Meet the AGROVOC Editorial Community

FAO/Aleksandar Dimishkovski

An interview with Carsten Hoffmann, research assistant at BonaRes Centre and one of the German AGROVOC editors

Carsten Hoffmann, research assistant at BonaRes Centre

Carsten Hoffmann made his PhD thesis about grazing effects on wind erosion in the grassland of Inner Mongolia, (China). Since 2016 he is a Research assistant in the BonaRes project (Soil as a sustainable resource for the bioeconomy) and sets up a repository for soil and agricultural research data.

When did you start your experience in AGROVOC and how are you engaging with it?

My first contact with AGROVOC was in early 2016, when I started working at BonaRes. Here I worked on a project with the task of setting up a repository for soil and agricultural research data. From the beginning, it was decided to integrate AGROVOC into BonaRes metadata editor to annotate data sets with controlled keywords. In 2018, after the Editors Workshop in Utrecht, I became part of the editors team as one of the German editors to extend, refine and promote the FAO AGROVOC multilingual thesaurus.

What has been the most important achievement of being part of the editorial community?

It is a pleasure and honor to be part of a very active, friendly and open international editor’s community. Beside the fact of working on the improvement of missing or wrong German translations, I feel responsible for extending and enhancing the soil terminology of AGROVOC. 

How does your work with AGROVOC benefit your organization?

Thanks to the collaboration with the FAO thesaurus, BonaRes is now able to annotate its research data with controlled keywords. Within my project at BonaRes it is possible to annotate all data sets with at least one of the concepts in the category “soil function”. This  improves and increases the findability of project data.

What was your last contribution to AGROVOC as editor?

Whenever I have time, I dive into AGROVOC looking for missing German translations. Besides, I recently prepared a new semantic organization of soil related concepts and agricultural measurement parameters.

 Do you have a favorite term in AGROVOC?

Actually I have two favorite terms: soil functions and carbon sequestration. The first one describes the high relevance and potential of soils for ecosystems, while the second one describes the relevance of soils as potential carbon sinks related to climate change.

BonaRes and ZALF

BonaRes is a German abbreviation and stands for “Soil as a sustainable resource for the bioeconomy”. This funding initiative of the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) is focused on the sustainable use of soils as a limited resource and is coordinated by the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) in cooperation with the Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF), where Mr Hoffmann works as research assistant. ZALF follows several paths of research: How do agricultural landscapes function? How can we sustainably develop and shape intensively used agricultural landscapes? What do future agricultural landscapes look like?

To understand agricultural interactions with the environment and human societies on different scales, modern and FAIR research data management is provided by BonaRes and ZALF to researchers in order to improve the quality of data used in their work.