Participating Researchers

Participating Researchers

Barbara Koch

Koch, Barbara, Prof. Dr.
A1, Remote Sensing Based Methods for the Assessment of Forest Structures.

Barbara Koch studied Forest Sciences at the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich; after which, she worked as a scientific staff member at the Institute of Land Use Planning and Nature Conservation. Her main research areas were the use of multi-spectral optoelectronic airborne scanner data, for the detection of forest damage and spectral analysis of vegetation, under standardized conditions in the laboratory and field.

Over the years, Barbara Koch has considerably extended her research activity and carried out numerous research projects for remote sensing and geo-modelling in the framework of forest and landscape analysis (e.g. airborne laser-induced chlorophyll fluorescence measurement to detect the vitality of forest trees). She has also worked in the study of multi-polar metric airborne radar data in order to detect various land cover types with emphasis on the forest cover.

Barbara Koch is now the Chair for Remote Sensing and Landscape Information Systems at the University of Freiburg. In addition to the traditional fields in remote sensing, she developed and established a research and teaching program for geo-modelling at the former Faculty of Forestry Sciences in Freiburg. She currently leads the ConFoBi project A1, Remote Sensing Based Methods for the Assessment of Forest Structures.

Jürgen Bauhus

Bauhus, Jürgen, Prof. Dr.

A2, Retention of Structural Elements in Selectively Used Forests

Jürgen Bauhus is Professor of Silviculture at the Faculty of Environment and Natural Resources at Freiburg University, Germany. Jürgen studied forest sciences in Freiburg, Vienna, and Göttingen. He received his Ph.D. from Göttingen University and spent 2 years as a post-doc at the University of Québec at Montréal to work on the dynamics of mixed-species boreal forests and solutions for their sustainable management. From 1996 to 2003 he worked as lecturer and senior lecturer in silviculture and tree physiology at the Australian National University, where dynamics of mixed-species plantations and native forests were a focus of his research.

In 2003, he took up the Chair of Silviculture at Freiburg University, where he developed a research program on structure and dynamics of forests, carbon and nutrient cycles, ecological interactions in forest ecosystems as well as the adaptation of forests to global change. At Freiburg University, Jürgen established an international M.Sc. Program in Forest Sciences, the graduate school “Environment, Society and Global Change” and served as Dean of the Faculty of Forest and Environmental Sciences from 2011-2013.  He is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board on Forest Policy at the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture. In 2014 he received the IUFRO scientific achievement award as the first German forest scientist.

In ConfoBi, Jürgen supervises the subproject A2, Retention of Structural Elements in Selectively Used Forests, and serves as the deputy spokesperson. What he like most about ConfoBi is the inter- and transdisciplinary approach that is used to study the conservation of biodiversity in managed forests.

Albert Reif

Reif, Albert,  Prof. Dr.
B1, Epiphyte and Microhabitat Diversity and Function on Habitat Trees

Albert Reif studied Biology and Chemistry at the Julius-Maximilians-University in Würzburg. His Ph.D. research was Hedgerow Vegetation of Northern Bavaria which he completed at the University of Bayreuth. Albert Reif continued his academic career as a post-doc with the Forest Research Institute in Christchurch, New Zealand before returning to the University of Bayreuth for an Academic Council position with the Department of Plant Ecology. Here, he completed his habilitation on the topic of Vegetation of the Conifer-Broadleaved Hardwood Forests of South Island, New Zealand.

He received his professorship at the University of Freiburg in the fields of Vegetation Science and Site Classification in the Institute of Silviculture, and Faculty of Forestry and Environmental Sciences.  For his research in Romania, he has become an Honorary Citizen of Girda de Sus and a Doctor Honoris Causa – an honor bestowed from the University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine in Romania. Currently Albert Reif leads the ConFoBi subproject B1, Epiphyte and Microhabitat Diversity and Function on Habitat Trees.

Gärtner, Stefanie, Dr.
B1, Epiphyte and Microhabitat Diversity and Function on Habitat Trees

Michael Scherer-Lorenzen

Scherer-Lorenzen, Michael, Prof. Dr.
B2, Underlying Mechanisms of Vegetation Change and Diversity in Retention Forestry

Michael Scherer-Lorenzen teaches both B.Sc. and M.Sc. programs in Biology at the University of Freiburg. He is interested in researching the biotic control of ecological processes and how global change drivers – such as climate change, land use change, nitrogen deposition, or invasive species – are interacting with this control at various temporal and spatial scales.

Within this field, Michael Scherer-Lorenzen focuses on the functional role of biodiversity for bio-geochemical cycles. He also researches applied aspects of biotic ecological processes by quantifying the relationship between ecosystem functioning and the delivery of ecological goods and services. Michael Scherer-Lorenzen oversees the ConFoBi subproject B2, Underlying Mechanisms of Vegetation Change and Diversity in Retention Forestry.

