Franz works at the Countryside and Community Research Institute, UK, in a project on Flood memories and community resilience. He is also an Honorary Research Fellow at the Department of Anthropology, University of Aberdeen, UK. In 2010, he was awarded a PhD for his research on uses and meanings of the Kemi River in Finnish Lapland, and the mutual influences of river dwellers and river. His previous degrees include a MSc in Environment and Development from the Institute for Development Policy and Management, University of Manchester, UK, and a MA in Social and Cultural Anthropology from the Free University of Berlin, Germany.
Franz' approach to Environmental Management has been influenced by water-related issues of international development, and he has conducted empirical research on desertification in Mali, and on communal irrigation systems in the Philippines. In his doctoral research project, he investigated human images and utilisations of a river, looked at resulting conflicts, and probed into the understandings of environmental phenomena that are shaped by experiences with the river.
Currently, Franz is part of an interdisciplinary research project that looks at the relations between memories of past floods and resilience to future floods. The empirical focus of the project is on the lower River Severn in Gloucestershire, UK. Regular updates on project development and preliminary findings can be found on the project blog and the project's facebook page.