The winner of the 2023 Victor Albeck Award

Professor Mette Løvschal

Professor of archaeology Mette Løvschal receives the Victor Albeck Award for her innovative research on the relationship between humans and nature.

Professor Mette Løvschal takes us on a journey over thousands of years when she uncovers the history of human-made landscapes. For example, by comparing satellite images, excavations, pollen analyses and much more, she can reveal how humans have created and maintained heathland over millennia.

Her research doesn’t only tell us about the past. It also teaches us about human-made nature today, for example in East Africa, where Mette Løvschal – in collaboration with biologists and anthropologists – has documented how the increased use of fences on common grazing land is causing ecosystems to break down. This research is being applied locally as a planning tool to identify regions where the practice of enclosing land should be prevented in order to preserve animal migration flows.

Mette Løvschal’s interdisciplinary research brings new perspectives into the debate on the green transition, which she thinks would benefit from giving cultural landscapes a louder voice.

Mette Løvschal is employed in a joint position between Aarhus University and Moesgaard Museum and is working to improve research collaboration with the Danish museum world, for example through her membership of the Association of Danish Museum’s archaeological and research committees.  

Mette Løvschal has published her research in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), Nature (Scientific Reports), Current Anthropology and World Archaeology, and in 2019 she received an ERC Starting Grant for the project ANTHEA - Anthropogenic Heathlands: The Social Organization of Super-Resilient Past Human Ecosystems.

This year, Professor Mette Løvschal also receives the HM Queen Margrethe II's Science Award.

Hear more and meet Mette i the podcast series "De unge forskere"