Penner, Johannes, Dr. (Scientific Coordinator)
Dr. Penner studied Biology at the universities of Tübingen, Edinburgh and Würzburg with an emphasis on Animal Ecology and Tropical Biology. He minored in Sociobiology and Behavioral Physiology and Genetics; he also studied Botany, rounding out his academics and giving him exceptional tools for his role as coordination director of ConFoBi.
Johannes Penner’s Master’s thesis revolved around the patterns of reptile communities in the Kirindy dry forest in Western Madagascar. Following this, his Ph.D. thesis focused on amphibian macro-ecology and the identification of amphibian diversity hot spots in West Africa. The most important aspect of his Ph.D. thesis, which he continues to utilize in his research, is how unique Western Africa’s zoo-geographic region for amphibians is; it is not a subset of Central Africa and rivers play important roles as barriers.
After his Master’s degree, he worked as a researcher in Namibia for BIOTA South (Africa). He continued as a researcher and administrative coordinator of a biodiversity project at the University of Würzburg, in conjunction with the Natural History Museum in Berlin for BIOTA West (Africa). Afterwards he became a freelance consultant for Environmental Impact Assessments in West Africa. This led him to a job working for the EU BON biodiversity project in Europe at the Natural History Museum in Berlin.
Johannes Penner is happy to be at the University of Freiburg because he believes the ConFoBi project and researchers have great potential for linking different disciplines and working to promote biodiversity as an interdisiplanarity team. He is honored to be part of the team building something so exciting.
Theresa studied economics with emphasis on administrative science and environmental economics.
Her master’s thesis revolved around climate change and emission allowance trading. After her master degree, she worked for a EU-funded environmental organization. She continued working in project management at a Leibniz Institute, where she managed EU funds. At ConFoBi, Theresa wants to use her managerial knowledge to assist a project that helps promote and protect biodiversity.