Department of Economic, Social and Environmental History

Welcome to the website of the Department of Economic, Social and Environmental History (WSU)

Humankind in interaction with the natural environment is the focus of teaching and research at this department. Research interests cover all periods of history from antiquity to the present day. Regional topics related to Switzerland are equally at home here as those with global perspectives on the environment and climate in history. The main focuses lie on the climate history of the Middle Ages and modern times, on research into natural hazards (reconstruction and perceptions), on questions of resource management and the history of nutrition, and on the history of transport and mobility.

Interdisciplinarity plays an essential role in practically all fields of activity. As such we enjoy close cooperation with:

The Department of Economic, Social and Environmental History is located in Unitobler, Länggassstrasse 49 (1st floor), 3012 Bern

Bern, Switzerland | 22-26 August 2023

ESEH Conference 2023

12th Biennial European Society for Environmental History Conference

Mountains and Plains: Past, present and future environmental and climatic entanglements

The University of Bern has a long tradition in environmental and climate studies. The Institute of History and the Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research are therefore proud to host to the 12th Conference of the ESEH. Drawing from its closeness to mountainous regions Bern invites for a conference on «Mountains and Plains», a topic enabling approaches from various disciplines possible.

Podcast with a short presentation
Registration is open until 8 August 2023 


Assistant Professor


Senior Scientists


PhD Students

Database Manager

Junior Assistants



Prof. emeritus

  • Climate history of the Middle Ages and modern times
  • Natural hazards in history (reconstruction and perceptions)
  • Resource management
  • History of nutrition, hunger research
  • History of transport and mobility
  • Visual environmental history
  • Digital Humanities