Alex Klein

Klein, Alexandra, Prof. Dr.
B3, Diversity and Functions of Plant-Insect Interactions Along a Forest Retention Gradient

Alexandra Klein studied biology and the University of Göttingen. The title of her Ph.D. thesis was “Bees, wasps and their natural enemies in coffee agroforestry systems in Sulawesi: Pollination, Interaction and habitat evaluation”. This research highlighted that bee diversity, not abundance, was important for high fruit set. Bee diversity was found to be highly influenced by proximity to rainforests and agroforestry management practices.

After graduation, Alexandra Klein worked as a post-doc at the Agroecology group of Teja Tscharnkte where she followed up with the pollination research she started in Indonesia. She became a full professor at the University of Lüneburg for three years before moving to Freiburg to lead the Chair of Nature Conservation and Landscape Ecology.

Alexandra Klein supervises the subproject B3, Diversity and Functions of Plant-Insect Interactions Along a Forest Retention Gradient, aimed to address how forest connectivity and habitat trees affect insects and their interactions with plants. She appreciates that she continues to learn about forest ecology and management from other researchers and students. She believes ConFoBi’s strength is the involvement and collaboration of stakeholders, different research disciplines, and Reallabore.

Gernot Segelbacher

Segelbacher, Gernot, Prof. Dr.
B4, Functional Connectivity Among Saprophytic Beetles in Dead Wood Patches

Gernot Segelbacher studied biology in Tübingen, Baden-Württemberg, with a focus on behavioural ecology, botany and geology. His Ph.D. thesis then focused on non-invasive genetic sampling in capercaillie and contributed to the establishment of genetic monitoring methods. As a post-doc fellow with the Max-Planck-Institut Vogelwarte Radolfzell he investigated landscape genetic structure in capercaillie until he joined the University of Freiburg in the Wildlife Ecology and Management department in 2005.

Within ConFoBi, Gernot Segelbacher estimates genetic diversity using with saprophylic beetles as study species. He appreciates the interdisciplinary structure of the project; that researchers work outside their own research and work together on a comprehensive project in the woods.

Veronika Braunisch

Braunisch, Veronika, Dr.
B5: Landscape-moderated use of forest structures by bats

Veronika Braunisch studied Biology at the University of Freiburg, Germany, and afterwards worked as a scientific assistant in wildlife ecology at the Forest Research Institute of Baden-Württemberg, FVA. Her PhD thesis focused on the spatial ecology of an endangered grouse species and provided the basis for the Federal Capercaillie Action Plan. In 2008, Veronika started a Post-doc in Conservation Biology at the University of Bern, Switzerland. Since then divides her time between Bern and her main affiliation, FVA Freiburg, where she now leads a research group in forest ecology and conservation.

Veronikas research focus is on conservation biology and animal ecology, mainly in forest and mountain ecosystems. She is particularly interested in developing spatially explicit methods to analyse species-habitat interactions in various ways, in order to provide applicable fundamentals for conservation management. Working at two institutes in two countries offers not only the opportunity for joint cross-border projects. It also allows bridging the gap between science and practice, as research outcomes can be directly translated into conservation concepts and guided into implementation.

Veronika supervises the subproject B5, Landscape moderated use of forest structures by bats. She sees the greatest strength (and challenge) of ConFoBi in the interdisciplinary approach to tackle an important conservation question: How to integrate biodiversity conservation efficiently into forest management?

Ilse Storch

Storch, Ilse, Prof. Dr. (Spokesperson)

B6, Multi-Scale Assessment of Bird-Forest Relationships

Ilse Storch studied Biology at the universities of Aachen (RWTH) and Munich (LMU), Germany. Her Ph.D. thesis focused on the habitat relationships of a threatened grouse species, capercaillie Tetrao urogallus, in relation to forestry. The most important outcome of her research was that capercaillie use home ranges that are ten times larger than previously assumed, therefore, capercaillie conservation will fail unless the landscape scale is considered.

Ilse Storch worked as a researcher in conservation biology at the Technical University of Munich (TUM). She also worked as an international consultant and chaired the IUCN Grouse Specialist Group. She became a professor of Wildlife Ecology and Management at Freiburg University in 2004. At the time, the wildlife sciences were a “threatened discipline” in Germany; Freiburg was the only university continuing a Chair for wildlife sciences. Ilse and her team are focusing on human impacts on wildlife and aim to contribute to a scientifically sound basis for wildlife management and biodiversity conservation.

Ilse Storch is the spokesperson of ConFoBi. As such, she oversees the coordination and administration, as well as supervises the research on birds and mammals. Ilse Storch believes that ConFoBi forms close linkages among the participating researchers, triggering interdisciplinary thinking between professors and also the ConFoBi Ph.D. students. She enjoys working with a diversity of people to tackle diverse, inter- and transdisciplinary questions on forest biodiversity. According to Ilse Storch, the biggest strength of ConFoBi is the “all-measurements-on-all-plots” approach, which is also the biggest challenge. This approach ensures that there is continuous and intensive exchange among disciplines, projects, and the participants involved.

