University of Goettingen
I have been fascinated by the continent-scale land abandonment that followed the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991. I have focused on land abandonment effects on biodiversity (plants, birds, butterflies and small mammals) and carbon stocks across the Eurasian steppes, a hotspot of land abandonment, for the past 15 years. Apart from extensive fieldwork, I have been involved in remote sensing work and socio-economic surveys with a number of collaborators. I currently work on the following topics, focusing mostly on Kazakhstan and Russia:
- land abandonment, landscape connectivity, protected areas and re-wilding
- biodiversity responses to increased fire frequency triggered by pasture abandonment over very large scales
- societal and economic drivers of land abandonment.