Research for the Environment

Dirk S. Schmeller

Dr. Dirk S. Schmeller

Department of Conservation Biology
Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ
Permoserstr. 15
04318 Leipzig, Germany
Raum 339

Tel: 0341 235 1654
Fax: 0341 235 1470

Dirk Schmeller

Research interests

A large part of my current research deals with real-world problems of conservation biology and biodiversity conservation with the aim of improving the assessment of the status and trend of biodiversity and theory-driven and policy-relevant scale issues in conservation. My work on volunteer involvement in biodiversity monitoring received much attention. Biodiversity monitoring faces two practical difficulties: the need to maintain a sustained effort of monitoring across years to ensure the collection of relevant monitoring time series and the need to obtain precise monitoring data that allow the detection of significant changes across space and time in biodiversity. These needs come into conflict with the usually limited amount of available financial and human resources. A tradeoff solution is to involve volunteers in monitoring activities, as frequently done in Europe and North America. The involvement of the public is imperative to reduce the cost of biodiversity monitoring and has the added benefit of enhancing citizen participation in science practices and thus environmental awareness. My research conducted in the EU-project EuMon, which I coordinated, showed that the number of volunteers involved in a monitoring scheme directly affect the sampling effort. My research illustrated that with state-of-the-art survey designs or analysis methods, volunteer-based schemes can provide relatively reliable data and thus yield unbiased results. Quality of volunteering data is more likely determined by survey design, analytical methodology, and communication skills within the schemes rather than by volunteer involvement per se. Further, volunteer involvement is the most economic possibility to conduct biodiversity monitoring over large temporal and spatial scales. From a social point of view, volunteer involvement needs to consider differences in mentality between individuals and societies in total. There is not one recipe to involve volunteers in different countries, but rather each recruitment and training of volunteers needs to be adapted to local conditions. These obstacles will need also to be taken into consideration in the development of a global earth observation system (GEO BON; Biodiversity Observation Network) to which I contribute as expert in the working group for terrestrial species monitoring.

Co-operations / Projects

I closely collaborate, amongst other groups, with ECOLAB at the University of Toulouse III.




2014 (12)
2013 (6)
2012 (6)
2011 (1)
2010 (3)
2009 (2)
2008 (8)

You could use our publication index for further requests.

2014 (12)

