Welcome to Horticultural Production and Research

by Eike Luedeling

This is a module offered to students of the MSc programs of Crop Science and Agricultural Sciences and Resource Management in the Tropics and Subtropics (ARTS) at the University of Bonn.

Let me quickly introduce myself. My name is Eike Luedeling, and I lead the Horticultural Sciences group in the Institute of Crop Science and Resource Conservation (INRES). In bringing this module to you, I’m supported by a strong team:

The materials assembled on this website support the lecture on Horticultural Production and Research in the Winter Semester of 2023/2024. The current plan is to offer these lectures ‘in presence’, i.e. we’ll all meet in the lecture hall Auf dem Hügel 6 in Bonn-Endenich.

The lecture times are Wednesdays 08:30-10:00 and Thursdays 12:15-13:45 between 11th October 2023 and 1st February 2024.

Module content

Horticulture is a very broad topic that we can’t cover comprehensively in a single module. Besides, being the MSc students that you are, you’re entitled to a certain level of depth, which we wouldn’t be able to reach if we tried covering everything. So we decided to concentrate on a few topics that we thought you’ll find interesting. This is a mixture of impressions about particular production systems and current topics that are at the forefront of horticultural research and/or public debate.

Inverted classroom

We’re going to try something new in this class - an inverted classroom format. This basically means that we’re not just going to be talking at you when we’re all in class. Instead, we’ll try to facilitate your learning by engaging in a participatory process that will require you to actually do stuff, rather than just listening to what we have to say. The format of this active session will vary across the different topic, so that this doesn’t get boring.

During our participatory sessions, we want you to consolidate what you’ve learned - which of course requires that you’ve already learned something. Much of the subject-matter content will therefore be presented to you in digital format, to be studied before class. We’ll provide some guiding questions to help you with your studies.

We’ll also have sessions where we discuss the content of scientific publications. So each week, you’ll be given a reading assignment, which we’ll then talk about in class. You will be facilitating these discussions yourselves, so you may want to think of some leading questions to guide the conversations.


You’ll receive most information related to the class via this website.

We also invite you to join the Slack workspace for this module. Slack is a platform that facilitates collaboration within teams or organizations that we’ve found very effective for organizing class contents. The invitation to Slack is on eCampus (you’ll need your Uni-ID to log in). Please sign up with your university email address. We’ll share announcements through Slack, and we also encourage you to organize your group work via this platform. You’ll get a brief introduction into Slack in our first session.


There’s no exam in this module, but you’ll be required to deliver a few other things:

  • Write and submit short synopses of what you learned in each of the interactive sessions (10%).
  • Write and submit succinct answers to the practice questions (10%).
  • Lead at least two paper discussion sessions and participate actively in discussions led by others (20%).
  • Prepare a term paper on one of the lecture topics (40%).
  • Present the content of your term paper to your peers towards the end of the paper (20%).

You’re also expected to come to class prepared and participate actively in the interactive sessions and paper discussions.

Lecture topics

In each of the 15 weeks of the semester, we’ll cover one topic. After week 1, we’ll have our interactive session every Wednesday (08:30-10:00). On Thursdays, we’ll split into smaller groups to discuss the papers you’ll have read. We’re estimating that this will take us about an hour. The remainder of the time can be (and should be) spent working on and talking about the term papers. We may have some more inputs on academic writing, but this is mainly your chance to get our advice - make sure to use this opportunity!

Here’s a tentative schedule for this module (some details may still change):

The contents and instructions will be added to this website in the course of the semester.

In addition to the lectures, we’re preparing some instruction materials on Scientific writing, which we’ll make available here too.