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PD Dr. Niels Blaum

Photo: IBB


University of Potsdam
Plant Ecology and Nature Conservation
Am Mühlenberg 3
14476 Potsdam (Golm)
Tel.: +49 331 977 1959
E-Mail: blaumuni-potsdamde

Building 60, 3rd floor, Office 3.17



  • 1991 – 1993 Biology, University of Frankfurt/ Main
  • 1993 – 1994 Animal physiology, University of Nice, France
  • 1994 – 1998 Zoology, Botany, Environmental Law, University of Frankfurt/ Main
  • 1998 – 1999 MSc thesis (German Diploma) in the Zoos Frankfurt/ Main and Antwerp, Belgium
  • 2000 Organization of research cooperation between Opel Zoo Kronberg, University of Frankfurt/ Main and Queen Elizabeth NP, Uganda (Pilotstudy activity patterns of warthogs and field trip to Uganda)
  • 2001 – 2004 PhD University of Bonn, University of Potsdam and University of Frankfurt/ Main
  • 2006 Professional training as Online Tutor for E-learning Management, University of Potsdam
  • 2012 Habilitation and venia legendi in Animal Ecology and Biodiversity Research, University of Potsdam

Current employment

Since 2004 PostDoc in the research group Plant Ecology and Nature Conservation

Research interests

  • Dryland ecology
  • Biodiversity research
  • Movement ecology



Mayer M, Ullmann W, Fischer C & Blaum N & Sunde P (in press). Seasonal effects of habitat structure and weather on the habitat selection and home range size of a mammal in agricultural landscapes. Landscape Ecology: doi.org/10.1007/s10980-019-00878-9.

Scherer C, Radchuk V Staubach C, Mueller S, Blaum N, Thulke HH & Kramer-Schadt S (in press). Seasonal host life-history processes fuel disease dynamics at different spatial scales. Journal of Animal Ecology: doi.org/10.1111/1365-2656.13070.

Geissler K, Hahn C, Joubert D & Blaum N (in press). Functional responses of the herbaceous plant community explain ecohydrological impacts of savanna shrub encroachment. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 39: doi.org/10.1016/j.ppees.2019.125458

Noonan MJ, Tucker MA, Fleming CH, Akre T, Alberts SC, Ali AH, Altmann J, Antunes PC, Belant JL, Berens D, Beyer D, Blaum N, Böhning-Gaese K, Cullen Jr L, de Paula CH, Dekker J, Drescher-Lehman J, Farwig N, Fichtel C, Fischer C, Ford A, Goheen JR, Janssen R, Jeltsch F, Kauman M, Kappeler P, Koch F, LaPoint S, Markham AC, Medici EP, Morato RG, Nathan R, Gustavo L Oliveira-Santos R, Olson KR, Patterson BD, Paviolo A, Ramalho EE, Roesner S, Selva N, Sergiel A, Silva MC, Spiegel O, Thompson P, Ullmann W, Zieba F, Zwijacz-Kozica T, Fagan WF, Mueller T, Calabrese JM (2019). A comprehensive analysis of autocorrelation and bias in home range estimation. Ecological Monographs 89: e01344.

Hering R, Hauptfleisch M, Geißler K, Marquart A, Schoenen M & Blaum N (2019). Shrub encroachment is not always land degradation: Insights from ground dwelling beetle species niches along a shrub cover gradient in a semi-arid Namibian savanna. Land Degradation and Development 30: 14-27.

Reinhard J, Geissler K & Blaum N (2019). Short-term responses of darkling beetles (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) to the effects of fire and grazing in savannah rangeland. Insect Conservation and Diversity 12: 39-48.

Mayer M, Ullmann W, Sunde P, Fischer C. & Blaum N (2018). Habitat selection by the European hare in arable landscapes: The importance of small-scale habitat structure for conservation. Ecology and Evolution 23:11619-11633.

Ullmann W, Fischer C, Pirhofer-Walzl K, Kramer-Schadt S & Blaum N (2018). Spatiotemporal variability in resources affects herbivore home range formation in structurally contrasting and unpredictable agricultural landscapes. Landscape Ecology 33: 1505-1517.

Stanton R Jr, Boone WW IV, Soto-Shoender J, Fletcher RJ Jr, Blaum N & McCleery RM (2018). Shrub encroachment and vertebrate diversity: a global meta-analysis. Global Ecology and Biogeography 27: 368-379.

Synodinos AD, Eldridge D, Geißler K, Jeltsch F, Lohmann D, Midgley G & Blaum N (2018). Remotely sensed canopy height reveals three pantropical ecosystem states: comment. Ecology 99: 231-234.

