He holds a Ph.D. in biology from Germany’s University of Göttingen. He is a lecturer in agroecology at Germany’s University of Bonn. He has served as senior fellow at the Center for Development Research (ZEF) Bonn, and as visiting professor at the Indo-German Center for Sustainability in Chennai, India. He served as assistant director for science programs at the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research in Brazil. He also acted as head of the CGIAR/ICARDA (International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas) Program for Central Asia and the Caucasus in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. He coordinated an international, interdisciplinary project on land and water resource management in Uzbekistan and has over 20 years of work experience in tropical ecology (Brazilian Amazonia, Africa) and in drylands. The program won the “CGIAR King Baudouin Award for Outstanding Partnership.” He served as senior scientist at ZEF Bonn where he supervised 30 Ph.D. students. He is co-founder and advisory board member of DesertNet International, a network of scientists dealing with drylands, land degradation and desertification. He worked for many years on conservation agriculture, soil ecology and organic matter in tropical and dryland soils. His research interests focus on land management and climate change, the development of integrated concepts for improving sustainability of land use and the management of biodiversity and the biological soil resources. He has published about 130 articles on tropical ecology, nutrient cycling, soil ecology and biodiversity in scientific journals, many policy briefs and communications to the public. He is co-editor of several scientific books, most recently “Cotton, Water, Salts and Soums: Economic and Ecological Restructuring in Khorezm, Uzbekistan” (with I. Rudenko, J.P.A. Lamers and P.L.G. Vlek; 2012).
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