  • Chiang, L.-C., Lin, Y.-P., Huang, T., Schmeller, D.S., Verburg, P.H., Liu, Y.-L., Ding, T.-S., (2014):
    Simulation of ecosystem service responses to multiple disturbances from an earthquake and several typhoons
    Landsc. Urban Plan. 122 , 41 - 55
    full text (url)
  • Cornuau, J.H., Schmeller, D.S., Courtois, E.A., Jolly, T., Loyau, A., (2014):
    It takes two to tango: relative influence of male and female identity and morphology on complex courtship display in a newt species
    full text (url)
  • Cornuau, J.H., Schmeller, D.S., Pigeault, R., Loyau, A., (2014):
    Resistance of morphological and behavioral sexual traits of the palmate newt (Lissotriton helveticus) to bacterial lipopolysaccharide treatment
    Amphib. Reptil. 35 (1), 63 - 71
    full text (url)
  • Cornuau, J.H., Schmeller, D.S., Pigeault, R., Sibeaux, A., Tourat, A., Loyau, A., (2014):
    Information-content of morphological and behavioural sexual traits in the Palmate newt (Lissotriton helveticus)
    Behav. Processes 108 , 36 - 42
    full text (url)
  • Henle, K., Potts, S.G., Scott, A.V., Kunin, W.E., Gunton, R.M., Schmeller, D.S., Matsinos, Y.G., Similä, J., Pantis, J.D., Mazaris, A.D., Grobelnik, V., Grimm, A., Penev, L., Klenke, R., Settele, J., (2014):
    Lessons learned
    In: Henle, K., Potts, S.G., Kunin, W.E., Matsinos, Y.G., Similä, J., Pantis, J.D., Grobelnik, V., Penev, L., Settele, J., (eds.)
    Scaling in ecology and biodiversity conservation
    Pensoft, Sofia, p. 193 - 200
    full text (url)
  • Hoffmann, A., Penner, J., Vohland, K., Cramer, W., Doubleday, R., Henle, K., Kõljalg, U., Kühn, I., Kunin, W., Negro, J.J., Penev, L., Rodríguez, C., Saarenmaa, H., Schmeller, D.S., Stoev, P., Sutherland, W., Sutherland, W.J., Tuama, É.Ó. , Wetzel, F., Häuser, C.L., (2014):
    Improved access to integrated biodiversity data for science, practice, and policy - the European Biodiversity Observation Network (EU BON) [The need for an integrated biodiversity policy support process – building the European contribution to a global Biodiversity Observation Network (EU BON)]
    Nature Conservation (6), 49 - 65
    full text (url)
  • Lengyel, S., Kosztyi, B., Ölvedi, T.B., Gunton, R.M., Kunin, W.E., Schmeller, D.S., Henle, K., (2014):
    Conservation strategies across spatial scales
    In: Henle, K., Potts, S.G., Kunin, W.E., Matsinos, Y.G., Similä, J., Pantis, J.D., Grobelnik, V., Penev, L., Settele, J., (eds.)
    Scaling in ecology and biodiversity conservation
    Pensoft, Sofia, p. 133 - 136
    full text (url)
  • Lin, Y.-P., Huang, C.-W., Ding, T.-S., Wang, Y.-C., Hsiao, W.-T., Crossman, N.D., Lengyel, S., Lin, W.-C., Schmeller, D.S., (2014):
    Conservation planning to zone protected areas under optimal landscape management for bird conservation
    Environ. Modell. Softw. 60 , 121 - 133
    full text (url)
  • Lin, Y.-P., Lin, W.-C., Wang, Y.-C., Lien, W.-Y., Ding, T.-S., Lee, P.-F., Wu, T.-Y., Klenke, R., Schmeller, D.S., Henle, K., (2014):
    An optimal spatial sampling approach for modelling the distribution of species
    In: Henle, K., Potts, S.G., Kunin, W.E., Matsinos, Y.G., Similä, J., Pantis, J.D., Grobelnik, V., Penev, L., Settele, J., (eds.)
    Scaling in ecology and biodiversity conservation
    Pensoft, Sofia, p. 152 - 155
    full text (url)
  • Schmeller, D.S., Blooi, M., Martel, A., Garner, T.W.J., Fisher, M.C., Azemar, F., Clare, F.C., Leclerc, C., Jäger, L., Guevara-Nieto, M., Loyau, A., Pasmans, F., (2014):
    Microscopic aquatic predators strongly affect infection dynamics of a globally emerged pathogen
    Curr. Biol. 24 (2), 176 - 180
    full text (url)
  • Schmeller, D.S., Evans, D., Lin, Y.-P., Henle, K., (2014):
    The national responsibility approach to setting conservation priorities—Recommendations for its use
    J. Nat. Conserv. 22 (4), 349 - 357
    full text (url)
  • Schmeller, D.S., Lin, Y.-P., Ding, T.-S., Klenke, R., Evans, D., Henle, K., (2014):
    Determining responsibilities to prioritize conservation actions across scales
    In: Henle, K., Potts, S.G., Kunin, W.E., Matsinos, Y.G., Similä, J., Pantis, J.D., Grobelnik, V., Penev, L., Settele, J., (eds.)
    Scaling in ecology and biodiversity conservation
    Pensoft, Sofia, p. 97 - 99
    full text (url)
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2013 (6)

