Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Klaus Birkhofer

Head of Department of Ecology, Brandenburg University of Technology

  • Relationships between functional diversity and food production and quality under ecological intensification (FUNPROD contact: Prof. Birkhofer, coordinator, BiodivERsa ERA-Net)
  • Managing soil biodiversity and ecosystem services in agroecosystems across Europe under climate change (SOILCLIM contact: Prof. Birkhofer, coordinator, BiodivERsa ERA-Net)
  • Land-use effects on the functional role of spiders in food webs in permanent grasslands (SPIDERFUN contact: Prof. Birkhofer, DFG)
  • Incorporating trophic interactions into the optimization of cost-effective agri-environmental schemes for biodiversity conservation in grasslands (TrophCost contact: Prof. Birkhofer, DFG)
  • Ecosystem functioning of sub-mediterranean regions: the functional frontier among Mediterranean and Eurosiberian forest communities (ECOFUMER contact: Dr. de la Riva, DFG)
  • Resilience of invertebrate communities in grassland soils (RESOILIANCE contact: Prof. Birkhofer, DFG) 
  • Strategies for the development of pyrophobic and climate change resistant forests on forest fire sites (PYROPHOB contact: Prof. Birkhofer, BMEL & BMU)
  • Southern African-German network for biodiversity education and research (SAGES contact: Prof. Birkhofer, coordinator, DAAD)
  • Integrated analysis of multifunctional fruit production landscapes to promote ecosystem services and sustainable land-use under climate change (MULTIFRUIT; contact: Prof. Birkhofer, BTU Graduate Research School)
  • Signatures of disturbed landscapes – A case study in post-mining landscapes (TRANSIENT contact: Prof. Birkhofer, coordinator, BTU Graduate Research School) 
  • Effects of forest restoration on ecosystem attributes in a post-mining area in Ghana (contact: Dr. de la Riva, Katholischer Akademischer Ausländer-Dienst)
  • Rangeland improvement through bush control and sustainable intensification to mitigate climate change and improve livelihoods and food security in Southern Africa (RIBS, contact: Prof. Birkhofer, BMBF)
  • Insect losses due to the use of conditioners in grasslands (InsektGut contact: Dr. Y. Xueyan, DBU)
  • Spider communities in fenced and unfenced forest areas (subproject Linde contact: Prof. Birkhofer, Zwillenberg-Tietz-Foundation)


2016-2018 Coordinator and principal investigator (PI) "Ground cover management in organic apple orchards in South Africa: Trade-offs between above- and belowground ecosystem services" Ekhaga Foundation

2016-2017 Research associate "Landscape mediated changes in farmland bird communities and effects on bird-provided ecosystem services and disservices" Swiss National Science Foundation (PI: Matthias Tschumi)

2014-2017 Principal investigator (PI) "Rural development through governance of multifunctional land-use" ERA-NET, EU 7th Framework MULTAGRI,

2013-2014 Principal investigator (PI) “Multifunctional landscapes: trade-offs between ecosystem services in farmland” in the strategic research area “Biodiversity and Ecosystem services in a Changing Climate” Centre for Environment and Climate Research

2013-2014 Principal investigator (PI) “Effects of farming system and management history on conservation biological control in spring barley” Crafoord Foundation

2011-2015 Researcher  (permanent since 2013) in the projects “Effects of land-use change on multifunctionality in agroecosystems: Biodiversity and ecosystem services after transition to organic production” MULTIFUNC, Swedish Research Council & “Multifunctional Agriculture: Harnessing biodiversity for sustaining agricultural production and ecosystem services” SAPES, Swedish Research Council

2011 Project grant “Effects of landscape composition on predator diets and the biological control of cereal aphids in Skåne.” Stiftelsen Lunds Djurskyddsfond

2011-2014 Author “The functional role of soil biodiversity in grassland habitats: effects of land use and climate on niche properties, decomposition and greenhouse gas fluxes.” SOILFUN in the DFG-Biodiversity Exploratories (SPP 1374/3; PI: Prof. V. Wolters).

2008-2011 Principal investigator (PI) “Impact of land-use intensity and landscape structure on the biodiversity and functioning of soil food webs” SOILFOODWEB in the DFG Biodiversity-Exploratories (SPP 1374/3, Co-PI with V. Wolters & T. Diekötter).

2008 DAAD grant “Arthropod diversity in forest ecosystems: sampling design and diversity-function relationships in a decomposer-predator food-chain” (with Prof. V. Wolters).

2007-2008 Research associate “Biodiversity and spatial complexity in agricultural landscapes” BIOPLEX (BIOLOG Europe, V. Wolters, JLU Giessen)

2004-2007 DFG grant PhD project “Organic farming and generalist predator communities: Implications for conservation biological control in agroecosystems” (Thesis, PI: S. Scheu, TU Darmstadt)

2004-2007 Research collaborator "Conservation of soil organism diversity under global change", EU 5th framework

2002-2004 Research assistant “Evolution of inbred systems in the Old World spider genus Stegodyphus (Eresidae)” in Namibia (T. Bilde, Aarhus University & Y.D. Lubin, Mitrani Department of Desert Ecology)

2001 DAAD grant “Territorialität und Paarungsverhalten bei Leucorchestris arenicola (Araneae, Sparassidae), einer Sparassidae aus einem Sanddünen-Ökosystem der zentralen Namib-Wüste” at the Gobabeb Training and Research Centre, Namibia.