Ralf Seppelt (Prof. Dr.) studied applied mathematics at the Technical University Clausthal Zellerfeld, Germany, obtained his doctorate degree at the Technical University Braunschweig, Germany, in agroecology and systems analysis where he worked as research assistant and lecturer at Institute for Geoecology. After several research visits at the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics, Burlington and Maryland, USA, as well at the CSIRO in Canberra, Australia, he was appointed full professor for applied landscape ecology at Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, where he lectures course on Environmental Modelling. He is head of the department for Computational Landscape Ecology. In the BMBF programme on "Sustainable Land Management" he coordinated the synthesis project GLUES “Global Assessment of Land Use Dynamics on Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Ecosystem Services”. His major research focus is land resources management based on integrated simulation and modelling systems. He thus is interested in the interactions and interrelationship of anthropheric and biospheric processes. This requires methodological developments in landscape ecology such as model integration, hybrid model systems and scales in space and time. He published various books and over 100 papers, see researcherID.
For the Intergovernmental "Science Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecolosystem Services" (IPBES) he worked as lead author for the Global Assessment and currently is coordinating lead author for the Nexus Assessment.
|2011||Graduation from Helmholtz Academy on Science Management|
|2004||Habilitation, Venia legendi „Geoecology/Environmental Systems Analysis”|
|1997||Doctoral Degree „with distinction“, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Department Geography and Geoecology, Technical University Braunschweig, Germany|
|1994||Master in Applied Mathematics, Technical University Clausthal, Germany|
|2004||Full professor for Landscape Ecology, Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany|
|2004||Head of Department for Computational Landscape Ecology at UFZ, Leipzig, Germany|
Visiting scholar at Depart. of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University (02/2019, 2 weeks*), Dept. of Geography, University Southampton (01/2017, 1 week*), Woods Institute on the Environment, Stanford University (10/2010, 11/2016, total 3 weeks*), Stockholm Resilience Centre (10/2014, 3 weeks*)
[*As there is no sabbatical program for UFZ scientist, I organized several shorter visits]
|1997-2004||Research Assistant and Lecturer, Inst. for Geography and Geoecology, Technical University Braunschweig, Germany|
|1994-2004||Researcher at the Collaborative Research Centre 179, TU Braunschweig, Germany|
|03-07/2000||Research fellow at the Institute for Ecological Economics, Centre for Environmental Research, University Maryland, USA|
Organisation of major Scientific Meetings
|2013||Coordinator of final conference of the BMBF Research Program “Sustainable Land Management”, Berlin 17.-19.4.2013, 340 participants|
|2012||Host and coordinator of 6th International Congress on Environmental Modelling and Software. Managing Resources of a limited planet: Pathways and Visions under uncertainty. 1.-5. July 2012, congress centre KUBUS Leipzig, Germany. 430 participants|
|2004-||Member of Scientific Technical Advisory Council of UFZ|
|2004-||Member of Ph.D. promotion committee at Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg|
|2012-2018||Founding Member of the German Centre on integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) and speaker of its Graduate School yDiv|
Reviewing and Science-Policy Activities
|2016–2019||Lead-Author of the “Global Assessment” of the Intergovernmental Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service (IPBES)|
|2012-||Academic Advisory Council (Hochschulrat) Universität Hohenheim|
|2012-2018||National Science Foundation Germany (DFG), Commission of the Senate on Agroecosystem Research|
|2010-2011||Member of appointment committee for Scientific directorate, WSL, ETH Zurich, Swiss|
|2011||Review Panel Member Potsdam Institute for Climatic Impact Research (PIK)|
