Sabina J. Khan, M.Sc.

Scientific Researcher

Research expertise: environmental governance

  • Nexus governance
  • Science-policy interfaces
  • Transformative change
  • Natural resource management

Department of Systemic Environmental Biotechnology (SUBT)
Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research GmbH - UFZ
Permoserstraße 15, 04318 Leipzig, Germany,

Professional Engagements

Please see:

Since September 2023
Scientific Researcher, Department of Systemic Environmental Biotechnology, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ

  • Nexogenesis: Bringing together 20 partners from Europe and South Africa, to use artificial intelligence and a stakeholders' co-creation framework to design more effective and harmonised policies for the Water-Energy-Food-Ecosystem nexus. The UFZ team supports the case-studies in transdisciplinary research methods, stakeholder engagement, policy analysis and water diplomacy. (funded by EU Horizon2020)

July 2022 - June 2023
Conservation Director, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Guianas

  • Strategic planning and technical implementation of a portfolio of 8 marine-terrestrial-wildlife projects in Guyana & Suriname and developing the EUR 9M Sustainable Forest Livelihoods project (Team Europe Initiative for the Amazon Basin).

March 2021 - July 2022
Scientific Researcher, Department of Environmental Politics, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ

  • National Ecosystem Assessment Initiative (supporting IPBES). Developed a guidebook on establishing national biodiversity platforms and supported selected countries in their respective efforts. In collaboration with the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre. (funded by IKI)

  • Trees on Farms: Applied the Ecosystem Services Opportunities and Biodiversity Policy Integration frameworks to identify how trees on farms can be implemented to improve biodiversity conservation in Peru, Indonesia, Honduras, Uganda and Rwanda. (funded by IKI)

December 2018 - July 2022
Consultant in Adaptive Management, Red Panda Network

April 2020 -  April 2021
Research Assistant, Department of Biogeography, University of Bayreuth

  • DiMoc: Diversity Components in Mosquito-Borne Diseases in Face of Climate Change. Developed the stakeholder engagement plan for communication of research insights to decision-makers. (funded by Biodiversa+)

September 2016-2017
Consultant - Sustainable Landscapes, Conservation International Guyana

  • Prepared the Draft Strategic Framework for Regional Development for the Rupununi Region of Guyana, built the capacity of local governance institutions to engage in planning, and developed a costed roadmap for future planning phases.

September 2018 - March 2012
Coordinator, Conservation Advancement (Major Gifts & Strategic Partnerships), World Wildlife Fund Canada

  • Identified major gift prospects (individuals, corporations, foundations with the capacity for $10,000+ engagements) and supported the development of cultivation, solicitation and stewardship strategies.


  • Master of Science, Global Change Ecology. University of Bayreuth. Germany. (2021)

  • Bachelor of Natural Resources, Sustainable Coastal Management. Novia University of Applied Sciences. Finland. (2018).
       - Study exchange: Urban Planning, Politecnico di Milano, Italy. (2013-2014)
       - Study exchange: Forest Management, Latvia University of Agriculture. (2014-2015)

  • LEAD Programme, Stockholm Resilience Centre, Sweden (2014-2015). A leadership programme designed for transformations to sustainability in the Baltic Sea region, through application of sustainability science, business, social leadership, social innovation, self-development, public narrative, exponential technologies, entrepreneurship and impact investment.


Khan, S. J., Förster, J., Brenck, M., Raab, K., Garcia Rangel, S., Wittmer H. (2023) Guidebook on national biodiversity platforms: connecting nature and people. Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ, Leipzig, Germany, and the UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC), Cambridge, UK.

Rode, J., Muñoz Escobar, M., Khan, S.J., Borasino, E., Kihumuro, P., Okia, C.A., Robiglio, V. & Zinngrebe, Y. (2023). Providing targeted incentives for trees on farms: A transdisciplinary research methodology applied in Uganda and Peru. Earth System Governance, 16, 100172.

Zinngrebe, Y., Kinniburgh, F., Vijge, M., Khan, S., & Runhaar, H. (2022). Transformative biodiversity governance in agricultural landscapes: taking stock of biodiversity policy integration and looking forward. In I.J. Visseren-Hamakers & M. Kok (Eds.), Transforming Biodiversity Governance. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.

Wittmer, H., Berghöfer, A.; Büttner, L.; Chakrabarty, R.; Förster, J.; Khan, S.; König, C.; Krause, G.; Kreuer, D.; Locher-Krause, K.; Moreno Soares, T.; Muñoz Escobar, M.; Neumann, M.; Renner, I.; Rode, J.; Schniewind, I.; Schwarzer, D.; Tröger, U.; Zinngrebe, Y.; Spiering, S. (2021): Transformative change for a sustainable management of global commons. Recommendations for international cooperation based on a review of global assessment reports and project experience. UFZ-Report 3/2021.

Khan, S.J. (Sept 2021) Design and management of national biodiversity platforms: how science authority shapes policy arrangements. 2021 Bratislava Conference on Earth System Governance – Panel on the Governance of Nature and Biodiversity. Book of abstracts.

Khan, S.J. (April 2015). A review of the socio-ecological triggers, drivers and responses to the mountain pine beetle epidemic in the boreal forests of Canada. Latvian State Forest Research Institute “Silava" Conference on Adaptation and Mitigation: Strategies for Management of Forest Ecosystems