Christina Benighaus

Dipl. Geogr., certified mediator and facilitator
Christina Benighaus

Research associate and project leader


+49 170 2404 244
cbenighaus [at]

Completed projects (selection)

  • INFACT - Innovative, Non-Invasive and Fully Acceptable Exploration Technologies
  • TA-SWISS Deep Geothermal Energy - Energy from the earth's interior: Deep geothermal energy as the energy source of the future?
  • IRGC Chemical regulation: Chemical regulation in the United States, chemical regulation in Europe
  • NOMIRACLE - Novel Methods for Integrated Risk Assessment of Cumulative Stressors in Europe
  • OSIRIS - Optimized Strategies for Risk Assessment of Industrial Chemicals through Integration of Non-test and Test-Information
  • Energy Concept: public participation of the cities Ludwigsburg und Rottenburg am Neckar
  • Risk and Hazard: Different perspectives of risk communication actors
  • INPROFOOD - Towards inclusive research programming for sustainable food innovations
  • Risk Network
  • Personal emergency planning in Germany: Emergency suitcase at hand?
  • BMZ- project - Online Discourse Genetically Modified Organism in Developing Countries

Professional focus

  • Facilitation and mediation of public participation and stakeholder processes
  • Planning of alternative conflict resolution and stakeholder engagement
  • Management and communication of risks of different themes (chemicals, geothermal, energy, nutrition, mining, environment, radioactivity)
  • Development of dialogue and communication structures

Professional experience and qualifications

  • 2021-present Office KIT Centre for Humans and Technology, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
  • 2020-present Senior researcher, Research group Sustainable Bioeconomy, KIT-ITAS Germany
  • 2016 und 2017 Visiting researcher at the Geothermal Institute, Faculty of Engineering, University of Auckland, NZ
  • 2012-2016 PhD student and scholarship holder Alliance ENERGY-TRANS of the Helmholtz Association, ZIRIUS, University of Stuttgart, PhD thesis on the acceptance of deep geothermal energy (
  • 2011 Online Course at the University of Maastricht University "Risk Governance"
  • 2009-2016 Senior researcher at the Department of Technological and Environmental Sociology at the University of Stuttgart
  • 2007-2012 Baden-Württemberg Certificate of the University of Stuttgart in Didactics and Teaching
  • 2007-2009 Lecturer at the University of Stuttgart
  • 2007 Lecturer at University of Tübingen
  • Since 2004 Senior researcher and project leader at DIALOGIK gGmbH,  from Jan 2007 to Jan 2021 head of section Communication
  • 2004-2005 Senior researcher at the Department of Technological and Environmental Sociology at the University of Stuttgart
  • 2002-2004 Certified vocational training in person-centered counceling
  • 2002-2003 Senior researcher at the Center of Technology Assessment in Baden-Württemberg, discourse unit
  • 2001-2004 Certified vocational training in mediation at the Heidelberg Institute for Mediation and the University of Heidelberg
  • 1999-2002 Consultant at the Institute for Organizational Communication GmbH (IFOK)
  • 1999 training in facilitation
  • 1998-1999 Research associate at the TU Chemnitz, Department of Social and Economic Geography
  • 1997 Research associate at the University of Halle / Saale
  • Since 1997 Consultant for negotiation, mediation procedures and development of communication and cooperation structures
  • 1997 Diploma in Geography, Meteorology, Soil Science and Chemistry at the University of Bonn 1997

Selected publications

  • Benighaus, C., Bleicher, A. (2019). Neither risky technology nor renewable electricity: Contested frames in the development of geothermal energy in Germany. Energy Research and Social Science. Elsevier Ltd. Vol 47, pp 46-55.
  • Meller, C., Schill, E., Bremer, J., Kolditz, O., Bleicher, A., Benighaus, C., Chavot, P., Gross M., Pellizzone, A., Renn, O., Schilling, F., Kohl, T. (2017). Acceptability of geothermal installations. A geoethical concept for GeoLaB, Geothermic (2017 online).
  • Benighaus, C., Wachinger, G., Renn, O. (2016). Bürgerbeteiligung Konzepte und Lösungswege für die Praxis, Frankfurt a. Main: Metzner, 2016.
  • Schweizer, P. J., Renn, O., Köck, W., Bovet, J., Benighaus, C., Scheel, O., Schröter R. (2014). Public participation for infrastructure planning in the context of the German “Energiewende”, Utilities Policy (2014),
  • Renn, O., Benighaus, C. (2012). Perception of technological risk: insights from research and lessons for risk communication and management. Journal of Risk Research 6 Nov. 2012.