|2008-||Associate Editor “Environmental Modelling and Software” and “Landscape Ecology”|
|2008-||Journal Reviews Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, Basic and Applied Ecology, Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, Ecology and Society, Ecological Economics, Environmental Science & Policy, Global Environmental Change, Landscape and Urban Planning, Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, Journal for Applied Ecology, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Nature, Nature Communications, Nature Sustainability, Scientific Data, Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Science|
Memberships of Scientific Societies
|2004-2018||Int. Soc. for Environmental Modelling & Software: founding member vice president|
|2018-||Member of Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina for the Special Synthesis Report on “Biodiversity decline in Agricultural Landscapes”|
|2010-||Member Ecological Society of America (ESA), Int. Assoc. for Landscape Ecology (IALE)|
|2008-||Member of Research Networks “Global Land Project (GLP)”, and “Programme on Ecosystem Change and Society (PECS)”|
Biodiversity Ecosystem functioning: Lucas Garibaldi, Universidad Nacional de Río Negro, Argentina; Michael Schmidt, CONABIO, Mexico; Yann Clough, Lund Univ., Sweden; Jessica Gurevitch, Stony Brooks Univ., USA; Gretchen Daily, Woods Inst., Univ. Stanford, USA, Tim Newbold Univ. College London, UK
Socio-Environmental Systems Analysis: Orjan Bodin, Stockholm Resilience Centre, Sweden; Graeme Cumming, James Cook University, Australia; Reinette Biggs, Univ. South Africa; Guy Ziv, University of Leeds, UK; Jonathan Cramer, Margareth Palmer, Univ. Maryland, SESYNC, USA
Economics: Thomas Hertel, Purdue Univ., USA
Land use and resource appropriation: Claire Kremen, Navin Ramankutty, Univ. of British Columbia, Canada; Tomas Václavík, Univ. Olmuc, Czech Rep.; Peter Verburg, Vreije Universität Amsterdam, Netherlands; Felix Eigenbrot, Univ. Southampton, UK
Having acquired a long-standing and in-depth understanding of human-environmental feedbacks at a regional scale, mostly with the scope on ecosystem service research [see most important references #1], in the recent years I seeked to apply that knowledge to global scale issues of human appropriation of natural resources. Together with my team we (a) identified global limitations of renewable resource production , devloped and tested a novel approaches to map global socio-environmental systems with respect to land management  and tested new approaches to assess ecosystem service valuations at a globale scale [4, 12]. Especially the study on the global value of pollination services  gained high attraction inside but also outside academia, was cited and reprinted in various policy documents (such the Summary for Policy Makers (SPM) of the as IPBES Pollination Assessment) as well as utilized by NGOs (Greenpeace).
Given these results, I aimed at (a) conceptually understanding the limitations human societies are faced with, given the decline in biodiverity [5,6]; (b) established globale scale synthesis studies to obtain data and information on that feedbacks  including best practive recommendations to support meta-analysis studies ; and (c) investigated how emerging remote sensing can support such research . We also started to develop the first model application that consistently analyses global agroeconomy, agricultral productivity as well as its impacts on biodiersity . Beyond this, I started to work on the societal part of human environment interaction and its model development [10,13].
Finally, I was and still am concerned about the way how we conduct science and how the scientific system is slowly transitioning in a globalized world . In that paper, I layout my vision of a less accellerating but higher quality science.
Vision: This ERC proposal MODUS I intentially focus on theory building and conceptual thinking, which is to my understanding crucially lacking in many fields of environmental research. With this, I somehow return to the origin of my scientific career, mathematics, philosophy and conceptional thinking.