  • Courtois, E.A., Cornuau, J.H., Loyau, A., Schmeller, D.S., (2013):
    Distribution of Amphibiocystidium sp. in palmate newts (Lissotriton helveticus) in Ariège, France
    Herpetology Notes 6 , 539 - 543
    full text (url)
  • Courtois, E.A., Lelong, C., Calvez, O., Loyau, A., Schmeller, D.S., (2013):
    The use of visible implant Alpha tags for anuran tadpoles
    Herpetol. Rev. 44 (2), 230 - 233
  • Drechsler, A., Geller, D., Freund, K., Schmeller, D.S., Künzel, S., Rupp, O., Loyau, A., Denoël, M., Valbuena-Ureña, E., Steinfartz, S., (2013):
    What remains from a 454 run: estimation of success rates of microsatellite loci development in selected newt species (Calotriton asper, Lissotriton helveticus, and Triturus cristatus) and comparison with Illumina-based approaches
    Ecol. Evol. 3 (11), 3947 - 3957
    full text (url)
  • Henle, K., Bauch, B., Auliya, M., Külvik, M., Pe'er, G., Schmeller, D.S., Framstad, E., (2013):
    Priorities for biodiversity monitoring in Europe: a review of supranational policies and a novel scheme for integrative prioritization
    Ecol. Indic. 33 , 5 - 18
    full text (url)
  • Mazaris, A.D., Papanikolaou, A., Barbet-Massin, M., Kallimanis, A.S., Jiguet, F., Schmeller, D.S., Pantis, J.D., (2013):
    Evaluating the connectivity of a protected areas' network under the prism of global change: the efficiency of the European Natura 2000 network for four birds of prey
    PLOS One 8 (3), e59640
    full text (url)
  • Trochet, A., Schmeller, D.S., (2013):
    Effectiveness of the Natura 2000 network to cover threatened species
    Nature Conservation (4), 35 - 53
    full text (url)
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2012 (6)

  • Fisher, M.C., Schmidt, B.R., Henle, K., Schmeller, D.S., Bosch, J., Aanensen, D.M., Miaud, C., Garner, T.W.J., (2012):
    RACE: risk assessment of chytridiomycosis to European amphibian biodiversity
    Froglog 101 (March), 45 - 47
    full text (url)
  • Gruber, B., Evans, D., Henle, K., Bauch, B., Schmeller, D.S., Dziock, F., Henry, P.-Y., Lengyel, S., Margules, C., Dormann, C.F., (2012):
    “Mind the gap!” – How well does Natura 2000 cover species of European interest?
    Nature Conservation (3), 45 - 62
    full text (url)
  • Henle, K., Bell, S., Brotons, L., Clobert, J., Evans, D., Görg, C., Grodzińska-Jurczak, M., Gruber, B., Haila, Y., Henry, P.-Y., Huth, A., Julliard, R., Keil, P., Kleyer, M., Kotze, D.J., Kunin, W., Lengyel, S., Lin, Y.-P., Loyau, A., Luck, G., Magnuson, W., Margules, C., Matsinos, Y., May, P., Sousa-Pinto, I., Possingham, H., Potts, S., Ring, I., Pryke, J., Samways, M., Saunders, D., Schmeller, D.S., Similä, J., Sommer, S., Steffan-Dewenter, I., Stoev, P., Sykes, M., Tóthmérész, B., Yam, R., Tzanopoulos, J., Penev, L., (2012):
    Nature conservation - a new dimension in open access publishing bridging science and application
    Nature Conservation (1), 1 - 10
    full text (url)
  • Loyau, A., Schmeller, D.S., (2012):
    Mixed reproductive strategies of the Common moorhen on a microscale as revealed by genetic data
    C. R. Biol. 335 (10-11), 673 - 679
    full text (url)
  • Schmeller, D.S., Henle, K., Loyau, A., Besnard, A., Henry, P.-Y., (2012):
    Bird-monitoring in Europe – a first overview of practices, motivations and aims
    Nature Conservation (2), 41 - 57
    full text (url)
  • Schmeller, D.S., Maier, A., Evans, D., Henle, K., (2012):
    National responsibilities for conserving habitats – a freely scalable method
    Nature Conservation (3), 21 - 44
    full text (url)
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2011 (1)