Tabares X, Mapani B, Blaum N & Herzschuh U (2018). Composition and diversity of vegetation and pollen spectra along gradients of grazing intensity and precipitation in southern Africa. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 253: 88-100.

Tucker M, et al., Blaum N, et al. & Mueller T (2018). Moving in the Anthropocene: Global reductions in terrestrial mammalian movements. Science 359: 466-469.

Hauptfleisch ML, Vinte MP & Blaum N (2017). A comparison of the community dynamics of bioturbating small mammals between livestock and wildlife farming areas in the Kalahari, Namibia. Namibian Journal of Environment 1: 34-39.

Shikangalah RN, Mueller EN, Jeltsch F & Blaum N (2017). Quantification of areal extent of soil erosion in dryland urban areas: an example from Windhoek, Namibia. Cities and the Environment (CATE) 10: Article 8.

Shikangalah RN, Jeltsch F, Blaum N & Mueller EN (2016). A review on urban soil water erosion. Journal for studies in humanities and social sciences 5: 163-178.

Scherer C, Jeltsch F, Grimm V & Blaum N (2016). Merging trait-based and individual-based modelling: an animal functional type approach to explore the responses of birds to climatic and land use changes in semi-arid African savannas. Ecological Modelling 326: 75-89.

Luft L, Neumann C, Itzerott S, Lausch A, Doktor D, Freude M, Blaum N & Jeltsch F. (2016). Digital and real-habitat modeling of Hipparchia statilinus based on hyper spectral remote sensing data. Interna­tional Journal of Environmental Science and Technology 13: 187-200.

Luft L, Naumann C, Freude M, Blaum N & Jeltsch F (2014). Hyperspectral modeling of ecological indica­tors. A new approach for monitoring former military training areas. Ecological Indicators 46: 264-285.

Lohmann D, Tietjen B, Blaum N, Joubert DF & Jeltsch F (2014). Prescribed fire as a tool for managing shrub encroachment in semi-arid savanna rangelands. Journal of Arid Environments 107: 49-56.

Lohmann D, Falk, T, Geissler K, Blaum N & Jeltsch F. Determinants of semi-arid rangeland management in a land reform setting in Namibia (2014). Journal of Arid Environments 100: 23-30.

Jeltsch F, Bonte D, Pe'er G, Reineking B, Leimgruber P, Balkenhohl N, Schröder B, Buchmann CM, Mueller T, Blaum N, Zurell D, Böhning-Gaese K, Wiegand T, Eccard J, Hofer H, Reeg J, Eggers U & Bauer S (2013). Integrating movement ecology with biodiversity research - exploring new avenues to address spatiotemporal biodiversity dynamics. Movement Ecology 1:6.

Jeltsch F, Blaum N, Brose U, Chipperfield JD, Clough Y, Farwig N, Geissler K, Graham CH, Grimm V, Hickler T, Huth A, May F, Meyer KM, Pagel J, Reineking B, Rillig MC, Shea K, Schurr FM, Schröder B, Tielbörger K, Weiss L, Wiegand K, Wiegand T, Wirth C, Zurell D (2013). How can we bring together empiricists and modellers in functional biodiversity research? Basic and Applied Ecology 14: 93-101.

Lohmann D, Tietjen B, Blaum N, Joubert DF & Jeltsch F (2012) Shifting thresholds and changing degradation patterns: climate change effects on the simulated long-term response of a semi-arid savanna to grazing. Journal of Applied Ecology 49: 814-823.

Blaum N, Schwager M, Wichmann MC & Rossmanith E (2012). Climate induced changes in matrix suitability explain gene flow in a fragmented landscape – the effect of interannual rainfall variability. Ecography 35: 650-660.

Blumröder J, Eccard J & Blaum N (2012). Behavioural flexibility in foraging mode of the spotted sand lizard (Pedioplanis l. lineoocellata) seems to buffer negative impacts of savanna degradation Journal of Arid Environments 77: 149-152.

Jeltsch F, Moloney KA, Schwager M, Körner K & Blaum N (2011). Consequences of correlations between climatic and landscape changes for regional species survival. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 145: 49-58.

Blaum N, Mosner E, Schwager M & Jeltsch F (2011). How functional is functional – ecological groupings in terrestrial animal ecology: towards an animal functional type approach. Biodiversity and Conservation 20: 2333-2345.

Wasiolka B & Blaum N (2011). Comparing biodiversity between protected savanna and adjacent non-protected farmland in the southern Kalahari.  Journal of Arid Environments 75: 836-841.

Kuechly H, Mueller JS, Reinfelder VL, Wiedemann S & Blaum N (2011). Rodent mediated dispersal of Acacia seeds in Kalahari savannah rangelands – implications for bush encroachment. African Journal of Ecology 49: 119-121

Wasiolka B, Jeltsch F, Henschel J & Blaum N (2010). Space use of the Spotted Sand Lizard (Pedioplanis l. lineoocellata) under different degradation states. African Journal of Ecology 48: 96-104.