Most important publications (1st or last author, citations numbers according to Scopus®, Aug. 8th, 2020)
- Seppelt R, Dormann CF, Eppink FV, Lautenbach S, Schmidt S. 2011. A quantitative review of ecosystem service studies: Approaches, shortcomings and the road ahead. Journal of Applied Ecology 48(3): 630–636. (569 citations)
- Seppelt R, AM Manceur, J Liu, EP Fenichel, S Klotz. 2014. Synchronized peak-rate years of global resources use. Ecology and Society 19(4):50. (42 citations)
- Václavík T, Lautenbach S, Kuemmerle T, Seppelt R. 2013. Mapping global land system archetypes. Global Environmental Change. 23:1637–1647. (81 citations)
- Schmidt S, Manceur AM, Seppelt R. 2016. Uncertainty of Monetary Valued Ecosystem Services – Value Transfer Functions for Global Mapping. PLOS ONE. 11:e0148524 (26 citations)
- Seppelt R, Beckmann M, Ceauşu S, Cord AF, Gerstner K, Gurevitch J, Kambach S, Klotz S, Mendenhall C, Phillips HRP, Powell K, Verburg PH, Verhagen W, Winter M, Newbold T. 2016. Harmonizing Biodiversity Conservation and Productivity in the Context of Increasing Demands on Landscapes. BioScience. 66(10): 890–896. (32 citations)
- Seppelt R, Arndt C, Beckmann M, Martin EA, Hertel T. 2020. Deciphering the biodiversity-production mutualism in the global food security debate. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, (in print)
- Beckmann M, Gerstner K, Akin-Fajiye M, Ceaușu S, Kambach S, Kinlock NL, Phillips HRP, Verhagen W, Gurevitch J, Klotz S, Newbold T, Verburg PH, Winter M, Seppelt R. 2019. Conventional land-use intensification reduces species richness and increases production: A global meta-analysis. Global Change Biology, (13 citations)
- Gerstner K, Moreno-Mateos D, Gurevitch J, Beckmann M, Kambach S, Jones HP, Seppelt R. 2017. Will your paper be used in a meta-analysis? Make the reach of your research broader and longer lasting. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 8(6):777–784. (45 citations)
- Cord AF, Brauman KA, Chaplin-Kramer R, Huth A, Ziv G, Seppelt R. 2017. Priorities to Advance Monitoring of Ecosystem Services Using Earth Observation. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 32(6):416–428. (43 citations)
- Seppelt R, Cumming, GS. 2016. Humanity’s distance to nature: time for environmental austerity? Landscape Ecology (10 citations)
- Zabel F, Delzeit R, Schneider JM, Seppelt R, Mauser W, Václavík T. 2019. Global Impacts of Future Cropland Expansion and Intensification on Agricultural Markets and Biodiversity. Nature Communications 10 (1): 2844. (15 citations)
- Lautenbach S, Seppelt R, Liebscher J, Dormann CF. 2012. Spatial and Temporal Trends of Global Pollination Benefit. PLoS ONE 7(4), e35954. (156 citations)
- Cumming GS, Epstein G, Anderies JM, Apetrei CI, Baggio J, Bodin Ö, Chawla S, Clements HS, Cox M, Egli L, Gurney GG, Lubell M, Magliocca N, Morrison TH, Müller B, Seppelt R, Schlüter M, Unnikrishnan H, Villamayor-Tomas S, Weible CM. 2020. Advancing understanding of natural resource governance: A post-Ostrom research agenda. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 44: 26–34. (1 citation)
- Seppelt R, Beckmann M, Václavík T & Volk M. 2018. The Art of Scientific Performance. Trends in Ecology & Evolution (2 citations)
(1995-2020, last update 3/2021)
|Peer reviewed publications||Web of Science||Scopus||Google Schoolar|
|Number of publications||111||130|
|Citations total/without self-citation||5746 / 5489||6178 / NA||9570 / NA|
|Average citations per document||51,77||44,25|
|Highly cited papers||5|
|Number of co-authors||618|
CredoMy lectures and courses are always driven by the strong belief, that scientific progress and innovation are possible only, if recent research is presented in education and by the fact that data gathering in field, conceptional modelling as well as mathematical modelling and numerical analysis needs to be thought in an overall concept. Thus I always try to show my students in science its always a challenging question to start with, to continue with data collection and finally apply a modelling exercise for analysis. Only this enables us to assess simulation results correctly and enables us to teach interdisciplinary research.
Lectures (including practical exersice)
- Introduction to computer science.
- Geographic information systems (GIS).
- Practical Introduction to programming languages (C, Mathematica)
- Introduction in Ecosystem Modelling: Lecture and practical exercise with modelling tools.
- Numeric of complex environmental simulation models: Lecture and practical exercise.
