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Dr. Katharina Stein

Dr. Katharina Stein (standing in front of a building)
Photo: Dr. Katharina Stein


University of Potsdam
Biodiversity Research/Systematic Botany
Maulbeerallee 1, R. 2.08
14469 Potsdam

Phone: 0049(0)331977- 190612

E-Mail: katharina.steinuni-potsdamde




Dr. Katharina Stein (standing in front of a building)
Photo: Dr. Katharina Stein

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Research Interests

  • Plant-pollinator interactions/ plant reproductive biology
  • biodiversity assessment and valuation of ecosystem services
  • nature conservation and natural resource management
  • bee pollination, crop production and human livelihood
  • functioning of tropical ecosystems (sub-Saharan Africa, South America)
  • socio-ecological systems under global change


I am a plant ecologist interested in pollination ecology and plant reproductive biology. I studied plant-pollinator interactions in the Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest during my PhD. Since 2013 I carry out field research in sub-Saharan Africa. I concentrate on pollination by bees of important cash crops and of natural savanna vegetation. Furthermore, I am interested in the impact of land use change on bee communities and hence potential effects on the provisioning of pollination services. Furthermore, I am intested in the ecology of savanna plants (vegetation dynamics, reproduction, plant diversity) for ecosystem service delivery such as carbon storage, soil erosion prevention, soil improvement and their cultural value as food or medicinal plants for the local population (special focus on neglected and underutilzed species or overharvested species with lack of natural regeneration and their future distributions due to intensified land use and climate change).




Education / Academic Education

2017 – ongoing                      habilitation candidate


2009 – 2013                             PhD-student, Martin-Luther-University Halle/Saale. Thesis title: ”The reproductive ecology and genetic diversity

                                                     of understorey herbs in the Atlantic Rain Forest of Brazil”


2008                                           MSc (Diploma) in Biology, University of Leipzig. Thesis title: ”The influence of environmental gradients

                                                     on the population structure and vigor of Nematanthuscrassifolius, Besleria melancholica

                                                     and Stenostephanus lobeliaeformis in a tropical montane rain forest”


Professional affiliations


Since 2021                              Member of IUCN Wild bee expert group on Best Practice and Policy


2020-04/2023                        Scientific associate at CIPSEM (Centre for International Postgraduate Studies of Environmental Management),

                                                    Technical University of Dresden; developing and conducting UNEP/UNESCO/BMUV courses in presence and online for

                                                    experts from the Global South


2018 – 2020                             maternal leave


2017- 2018                               Curator of the Botanical Garden, University of Rostock (sick leave cover)


2012 – 2017                           Scientific associate at the University of Würzburg, member of the BMBF-Project WASCAL (West African Science Service Center

                                                   on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use); field research in West Africa (pollination ecology, ecosystem services,

                                                   land use change, biodiversity assessments)


Since 2013                             Referee of the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes (selection of scholarship holders)







(i)    Publications (peer-review articles in international journals)

Alejandre, E. M., Scherer, L., Guinée, J. B., Aizen, M. A., Albrecht, M., Balzan, M. V.,  Bartomeus, I., Bevk, D., Burkle, L. A., Clough, Y., Cole, L. J., Delphia, C. M., V. Dicks, L., Garratt, M. P. D., Kleijn,D., Kovács-Hostyánszki, A., Mandelik, Y., Paxton, R. J., Petanidou, T., Potts, S., Sárospataki, M., Schulp, C. J. E., Stavrinides, M., Stein, K., Stout, J. C., Szentgyörgyi, H.,Varnava, A. I., Woodcock, B. A., and P. M. van Bodegom 2023. Characterization Factors to Assess Land Use Impacts on Pollinator Abundance in Life Cycle Assessment. Environmental Science & Technology, DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.2c05311

Suárez, N. F., Latini, A. O., Rufini, J. C. M., Reis, L. A. C., Silva, D. P., Abreu, R. A. A and K. Stein 2022. Unusual pollinator attractants increase the fructification rate on West Indian Cherry Trees. Journal of Applied Entomology, 00, 1–7. DOI: 10.1111/jen.12964

Stein, K., Coulibaly, D., BalimaL., H., Goetze, D., LinsenmairK. E., Porembski, S., StenchlyK. and P. Theodorou2021. Plant-pollinator networks in savannas of Burkina Faso, West Africa. Diversity 13(1):1. DOI: 10.3390/d13010001 

Coulibaly, D., Tuo, Y., Koné, M., Balima, L., H., Konaté, S., Linsenmair, K.,E., Porembski, S., Goetze, D. and K. Stein 2020. Savanna woody plants and their provision of food resources to bees in southern Burkina Faso, West Africa. Journal of Forest and Landscape Research 5:14-23. DOI: 10.13141/jflr.v5i1.2436

