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Prof. Dr. Anja Linstädter

Head Of The Working Group

Prof. Anja Linstädter
Photo: L. Raatz


University of Potsdam
Biodiversity Research /Systematic Botany
Maulbeerallee 1. R. 2.02
14469 Potsdam

phone:  0049 (0)331/ 977-1920

Fax: 0049 (0)331/ 977-7920





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Prof. Anja Linstädter
Photo: L. Raatz


Research Interests


1. Functioning of grazed ecosystems under global environmental change

  • Plant functional diversity and its role for ecosystem functioning  
  • Carbon storage and release processes
  • Land-use mediated changes in soil and vegetation – indicators and feedbacks

2. Management options for grazed ecosystems

  • Synthesizing local and scientific knowledge for ecosystem-based management
  • Relationships between multiple ecosystem services
  • Resilience of social-ecological systems to global environmental change


Regional Research Foci

  • Sub-Saharan Africa (grasslands & savannas)
  • Mediterranean ecosystems (shrublands & woodlands)
  • Middle Europe (grasslands & heathlands)


Major Research Projects

Since 2013

Principal Investigator, Cooperative Project ”Limpopo Living Landscapes – understanding the dynamics of ecological and cultural landscapes, in the face of global change, in the northern Limpopo region of South Africa”, Subproject 4, “Livelihoods and farming systems”, University of Cologne. Funded by BMBF

Since 2011

Senior Scientist, WASCAL (West African Science Service Center on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use), Work Package 2.2 “Rangeland monitoring for land use management and adaptation”, University of Bonn. Funded by BMBF


Senior Scientist, Research Group "Resilience, Collapse and Reorganisation in Social-Ecological Systems of East- and South Africa's Savannas" (FOR 1501, Universities of Bonn & Cologne), subproject A3 “Vulnerability and resilience of rangeland vegetation as affected by livestock management, soils and climate”. Funded by DFG


Research Associate, Interdisciplinary Collaborative Research Centre 586 (University of Leipzig): "Difference & Integration", sub-project E 10: "Sustainability of (post-) nomadic resource utilization under global change - conceptual understanding through ecological-economic modelling". Funded by DFG


Senior Scientist, interdisciplinary project IMPETUS (Universities of Bonn & Cologne). Leader of problem clusters
- Impact of land use change and climate change on the resilience of vegetation in southern Morocco
- Water- and land use between the conflicting priorities of traditional decision making processes and governmental institutions. Funded by BMBF


Principal Investigator, VW Junior Research Group "Range management and sustainability – economic and ecological success of different forms of land use in northern Namibia" (University of Cologne). Funded by the Volkswagen Foundation


Principal Investigator, "Ecology of a Mopane savanna in northern Namibia under pastoral-nomadic land use" (University of Cologne). Funded by the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UfZ


Research Associate, Interdisciplinary Collaborative Research Centre ACACIA, SFB 389 (University of Cologne). Funded by DFG




Curriculum Vitae

Academic Education



DSc (habilitation): “Responses of dryland vegetation to Global Change and implications for rangeland management” (University of Cologne, Botanical Institute)


PhD student, University of Cologne, Botanical Institute. Thesis title “Weideökologie des Kaokolandes. Struktur und Dynamik einer Mopane-Savanne unter pastoralnomadischer Nutzung“ (Range ecology of the Kaokoland – structure and dynamics of a Mopane savanna under pastoral-nomadic land use). [Download]


Visiting PhD student at the Department of Botany, University of Cambridge (Great Britain)


MSc (Diploma) in Biology, University of Hamburg. Thesis title "Vegetation of the Succulent Karoo (South Africa) along a large-scale climatic gradient"


Professional Affiliations

Since 2017

Referee for the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

Since 2017

Member of the Editorial Board – BioScience

Since 2016

Steering committee member – network project BIODESERT

Since 2016

Responsible scientist for managed ecosystems in Drought-Net

Since 2015

Member of the Editorial Board – Pastoralism

Since 2015

Referee for the DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft)

Since 2014

Member of AcademiaNet – Expert Database of Outstanding Female Scientists

Since 2014

Project partner, Global Change Experimental Facility, Bad Lauchstädt


Referee for Volkswagen Foundation; "Knowledge for Tomorrow – Cooperative Research Projects in Sub-Saharan Africa"



Please see  publication list of my lab  for peer-reviewed articles.