circulations, their composition through design, repair and maintenance, as well as the attendant material-semiotic transformations of the devices themselves. The project studies these mobilities between Germany and Ghana and their effects along the lives of two electronic devices: mobile phones and fridges. In this we are interested in how mobile electronic devices are transforming and being transformed while they travel from cradle to grave/cradle?

Mobile Mosquitoes - Understanding the Entangled Mobilities of Aedes Mosquitoes and Humans in India, Mexico, Tanzania and Germany

Förderung: Volkswagen Stiftung Globale Herausforderungen, Mobility - Global Medicine and Health Research

Laufzeit: 2020 - 2021

Projektteam: Prof. Dr. Uli Beisel, PD Dr. Carsten Wergin (Universität Heidelberg), Pro. Dr. Gerrardo Suzán (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico), Dr. Fredros Okumu (Ifakara Health Research and Development
Centre, Tanzania), Dr. Ashwani Kumar (Indian Council of Medical Research, Vector Control Research Centre)

This project establishes an interdisciplinary research consortium to study the entangled mobilities of humans and Aedes mosquitoes in India, Mexico, Tanzania and Germany. The project examines mosquito dispersal in relation to human movement both in terms of long-distance (tire trade, boat and plane transportation) and short-distance (from local buses to watering cans) mobility. It systematically analyses how the mobility of people and things (migrants, tourists, objects of travel and trade) is interlinked with the mobility of Aedes and the spread of associated arboviral diseases. The applicants study (i) which mosquitoes move where and how, including their larvae, and long-term egg survival, (ii) if and how mosquitoes hitch rides on human infrastructure, and (iii) the socio-economic mobility patterns of humans and how these might contribute to mosquito dispersal. This "multispecies approach" will generate mobility maps of humans and mosquito species that can be overlayed and analysed for their entanglements. The invasive mosquito species Aedes, vector for a variety of arboviral diseases, is a paradigmatic case of how human and nonhuman mobility converge in contemporary societies. Understanding their entangled movement is of utmost importance for developing successful vector control strategies.


Publikationen Ulrike Beisel

Beiträge in peer-review Fachzeitschriften

  • Donko, K., Doevenspeck, M. and Beisel, U. (2021) ‘Migration Control, the Local Economy and Violence in the Burkina Faso and Niger Borderland’, Journal of Borderlands Studies, 0(0), pp. 1–17. doi:10.1080/08865655.2021.1997629.
  • Richards, P.; Mokuwa, E.; Maat, H.; Welmers, P.; Beisel, U. (2019). “Trust, and distrust, of Ebola Treatment Centers : A case-study from Sierra Leone”. PLoS One, Vol. 14, Issue 12, e0224511.
  • Akello, G.; Beisel, U. (2019). “Challenges, Distrust, and Understanding : Employing Communicative Action in Improving Trust in a Public Medical Sector in Uganda”. SAGE Open. Vol. 9, Issue 4: 1-10
  • Beisel, U. und Ganle, J.K. (2019). “Releases of transgenic mosquitoes in Burkina Faso: the bioeconomy of science, public engagement and trust in medicine” African Studies Review. Bd. 62, Heft 3: 164-173
  • Beisel, U., Calkins, S., Rottenburg, R. (2018). “Divining, testing, and the problem of accountability”. HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory, Vol 8, No 1-2: 109 – 113
  • Chandler, C. I. und Beisel, U. (2017). "The Anthropology of Malaria: Locating the Social". Medical Anthropology, Vol. 36, No.5: 411-21
  • Beisel, U., Umlauf, R., Hutchinson, E., Chandler, C. (2016). The complexities of simple technologies: re-imagining the role of rapid diagnostic tests in malaria control efforts. Malaria Journal, 15:64
  • Beisel, U. (2015). Markets and Mutations: mosquito nets and the politics of disentanglement in global health. Geoforum, 66:146–155
  • Boëte, C., Beisel, U., Reis Castro, L., Césard, N. and Reeves, G. (2015). Engaging scientists: An online survey exploring the experience of innovative biotechnological approaches to controlling vector-borne diseases. Parasites & Vectors, 8:414
  • Ginn F., Beisel U., Barua M. (2014): Flourishing with awkward creatures: Vulnerability, togetherness, killing. Environmental Humanities, 4: 113-123
  • Beisel, U., Kelly, A. und Tousignant, N. (2013). Insect Knowledges – Insects as Vectors, Hosts and Companions of Science. Science as Culture, 22 (1):1-15
  • Beisel, U. und Boëte, C. (2013). The Flying Public Health Tool: genetically-modified mosquitoes and malaria control. Science as Culture, 22 (1): 38-60
  • Beisel, U. und Schneider, T. (2012). From 7/83-2 to Dr. JESUS: The transformation of a German ambulance car to a Ghanaian bus. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 30 (4): 639-654      
  • Kelly, A.H. und Beisel U. (2011). Neglected Malarias: The Frontlines and Back Alleys of Global Health. BioSocieties, 6: 71-87
  • Beisel, U. (2006). Beteiligung schafft Akzeptanz: Die Entstehungsgeschichte eines Bürgerwindparks. IPUblic 10(1):8-15