Seminars (including practical exercise)
- Applications of Ecosystem Modelling: Practical exercise and seminar lecture based on recently published journal papers
|Mentoring Summary (2004-2020)||male/female|
|Directly mentoring Ph.D. students (1st reviewer)||9/6|
|Member in committee of Ph.D. students (2nd reviewer)||5/7|
|Mentoring postdocs (3-year appointments or longer)||11/6|
|- From those appointed to professorships||4/3|
|Committee member of professorship appointments||6|
Professorship appointees of colleagues under my supervision
- Prof. Dr. Anna Cord. Affiliation from 2019 onwards: Professur für Modellierung in der Landschatsökologie, TU Dresden
- Dr. Nina Schwarz. Affiliation from 2016 onwards: Assistant professor in the faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC) of the University of Twente, The Netherlands.
- Prof. Dr. Sven Lautenbach. Affiliation from 2012: Assistant Professor for Landuse Modelling and Ecosystem Services, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-University of Bonn, Insitute for Geodesy and Geoinformation Bonn, Germany
- Prof. Dr. Dagmar Haase. Affiliation from 2009 onwards: Professor for Landscape Ecology, Department of Geography, Humboldt University Berlin, Berlin, Germany
- Prof. Dr. Carsten Dormann (2002-2011): Present affiliation: Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Department of Forest Biometry, Freiburg, Germany
Ph.D. thesis/Doctorate degree, Theses completed
- Christophe Dominik (2012-2018): The effects of surrounding landscapes on the biocontrol-production function in rice dominated agroecosystems. Matin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg.
- Lukas Egli (2021): Stabelazing agricultural system through diversity. University Potsdam, co-supervised with Prof. Dr. Volker Grimm
- Veronika Liebelt (2012-2019): Explaing pattern of of urban green, housing prices and inner urban migration using an agent based model. Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg
- Stefan Schmidt (2011-2017): Global distribution of ecosystem services and the uncertainty of the valuation. Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg
- Madhumitha Jaganmohan (2012-2017): The influence of urban form on urban ecosystem services and biodiversity. Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg
- Johannes Förster (2011-2017): Assessing ecosystem services across multiple scales. Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg
- Markus Meyer (2012-2016): Environmental assessment of different feedstocks for solid biofuels. Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg
- Katharina Gerstner (2011-2016): Global effects of land use change to species distribution and global biodiversity. Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg
- Nadja Kabisch (2008-2011): Heterogene urbane Bevölkerungsdynamik in Europa Identifizierung aktueller Prozessverläufe und ihrer Triebkräfte auf verschiedenen räumlichen Ebenen im Modellzusammenhang. Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg
- Christian Schweizer (2006-2009): Modeling drivers and socio-environmental impacts of regional land-use change: Integrating new processes into the SITE modeling framework. Martin-Luther Univesity Halle-Wittenberg
- Stefan Liersch (2006-2009): Development of a GIS-based monitoring and information system to support adaptive management. Martin-Luther Univesity Halle-Wittenberg
- Michael Strohbach (2007-2010): Impact of Urban Patterns on ecosystem function and services. Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg
- Maik Renner (2008-2011): Land use effects and climate impacts on evapotranspiration and catchment water balance. TU Dresden
- Annelie Holzkämper (2004-2007): Spatial optimization of land-use patterns with respect to habitat functions. Martin-Luther Univesity Halle-Wittenberg
- Christine Vogel (1999-2002): Räumlich explizites Modell auf Basis von Habitateignung und Populationsdynamik für Carabiden. TU Braunschweig
Science-Policy, Scientific Advisory Bodies
- Lead Author of the Global Assessment of the Intergovernmental Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) (2016-2019)
- Member of Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina for the special synthesis report on Biodiversity decline in Agricultural Landscapes
- National Science Foundation Germany (DFG), Commission of the Senate on Agroecosystem Research (2012-2018)
- Hochschulrat Universität Hohenheim (2012-2016, 2016 - ongoing)
- Scientific Advisory Board CIRS, Universität Kassel (2012 - 2016)
- Evaluation Committee of Potsdam Institute of Climate Impact Research (PIK), (2007)