passionate about biological & cultural conservation

I am an enthusiastic, well-rounded scientist passionate about biological & cultural conservation. I pursue my passion by

• conducting academic research in conservation biology, population ecology, and molecular genetics
• applying sound science to applied, evidence-based conservation action
• transmitting knowledge and enthusiasm to students and the general public
• harnessing my academic curiosity to build strong, interdisciplinary teams

I hope to help advancing a sustainable future based on interethnic (we are all in one boat) and intergenerational (for the future) compassion and justice.


Director for Conservation Biology & Co-Owner at Nature Heritage since 2004

Research Fellow at the Universidad de la Frontera (Centro de Excelencia en Medicina Traslacional, CEMT, Temuco, Chile) since April


• Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology (FRSB), UK, since 2010
• Honorary Research Fellow, Cambridge University, UK, 2000-05
• Honorary Research Fellow, University College London (UCL), UK, 1997-99



  • Papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals: 50 of which 23 as first or senior author. Including Animal Behaviour, Animal Conservation, Behavioral Ecology, Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, Conservation Biology, Journal of Wildlife Diseases, Molecular Ecology, Molecular Phylogeny and Evolution, Nature Biotechnology, PloS ONE
  • Book chapters: 12
  • Books: 2 (both at Cambridge University Press)
  • Papers in non-peer-reviewed journals and others: 5

List of Publications



I am experienced in a wide range of work settings: Research and teaching, applied conservation at conservation organizations, and independent as a conservation consultant.

  • 2013-15. Lecturer & investigador alterno de la planta adjunta: Universidad UCT de Temuco, Chile
  • 2010-13. Honorary Research Fellow: NSF CREST Center for Applied Tropical Ecology & Conservation (CREST-CATEC), Universidad de Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico, USA
  • 2007-10. Research Fellow: NSF CREST Center for Applied Tropical Ecology & Conservation (CREST-CATEC), Universidad de Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico, USA
  • 2007-10. Senior Conservation Biologist & Head of Laboratory for Conservation Genetics. Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, Jersey, Channel Islands
  • 2005 -07. Conservation Geneticist and Head of Laboratory for Conservation Genetics, Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust; 50% position
  • 2005 -07. Research Scholar / Visiting Professor, University of Puerto Rico, NSF CREST Center for Applied Tropical Ecology (CREST-CATEC) & Conservation and Department of Biology; 50% position
  • 2004. Co-founder of Nature Heritage with D Rusowsky
  • 1999-2005. Research Fellow, Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London ZSL, affiliated with University College London, UCL (1999-2000) and Cambridge University (2000-2005)
  • 1996-99. Post-doctoral research assistant, University of Bristol, School of Biological Sciences, Bristol, UK
  • 1995-96. Post-doctoral research associate, University of Bristol, School of Biological Sciences, Bristol, UK
  • 1987-88. Research assistant, Department of Zoology, University of Saarland, Saarbrücken, Germany
  • 1985-89. Independent ecological consultant, Saarland
  • 1983-84. Animal trainer of carnivora for Bavaria Film Ateliers GmbH (Dr. E. Zimen) Munich, Germany


Member of Expert Panel of the European Business & Biodiversity Campaign since 12/2010
Regular peer review activities for international journals since 2000 (including Molecular Ecology, Animal Conservation and Conservation Genetics)


  • PhD in Biology (magna cum laude). Faculty of Sciences, University of Saarland (Université de la Sarre), Saarbrücken, Saarland, Germany. 01/90 - 09/94
  • MSc in Ecology and Management of Natural Resources, University of Bristol, UK. 0/93 - 10/95 (part-time). Funded via Studentship by German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)
  • MSc (German: Diplom) in Biology (Zoology, Genetics and Electrical Engineering), University of Saarland (Université de la Sarre), Saarbrücken, Saarland, Germany. 07/88 - 12/89
  • Vordiplom (equivalent: BSc) in Biology, University of Saarland, Saarbrücken, Saarland, Germany. 10/79 - 06/88
  • Abitur (equivalent: International Baccalaureate) Arnold Janssen-Gymnasium, St. Wendel, Saarland, Germany. 08/70 - 06/79