Marc Hanewinkel

Hanewinkel, Marc, Prof. Dr.

C1, Economic Valuation of Biodiversity-Oriented Forest Management Strategies.

Marc Hanewinkel studied Forest Science at the University of Freiburg and ETH Zurich and received his diploma in Forestry in Freiburg. He continued his studies in Freiburg, where he received his Ph.D., titled “”Plenterwald and Plenterwaldüberführung – planning technical model studies, silvicultural and economic aspects at the example of the growth area Schwarzwald” from the the Institute of Forest Economics.

Marc Hanewinkel’s main projects, and research priorities, focus on impacts of, and management strategies to, adapt forests to climate change. Specifically, he is involved with research on risk assessment, modeling, and evaluation of climate change impacts. He works to develop adaptive management strategies and apply modern heuristics on problems of multi-functional forest management.

He also coordinated international research projects on adaptation strategies for climate change in Europe. This included projects within the 7th Framework Program of the EU, with 20 partners from 15 EU countries, and the EU Interreg Alpine Space program. Currently Marc Hanewinkel is the chair of Forest Economics and Forest Planning and oversees the ConFoBi project C1, Economic Valuation of Biodiversity-Oriented Forest Management Strategies.

Ulrich Schraml

Schraml, Ulrich, Prof. Dr.
C2, Local Biodiversity Knowledge and Forest Conservation Practices

Ulrich Schraml studied Forest Science in Munich. He completed his Ph.D. thesis on Norms and Behaviors of Hunters, during which he developed a model to understand the socialization of hunters and corresponding conflicts between different hunter groups. After finishing his Ph.D., he became a scientific assistant with the Institute of Forest and Environmental Policy at the University of Freiburg.

Ulrich Schraml is currently an adjunct Professor at the Chair of Forest and Environmental Policy and the head of the ´Forest and Society´ department at the Forest Research Institute of Baden-Württemberg. With ConFoBi, Ulrich Schraml supervises the subproject C2, Local Biodiversity Knowledge and Forest Conservation Practices. He appreciates the close connection to relevant questions of forest enterprises, and believes the strength of ConFoBi lies with the highly engaged team of young researchers.

Winkel, Georg, PD Dr.

C2, Local Biodiversity Knowledge and Forest Conservation Practices


Pregernig, Michael, Prof. Dr.
strong>D1, Professional Epistemologies and Integration of Biodiversity-Related Knowledge into Socio-Political Decision-Making

Michael Pregernig originally studied Commerce, with a focus on environmental economics, at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration. He continued his studies in Forestry, with a focus on environmental and natural resource policy, at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna (BOKU), where he also completed his Ph.D. and became an associate professor. Before obtaining a position at the University of Freiburg, Michael Pregernig spent 12 months as a research fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in the USA.

Michael Pregernig currently holds a professorship of Sustainability Governance at the Institute of Environmental Social Sciences and Geography at the University of Freiburg; his research is at the nexus of sustainability, science and society. In conceptual and methodological terms, he draws and strives to integrate approaches from Sustainability Science and Science & Technology Studies (STS). With ConFoBi, Michael Pregernig supervises the subproject D1, Professional Epistemologies and Integration of Biodiversity-Related Knowledge into Socio-Political Decision-Making.

Carsten Dormann

Dormann, Carsten, Prof. Dr.

strong>D2, Evidence-Based Biodiversity Management of Forests

Carsten Dormann began his studies in Botany, at the University of Kiel. His Ph.D. thesis addressed the effect of climate change on high-arctic, plant-plant and plant-herbivore, interactions. During his thesis he developed a strong appreciation of statistical tools, a topic on which he has since written a textbook.  After a short post-doc on introduced plant species in Mediterranean systems, Carsten Dormann became a post-doc, and then group leader, on “biotic ecosystem services” at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research-UFZ in Leipzig. Together with colleagues at the University of Göttingen, he investigated the roles of pollination and biocontrols as ecosystem services. This work also featured a strong statistical/modeling component, which eventually earned him a professorship at the University of Freiburg.

Carsten Dormann works with ConFoBi to study whether scientific knowledge, from temperate forests around the world, translates to the Black Forest. He believes there are at least three perspectives on the diversity in managed forests: on-the-ground measured biodiversity of important taxa; literature review; and local knowledge from forest owners and managers. He thinks ConFoBi can work to answer many questions, such as: Do these perspectives agree on management strategies and priorities? Where are the conflicts? Where are the synergies between conservation and timber production?

Carsten Dormann sees ConFoBi as having two biggest strengths; the multi-disciplinary composition of the research team and the fact that all projects work on the same plots, meaning that data can be integrated much more readily — and statistically. It takes a large, well-concerted action to understand the various facets, even of this comparatively simple and well-studied system: that’s what ConFoBi provides!