  • Schmeller, D.S., Dolek, M., Geyer, A., Settele, J., Brandl, R., (2011):
    The effect of conservation efforts on morphological asymmetry in a butterfly population
    J. Nat. Conserv. 19 (3), 161 - 165
    full text (url)
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2010 (3)

  • Henle, K., Bauch, B., Bell, S., Framstad, E., Kotarac, M., Henry, P.-Y., Lengyel, S., Grobelnik, V., Schmeller, D.S., (2010):
    Observing biodiversity changes in Europe
    In: Settele, J., Penev, L., Georgiev, T., Grabaum, R., Grobelnik, V., Hammen, V., Klotz, S., Kotarac, M., Kühn, I., (eds.)
    Atlas of biodiversity risk
    Pensoft, Sofia, p. 34 - 37
    full text (url)
  • Henle, K., Kunin, W., Schweiger, O., Schmeller, D.S., Grobelnik, V., Matsinos, Y., Pantis, J., Penev, L., Potts, S.G., Ring, I., Similä, J., Tzanopoulos, J., van den Hove, S., Baguette, M., Clobert, J., Excoffier, L., Framstad, E., Grodzińska-Jurczak, M., Lengyel, S., Marty, P., Moilanen, A., Porcher, E., Storch, D., Steffan-Dewenter, I., Sykes, M.T., Zobel, M., Settele, J., (2010):
    Securing the conservation of biodiversity across administrative levels and spatial, temporal, and ecological scales - research needs and approaches of the SCALES project
    GAIA 19 (3), 187 - 193
    full text (url)
  • Vandzinskaite, D., Kobierska, H., Schmeller, D.S., Grodzińska-Jurczak, M., (2010):
    Cultural diversity issues in biodiversity monitoring - cases of Lithuania, Poland and Denmark
    Diversity 2 (9), 1130 - 1145
    full text (url)
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2009 (2)

  • Loyau, A., Schmeller, D.S., (2009):
    Polymorphic microsatellites identified by cross-species amplifications in the European Coot Fulica atra
    J. Ornithol. 150 (3), 703 - 707
    full text (url)
  • Schmeller, D.S., Henry, P.-Y., Julliard, R., Gruber, B., Clobert, J., Dziock, F., Lengyel, S., Nowicki, P., Déri, E., Budrys, E., Kull, T., Tali, K., Bauch, B., Settele, J., van Swaay, C.A.M., Kobler, A., Babij, V., Papastergiadou, E., Henle, K., (2009):
    Advantages of volunteer-based biodiversity monitoring in Europe
    Conserv. Biol. 23 (2), 307 - 316
    full text (url)
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2008 (8)