Auditor for Qualitymanagement and Environmental Management (Institut für Berufliche Bildung IBB; Berlin), 2011-12
Certificate as EU Fundraiser at emcra, Berlin, 2012
Basic Sequencing and Fragment Analysis (Applied Biosystems, Warrington, UK), 2000
Online MOOCs with Honour Code Certificates since 2014, including:

+ Forests and Livelihoods in Developing Countries (The University of British Columbia through edX)
+ Introduction to Sustainability (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign through coursera)
+ KIexploRx: Explore Statistics with R (Karolinska Institut, Sweden, through edX)
+ Pathways to climate change adaptation: the case of Small Island Developing States (University of Geneva through coursera)
+ Sustainability for Professionals (University of Bath through FutureLearn)
+ Sustainable Food Production Through Livestock Health Management (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign through coursera)
+ Tackling the Global Food Crisis (Queen's University Belfast through FutureLearn)
+ The Age of Sustainable Development (Columbia University, New York, through SDSNEDU)


  • Conservation biology: In situ and ex situ research; environmental management
  • Conservation genetics: molecular methods including development and application of microsatellite markers, sequencing, AFLP, qPCR, SNP; data analysis in phylogeography and phylogenetics; C and R programming; establishing, heading and supervising laboratories; Applied Biosystems certificated (2008)
  • Ecology: behavioural studies; life-capture and tagging of 300+ individuals of carnivora; data analysis; density estimation and monitoring; field expertise in isolated and challenging environments; radio-telemetry
  • Environmental management: biodiversity assessments; EIA; development of scientific research strategies; data mining
  • Epidemiology: monitoring disease spread of wildlife diseases and transmission of emerging diseases
  • Grants: applications, reporting as outlined in the “grants” section.
  • International fieldwork: experienced in Canada, Chile, China, Croatia, Dominican Republic, France, Germany, Kenya, Namibia, Puerto Rico, St. Lucia and the UK; sites Include extreme field conditions of deserts, highlands and temperate rainforest.
  • Laboratory management: Establishment and leading the Laboratory for Conservation Genetics at Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust; acting head of the molecular laboratory at the Department of Biology, Universidad de Puerto Rico.
  • Outreach and capacity building: teaching students of different academic, social and ethnographic background, conference and workshop organization
  • Statistics and computer skills: GIS, programming in C, statistical package R, design and management of webpages



I have a broad range of expertise including cross-disciplinary topics such as project and quality management, budget administration, fundraising, team building, communication to academia and the general public, capacity building, outreach, and liaison with politics.

  • Communication of complex scientific information to academic peers and outside science including press, governmental organizations, NGOs, local people. Using a broad range of technologies ranging from scientific publications to press releases and documentary filmmaking. Diverse radio and TV interviews
  • Languages: Bilingual German and English; native Rhenish Franconian [Lothringian / Saarländisch]; working knowledge of Spanish
  • Networking & team-building: linking-up with universities, scientific organizations, conservation organizations; multinational networking
  • Others: clean EU driving licence, German hunting licence
  • Project & budget management: planning, budgeting, implementing, financial accounting, staff supervision, creating and managing multidisciplinary projects of scientists and non-scientists, organization of international conferences


  • Visual Arts (one collaborative exhibition of the VIII Concurso de Artes Visuales “Identidad y territorio”, Fundación FOEBJU, Santiago, 2015)
  • Photography and documentary filmmaking/editing (collaboration with Funk Productions, since 2008; see FunkProduction's VIMEO page )
  • Independent Tour Guide, specialized in Science and Jewish tours (e.g. for Milk & Honey Tours, Berlin)
  • Active member in Jewish communities

I grew up and studied in the SaarLorLux Region of France, Germany, and Luxembourg. I resided in Germany, Jersey (Channel Islands), Namibia, Puerto Rico, and the UK. Currently living in Chile.