Popp A, Vogel M, Blaum N & Jeltsch F (2009). Scaling up ecohydrological processes - the role of source-sink systems in water limited landscapes. Journal of Geophysical Research - Biogeosciences 114: 1-10.

Meyer J, Kohnen A, Durka W, Wöstemeyer J, Blaum N, Rossmanith E & Brandl R (2009). Genetic structure in the hairy-footed gerbil Gerbillurus paeba: sex specific dispersal? Mammalian Biology 74: 478-487.

Popp A, Blaum N & Jeltsch F (2009). Ecohydrological feedback mechanisms in arid rangelands: Simulating the impacts of topography and land use. Basic & Applied Ecology 10: 319-329.

Blaum N, Seymour C, Rossmanith E, Schwager M & Jeltsch F (2009). Changes in arthropod diversity along a land use driven gradient of shrub cover in the southern Kalahari: Identification of suitable indicators. Biodiversity & Conservation 18:1187-1199.

Wasiolka B, Blaum N, Jeltsch F & Henschel J (2009). Behavioral responses of the lizard Pedioplanis l. lineoocellata to overgrazing. Acta Oecologica 35: 157-162.

Blaum N, Tietjen B & Rossmanith, E (2009). The impact of livestock husbandry on small and medium sized carnivores in Kalahari savannah rangelands. Journal of Wildlife Management 73: 60-67.

Popp A, Domptail S, Blaum N & Jeltsch F (2009). Landuse experience does qualify for adaptation to climate change. Ecological Modelling 220: 694-702.

Rossmanith E, Blaum N, Höntsch K, and Jeltsch F (2009). Sex-related parental care strategies in the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (Picoides minor): of flexible mothers and dependable fathers. Journal of Avian Biology 40: 28-33.

Blaum N (2008). Seasonal differences in spatial distribution of small carnivores in fragmented savannah landscapes. African Journal of Ecology 46: 702-705.

Schwager M, Covas R, Blaum N & Jeltsch F (2008). Predicting climate change effects across scales - comparing a 'population model' and a 'space for time' approach. Oikos 117: 1417-1427.

Blaum N, Engeman RM, Wasiolka B & Rossmanith E (2008). Indexing small mammalian carnivores in the southern Kalahari, South Africa. Wildlife Research 35: 72-79.

Thiele T, Jeltsch F & Blaum N (2008). Importance of woody vegetation for foraging site selection in the Southern Pied Babbler (Turdoides bicolor) under two different land use regimes. Journal of Arid Environments 72: 471-482.

Blaum N & Wichmann M (2007). Short term transformation of matrix into hospitable habitat facilitates gene flow and mitigates fragmentation. Journal of Animal Ecology 76: 1116-1127.

Popp A, Schwager M, Blaum N & Jeltsch F (2007). Structural diversity predicts the occurrence of the yellow mongoose under shrub encroachment in a semi-arid savanna. Ecological Modelling 209: 136-148.

Blaum N, Rossmanith E, Schwager M & Jeltsch F (2007). Responses of mammalian carnivores to land use in arid Kalahari rangelands. Basic & Applied Ecology 8: 552-564.

Rossmanith E, Höntsch K, Blaum N & Jeltsch F (2007). Reproductive success and nestling diet in the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker. Journal of Ornithology 148: 323-332.

Blaum N, Rossmanith E & Jeltsch F (2007). Land use affects rodent communities in Kalahari savannah rangelands. African Journal of Ecology 45: 189-195.

Rossmanith E, Blaum N, Grimm V & Jeltsch F (2007). Pattern-oriented modelling for estimating unknown pre-breeding survival rates: the case of the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (Picoides minor). Biological Conservation 135: 571-580.

Blaum N, Rossmanith E, Fleissner G & Jeltsch F (2007). The conflicting importance of shrubby landscape structures for the reproductive success of the yellow mongoose (Cynictis penicillata). Journal of Mammalogy 88: 194-200.

Blaum N, Rossmanith E, Popp A & Jeltsch F (2007). Shrub encroachment affects mammalian carnivore abundance in arid rangelands. Acta Oecologica 31: 86-92.

Rossmanith E, Grimm V, Blaum N & Jeltsch F (2006). Behavioural flexibility in the mating system buffers population extinction: lessons from the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (Picoides minor). Journal of Animal Ecology 75: 540-548.

Tews J, Blaum N & Jeltsch F (2004). Structural and animal species diversity in arid and semi-arid savannas of the southern Kalahari. Annals of Arid Zone 42: 1-13.

Photo: IBB