  • Beisel, U. and Wergin, C. (2022) ‘Understanding multispecies mobilities: From mosquito eradication to coexistence’, in: Hall, M. and Tamïr, D. Mosquitopia: The Place of Pests in a Healthy World. London: Routledge, pp. 32-46
  • Beisel, U. (2019). "What might we learn from ANT for studying health care issues in the majority world, and what might ANT learn in turn?" In: Anders Blok, Ignacio Farías & Celia Roberts (eds.). A Routledge Companion to ANT. London: Routledge, pp. 246-255
  • International Panel on Social Progress (2018). Global Health and the Changing Contours of Human Life, In: "Rethinking Society for the 21th Century: Report of the International Panel on Social Progress, Volume 3: Transformations in Values, Norms, Cultures". Cambridge University Press, pp.  713 - 752
  • Beisel, U. (2018). “Märkte und Mutationen: Mückennetze, Malaria und Weltgesundheitspolitik“, In: Friederike Gesing, Michi Knecht und Michael Flitner (eds). NaturenKulturen: Verbindungen und Versammlungen. Bielefeld: transcript, S. 447 - 478 (Übersetzung von Beisel, U. (2015). "Markets and Mutations: mosquito nets and the politics of disentanglement in global health". Geoforum, 66, pp. 146–155)
  • Liggins, A.S. und Beisel, U. (2017). Translating the Glucometer – from “Western” Markets to Uganda: of glucometer graveyards, missing testing strips and the difficulties of patient care. In: Berger, T. und Esguerra, A. “World Politics in Translation: Power, Relationality, and Difference in Global Cooperation”, London: Routledge, S.59 - 75
  • Beisel, U (2017). Resistant Bodies: malaria and the question of immunity/resistance. In: Herrick, C. and Reubi. D. (eds). Global Health Geographies. London: Routledge, pp. 114-134
  • Beisel, U. (2015). The Blue Warriors: Ecology, Participation and Public Health in Malaria Control Experiments in Ghana. In: Geissler, P.W. (ed). Para-States and Medical Science: Making African Global Health. Duke University Press, 281-302
  • Boëte, C. und Beisel, U. (2013) Transgenic Mosquitoes for Malaria Control: From the Bench to the Public Opinion Survey. In: Manguin, S. (Ed.) Anopheles mosquitoes - New insights into malaria vectors. InTech Open Science Open Minds
  • Beisel, U. und Jaeger, M. (2007). Powerless Networks? The Implementation of Decentralised Technologies in Madagascar. In: Bora, A., Bröchler, S., Decker, M. Technology Assessment in der Weltgesellschaft. Berlin: Edition Sigma. 401-410


  • Beisel, U. and Chandler, C. (2017). Reimagining Malaria – Rearticulating the Social in Malaria. Special Section in: Medical Anthropology, Vol.3
  • Ginn F., Beisel U., Barua M. (2014): Flourishing with awkward creatures: Vulnerability, togetherness, killing. Special Section in: Environmental Humanities, Vol. 4
  • Beisel, U., Kelly, A. und Tousignant, N. (2013). Insect Knowledges – Insects as Vectors, Hosts and Companions of Science.Special Issue in: Science as Culture, Vol. 22 (1)


  • Beisel, U. (2012). Mobilities and Health by Anthony C. Gatrell. Emotions, Space and Society 5(4): 279–280
  • Beisel, U. (2011). Insectopedia by Hugh Raffles. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 17(2): 433-434
  • Beisel, U. (2010). Jumping hurdles with mosquitoes? Collaborative book review: When Species Meet, by D.J. Haraway. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. 28(1): 46-49