Current Group Members

The members of our research group have diverse backgrounds, research subjects and expertise but are working for one common goal: finding ways for a better and sustainable coexistence of humans and wildlife  

Hannes J. König (Lab head)

I'm a scientist at the Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) since 2007, and lab head of the interdisciplinary jr. research group “Human-Wildlife Conflicts & Coexistence in Agricultural Landscapes”. My focus lies on integrated assessments to explore and analyze policy and land use change impacts on human-wildlife interactions. Having a background in forestry and agricultural sciences, my vision is to bridge the gap between different land users, science and policy makers and to use scientific findings to support sound decision making for a sustainable development. I am associated editor for Conservation Biology, Conservation Science & Practice, Ecosystem Services, & Frontiers in Agroecology & Ecosystem Services.

 

E-mail: hannes.koenig@zalf.de  

Twitter: hannesjkoenig

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​Education:

PhD. Environmental Sciences; Potsdam University, Germany

M.Sc. International Agricultural Sciences; Göttingen University

Diploma in Forestry & Environmental Management, Göttingen University for Applied Science

Christian Kiffner, Postdoctoral Researcher

I am a scientist at the Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) since 2020. My research focus is on wildlife conservation and human-wildlife interactions in coupled social-ecological systems. In the past, I mostly studied how human activities affect the distribution and population dynamics of ungulates and large carnivores; currently I’m trying to better integrate the interactions and feedbacks between human and ecological systems. My geographic foci are Tanzania (where I worked during the last decade) and Central Europe.  I have been guest editor of special sections in Conservation Biology and Conservation Science and Practice and am handling editor of Oecologia.

 

​E-mail: Christian.Kiffner@zalf.de

Twitter: @CKiffner

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​Education:

PhD. Forestry Sciences; Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

M.Sc. Tropical and International Forestry; Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

B.Sc. Forestry Science and Forest Ecology; Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

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Karoline Hemminger, PhD Candidate

(Humboldt-Universität Berlin)

My motivation is to contribute to a better understanding of the complexity of wildlife-agriculture interactions. In my dissertation, I study common cranes (Grus grus), a species that extensively uses agricultural areas as foraging ground. In my case study areas, the UNESCO Biosphere Reserves Kristianstad Vattenrike, Sweden and Schaalsee, Germany, foraging by cranes has led to incidences of crop damage and different prevention measures are used. I conducted semi-structured interviews with farmers in both regions to analyse the reciprocal effect of perceived damages and farmers` attitudes towards wildlife. Moreover I want to use GPS-based location data to analyse foraging patterns of cranes in relation to cultivated crops. My results will provide a basis for policy and practice measures that integrate both agricultural and conservation objectives.

E-mail:karoline.hemminger@zalf.de

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Education:

M.Sc. Sustainable International Agriculture; University of Göttingen and University of Kassel

B.Sc. Agricultural Sciences; Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Emu-Felicitas Ostermann-Miyashita, PhD Candidate
(Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

My research interest is to explore the possibilities of citizen science (CS) in the monitoring and management of wildlife. The target species of my dissertation are wolf (Canis lupus), European bison (Bison bonasus), and moose (Alces alces), which are in the process of recolonizing an agricultural landscape (Brandenburg, Germany) after a significant period of absence. I am working on a CS framework which implements several methods such as the smartphone application iMammalia, to involve different participant groups in the study and analyse their interests, motivations and preferences to find possible measures for a better human-wildlife coexistence.

E-mail: Emu-Felicitas.Ostermann@zalf.de

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Education:

M. Sc.  Environmental Toxicology; Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology

B. Sc.  Environment and Resource Studies; Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology

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Nimisha Srivastava, PhD Candidate

(Martin Luther University, Halle)

Coming from India, a country known for its rich biodiversity and high human population, achieving coexistence between human and wildlife became an abiding dream. With around three years of research experience in different parts of the country, I could gain better understanding on human and wildlife interactions. Through my PhD project at ZALF, I aim to conduct a comparative study on the human-wildlife co-management strategies between India and Germany and determine best-practices that are applicable. I will use a transdisciplinary approach to merge wildlife ecology, governance, and ecosystem (dis)services subsystem by analysing existing integrated assessment frameworks. This will subsequently be used to develop land-use plans and policies that can promote sustainable coexistence in shared landscapes. My study species will be tigers (Panthera tigris tigris) in the Central Indian Landscape and wolves (Canis lupus lupus) in the Brandenburg state of Germany.

 

E-mail: nimisha.mammals@gmail.com

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Education:

M.Sc. Wildlife Science, Saurashtra University, India

B.Sc. Life Science, University of Delhi, India

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Sophia Hibler, Master´s Student

(University of Potsdam)

For my master thesis, I will adapt and apply a set of stakeholder analysis, participation, and impact assessment methods to develop a sustainable management approach for two large herbivore species in Germany: The European bison (Bison bonasus) and moose (Alces alces) which are on the verge of recolonizing parts of the country. The early involvement of stakeholders will support transboundary wildlife management by exploring adequate management options and identifying potential areas of conflict. The focus of this study is to adaption the Framework for Participatory Impact Assessment (FoPIA) to online formats. The results will greatly contribute to addressing human-wildlife conflicts in pandemic times and beyond, especially for large-scale or multinational wildlife management efforts where face to face meetings is a challenge due to large time and resource expenses.

The master thesis is closely linked to the The EU InterReg project LosBonasus- Crossing!.

 

E-mail: hibler@uni-potsdam.de

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Education:

B. Sc. Landscape architecture and environmental planning; Technical University Berlin

Luca Eufemia, Postdoctoral Researcher (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

I am a postdoctoral researcher and a lecturer at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. My academic work has deeply been involved with the relations between natural resource use and management, conflicts, food systems, value chains and sustainability, as well as environmental policy and governance frameworks at multiple scales. I investigate the timeliest methodology, theory, and research in the field of comparative socio-political and economic settings, especially in rural contexts and natural resource dependent systems.

E-mail: luca.eufemia@zalf.de 

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Education:

PhD. Agricultural Sciences; Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

M.Sc. Migration; Queen Mary, University of London

M.Sc. International Conflict; Kingston University of London

Ba. Political Science and International Relations; Catholic University of Milan

Former team members 

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Henrik Reinke, PhD Candidate

In my project part I investigate activity patterns of wild boar (Sus scrofa) in the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve (BR) Schaalsee in northern Germany. Not only in Germany, but almost globally wild boar numbers are continuously increasing for various decades. This development poses a challenge for both agriculture and nature conservation because conflicts linked to crop and grassland damage, traffic collisions, and disease transmission arise in parallel. In BRs this problem becomes even more special as it is one of the main goals to connect sustainable agriculture and conservation. Based on data from an extensive camera trap study I investigate how wild boar activity differs seasonally in dependence of different landscape types and the zonal structure with different protection status which is characteristic for BRs. This information will support the development of management solutions that could help mitigating the conflict.

E-mail: Henrik.reinke@zalf.de

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Education:

M.Sc. Conservation and Forest Ecology, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

B.Sc. Biology of Organisms, Universität Osnabrück

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