Dimobe, K., Ouédraogo, A., Ouédraogo, K., Goetze, D., Stein, K., Schmidt, M., Nacoulma, B., M., I., Gnoumou, A., Traoré, L., Porembski, S. and A. Thiombiano 2020. Climate change reduces the distribution area of the shea tree (Vitellaria paradoxa C.F. Gaertn.) in Burkina Faso. Journal of Arid Environments 181, 104237. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaridenv.2020.104237

Stenchly, K., Hansen, M. V., Stein, K., Buerkert, A. and W. Loewenstein 2018. Income Vulnerability of West African Farming Households to Losses in Pollination Services: A Case Study from Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Sustainability 10(11), 4253. DOI:10.3390/su10114253

Stein, K., Stenchly, K., Coulibaly, D., Steffan-Dewenter, I., D., Pauly, A., Goetze, D., Porembski, S., Konaté, S., and K. E. Linsenmair 2018. Impact of human disturbance on bee pollinator communities in savanna and agricultural sites in Burkina Faso, West Africa. Ecology and Evolution 00:1-12. DOI:10.1002/ece3.4197

Stein, K., Coulibaly, D., Stenchly, K., Goetze, D., Porembski, S., Lindner A., Konaté, S., and K. E. Linsenmair 2017. Bee pollination increases yield quantity and quality of cash crops in Burkina Faso, West Africa. Scientific Reports, 7:17691. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-17970-2

Krieg, J., Goetze, D., Porembski, S., Arnold, P., Linsenmair, K. E., and K. Stein 2017. Floral and reproductive biology of Moringa oleifera (Moringaceae) in Burkina Faso, West Africa.  Acta Horticulturae. DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2017.1158.8

Qasim, M., Porembski, S., Stein, K. and A. Lindner 2016. Rapid Assessment of Key Structural Elements of Different Vegetation Types of West African Savannas in Burkina Faso. Journal of Landscape Ecology 9(1): 36–48. DOI: 10.1515/jlecol-2016-0003

Qasim, M., Porembski, S., Sattler, D., Stein, K., Thiombiano, A. and A. Lindner 2016. Vegetation structure and carbon stocks of two protected areas within the South-Sudanian savannas of Burkina Faso. Environments 3(25). DOI: 10.3390/environments3040025

Stein, K., Rosche, C., Hirsch, H., Kindermann, A., Köhler, J. and I. Hensen 2014. The influence of forest fragmentation on clonal diversity and genetic structure in Heliconia angusta, an endemic understorey herb of the Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest. Journal of Tropical Ecology, 30(3): 199-208. DOI: 10.1017/S0266467414000030

Rinawati, F., Stein, K. and A. Lindner 2013. Climate change impacts on biodiversity – The setting of a lingering global crisis. Diversity, 5(1): 114-123. DOI: 10.3390/d5010114

Stein, K. and I. Hensen 2013. The reproductive biology of two understory plants in the Atlantic Rainforest, Brazil. Ecological Research, 28(4): 593-602. DOI: 10.1007/s11284-013-1050-0

Stein, K., Templin, M., Hensen, I., Fischer, M., Matthies, D. and M. Schleuning 2013. Negative effects of conspecific floral density on fruit set of two neotropical understory plants. Biotropica, 45(3): 325-332. DOI: 10.1111/btp.12011

Stein, K. and I. Hensen 2011. Potential pollinators and robbers: a study of the floral visitors of Heliconia angusta (Heliconiaceae) and their behaviour. Journal of Pollination Ecology 4(6): 39-47.

Lindner, A., Stein, K. and M. Freiberg 2010. Abundance and vigor of three selected understorey species along environmental gradients in south-eastern Brazil. Ecotropica 16(2): 101-112.


(ii)  Publications in preparation

Pak Nok Toby Tsang et al. (+152) 2023. Land-use change reduces alpha and beta diversity of bees (submission to PNAS in April 2023)

Stein, K., Coulibaly, Olagoke, A., Steffan-Dewenter, I., Konaté, S., Porembski S. and K. E. Linsenmair. Habitat requirements of West-African wild bee pollinator species. (in prep.)


(iii) Other Publications, public outreach

Mini-lecture und podcast at Botanical Garden,  TU Dresden (August 2021):


Webinars (September/October 2021)


Invitation to Poster presentation at “6. Nationales IPBES-Forum” (Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services), 21. – 22. February 2018, Bonn


Press release of University of Rostock: (31.01.2018)


Press release in Nefo-Newsletter (Netzwerk-Forum für Biodiversitätsforschung): (Februar 2018)


Article in Rostock local newspaper „Norddeutsche Neueste Nachrichten“:    vor-bienensterben-id19004501.html (06.02.2018)