  • Henry, P.-Y., Lengyel, S., Nowicki, P., Julliard, R., Clobert, J., Celik, T., Gruber, B., Schmeller, D.S., Babij, V., Henle, K., (2008):
    Integrating ongoing biodiversity monitoring: potential benefits and methods
    Biodivers. Conserv. 17 (14), 3357 - 3382
    full text (url)
  • Kull, T., Sammul, M., Kull, K., Lanno, K., Tali, K., Gruber, B., Schmeller, D.S., Henle, K., (2008):
    Necessity and reality of monitoring threatened European vascular plants
    Biodivers. Conserv. 17 (14), 3383 - 3402
    full text (url)
  • Lengyel, S., Kobler, A., Kutnar, L., Framstad, E., Henry, P.-Y., Babij, V., Gruber, B., Schmeller, D.S., Henle, K., (2008):
    A review and a framework for the integration of biodiversity monitoring at the habitat level
    Biodivers. Conserv. 17 (14), 3341 - 3356
    full text (url)
  • Pagano, A., Lesbarrères, D., O'hara, R., Crivelli, A., Veith, M., Lode, T., Schmeller, D.S., (2008):
    Geographical and ecological distributions of frog hemiclones suggest occurrence of both 'General-Purpose Genotype' and 'Frozen Niche Variation' clones
    J. Zool. Syst. Evol. Res. 46 (2), 162 - 168
    full text (url)
  • Schmeller, D.S., Bauch, B., Gruber, B., Juškaitis, R., Budrys, E., Babij, V., Lanno, K., Sammul, M., Varga, Z., Henle, K., (2008):
    Determination of conservation priorities in regions with multiple political jurisdictions
    Biodivers. Conserv. 17 (14), 3623 - 3630
    full text (url)
  • Schmeller, D.S., Gruber, B., Bauch, B., Lanno, K., Budrys, E., Babij, V., Juškaitis, R., Sammul, M., Varga, Z., Henle, K., (2008):
    Determination of national conservation responsibilities for species conservation in regions with multiple political jurisdictions
    Biodivers. Conserv. 17 (14), 3607 - 3622
    full text (url)
  • Schmeller, D.S., Gruber, B., Budrys, E., Framsted, E., Lengyel, S., Henle, K., (2008):
    National responsibilities in European species conservation: a methodological review
    Conserv. Biol. 22 (3), 593 - 601
    full text (url)
  • Schmeller, D.S., Henle, K., (2008):
    Cultivation of genetically modified organisms: resource needs for monitoring adverse effects on biodiversity
    Biodivers. Conserv. 17 (14), 3551 - 3558
    full text (url)
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Kooperationen / Projekte






Recent Publications

JAX, K. (Ed.)(2010): Ecosystem functioning Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge, 272 S.

Fisheries and Fish-eating Vertebrates as a Model Case
Series: Environmental Science and Engineering
Subseries: Environmental Science
Klenke, R.A.; Ring, I.; Kranz, A.; Jepsen, N.; Rauschmayer, F.; Henle, K. (Eds.)
2013, XIV, 347 p. 64 illus., 36 in color.

JAX. K. & A. SCHWARZ (2011): Competing terms. Chapter 11,. In: SCHWARZ, A. & K. JAX (eds.): Ecology Revisited: Reflecting on Concepts, Advancing Science. Dordrecht, Springer: 155-159.

SCHWARZ, A. & K. JAX (eds.): Ecology Revisited: Reflecting on Concepts, Advancing Science. Dordrecht, Springer: 444 p.

BIODIVERSITY AND CONSERVATION Volume 20, Number 5, 1057-1072, DOI: 10.1007/s10531-011-0015-2

Effects of species turnover on reserve site selection in a fragmented landscape - Birgit Felinks, Renata Pardini, Marianna Dixo, Klaus Follner, Jean P. Metzger und Klaus Henle

BRECKLING, B., PE'ER, G. & Y.G. MATSINOS (2011). Cellular Automata in Ecological Modelling. In: JOPP, F., REUTER, H., BRECKLING, B. (Eds.): Modelling Complex Ecological Dynamics.  Springer: 105-117.

BRECKLING, B., PE'ER, G. & Y.G. MATSINOS (2011). Cellular Automata in Ecological Modelling. In: JOPP, F., REUTER, H., BRECKLING, B. (Eds.): Modelling Complex Ecological Dynamics. Springer: 105-117.

Science-Policy Interface: Beyond Assessments - Mike Hulme, Martin Mahony, Silke Beck, Christoph Görg, Bernd Hansjürgens, Jennifer Hauck, Carsten Nesshöver, Axel Paulsch, Marie Vandewalle, Heidi Wittmer, Stefan Böschen, Peter Bridgewater, Mariteuw Chimère Diaw, Pierre Fabre, Aurelia Figueroa, Kong Luen Heong, Horst Korn, Rik Leemans, Eva Lövbrand, Mohd Norowi Hamid, Chad Monfreda, Roger Pielke, Jr., Josef Settele, Marten Winter, Alice B. M. Vadrot, Sybille van den Hove and Jeroen P. van der Sluijs, Science 5 August 2011: 697-698.