Dr. (Delphine) Clara Zemp


email: delphine-clara.zemp[at]forst.uni-goettingen.de
phone: +49-(0)551-39-21857
address: Büsgwenweg 1, 37077 Göttingen
office: 1.136

Research Interests

My research focuses on understanding mechanisms and dynamics linking biodiversity, climate and land use in tree-based natural and agricultural systems in the tropics, in order to support sustainable and resilient ecosystem management strategies. I am interested in combining various methodological approaches including remote sensing, model development and ground-based measurements. I have experience using techniques from complexity sciences to analyze non-linearities, feedbacks and interactions in the system at various spatio-temporal scales.

Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning
(MSc, lecture & seminar, English, summer term)

Projects (funded by the German Research Foundation):

I am currently researcher in the Biodiversity Enrichment Experiment in Oil Palm Plantations of the Colaborative Research Center "Ecological and Socioeconomic Functions of Tropical Lowland Rainforest Transformation Systems (Sumatra, Indonesia) - EFForTS" (since 2016)

I previously investivated vegetation-rainfall feedbacks in the Amazon region as part of my PhD and early postdoc in the International Research Training Group "Dynamical Phenomena in Complex Networks" (2012 - 2016)

Awards and distinctions

2017: Research Highlights in Nature for my article published in Geophysical Research Letters
2016: Start-up research grant from the DFG-funded IRTG1740
2015: Merian Award from the Society of Tropical Ecology (GTÖ)
2014: Editor's Choice Article for my article published in Europhysics Letter
2013: Xavier Bernard foundation Award from the French Academy of Agriculture


2016: PhD in Earth System Sciences / Geography
> Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) & Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Germany

2012: Engeneer degree in Agricultural Sciences / Geographic Information Systems
> National Polytechnic Institute of Toulouse, France

2008: Equivalent BSc in Natural Sciences
> École Nationale de Chimie Physique Biologie, Paris, France

International experience

Vietnam (undergraduate internship, 6 months), Norway (undergraduate internship, 6 months),
Brazil (PhD, 6 months), Indonesia (postdoc, > 1.5 years)


Ballauff , J., Zemp, D. C., Schneider, D., Irawan, B., Daniel, R., Polle, A. (2020) Legacy effects overshadow tree diversity effects on soil fungal communities in oil palm-enrichment plantations, MDPI – microorganisms, 8:1577.

Merten, J., Stiegler, C., Hennings, N., Purnama, E., Röll, A., Agusta, H., Dippold, M., Fehrmann, L., Gunawan, D., Hölscher, D., Knohl, A., Kückes, J., Otten, F., Zemp, D. C., Faust H. (2020) Flooding and land-use change in Jambi Province, Sumatra: integrating local knowledge and scientific inquiry, Ecology and Society, 25(3):14.

Zemp, D.C, Ehbrecht, M., Seidel,D., Ammer, C., Craven, D., Erkelenz, J., Irawan, B., Sundawati, L., Hölscher, D., Kreft, H. (2019) Mixed-species tree plantings enhance structural complexity in oil palm plantations, Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, doi: 10.1111/1365‐2664.

Zemp, D.C & Gérard, A. Hölscher, D, Ammer, C., Irawan, B., Sundawati, L., Teuscher, M., Kreft, H. (2019) Tree performance in a biodiversity enrichment experiment in an oil-palm landscape, Journal of Applied Ecology, doi: 10.1111/1365-2664.13460.

Seidel, D., Annighöfer, P, Stiers, M., Zemp, D.C. , Burkardt, K., Ehbrecht, M., Willim, K., Kreft, H., Hölscher, K., Ammer, C. (2019) How a measure of tree structural complexity relates to architectural benefit-to-cost ratio, light availability and growth of trees, Ecology and Evolution, doi:10.1002/ece3.5281.

Röll, A., Niu, F., Meijide, A., Ahongshangbam, J., Ehbrecht, M., Guillaume, T., Gunawan, T., Hardanto, A., Hendrayanto, H., Hertel, D., Kotowska, M., Kreft, H., Kuzyakov, Y., Leuschner, C., Nomura, M., Polle, A., Rembold, K., Sahner, J., Seidel, D., Zemp, D. C., Knohl, A., Hölscher, D. (2019) Transpiration on the rebound in lowland Sumatra. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology , 274, 160-171.

Khokthong, W.. Zemp, D. C., Irawan, B., Sundawati, L., Kreft, H., Hölscher, D. (2019) Drone-Based Assessment of Canopy Cover for Analyzing Tree Mortality in an Oil Palm Agroforest, Frontiers in Forests and Global Change, 2:12. doi: 10.3389/ffgc.2019.00012.

Weng, W., Costa, L., Luedeke, M., Zemp, D.C. (2019) Aerial River Management by Smart Cross-border Reforestation, Land Use Policy , 84, 105-113.

Grossman, J.J., Vanhellemont, M., Barsoum, N., Bauhus, J., Bruelheide, H., Castagneyrol, B., Cavender-Bares, J., Eisenhauer, N., Ferlian, O., Gravel, D., Hector, A., Jactel, H., Kreft, H., Mereu, S., Messier, C., Muys, B., Nock, C., Paquette, A., Parker, J., Perring, M.P., Ponette, Q., Reich, P.B., Schuldt, A., Staab, M., Weih, M., Zemp, D.C., Scherer-Lorenzen, M. & Verheyen, K. (2018) Synthesis and future research directions linking tree diversity to growth, survival, and damage in a global network of tree diversity experiments. Environmental and Experimental Botany. doi: 10.1016/j.envexpbot.2017.12.015.

Staal, A., Tuinenburg, O., Bosmans, J., Holmgren, M., Van Nes, E., Scheffer, M., Zemp, D. C., and Dekker, S. (2018) Forest-rainfall cascades buffer against drought across the Amazon. Nature Climate Change, doi:10.1038/s41558-018-0177-y.

Weng, W., Luedeke, M. K. B., Zemp, D. C., Lakes, T., and Kropp, J. P. (2018) Aerial and surface rivers: downwind impacts on water availability from land use changes in Amazonia. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 22, 911-927, https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-22-911-2018.

Zemp, D. C., Schleussner, C.F., Barbosa, M. J., and Rammig, A.(2017) Deforestation effects on Amazon forest resilience. Geophysical Research Letters , 44, doi:10.1002/2017GL072955. Research Highlights in Nature.

Zemp, D. C., Schleussner, C.F., Barbosa, M. J., Hirota, M., Montade, V., Sampaio, G., Staal, A., Wang-Erlandsson, L. and Rammig, A. (2017) Self-amplied Amazon forest loss due to atmosphere-vegetation feedbacks. Nature Communications, doi:10.1038/ncomms14681.

Boit, A, Sakschewski, B., Boysen, L., Crespo, A., Clement, J., Alaniz, N., Kok, K., Kolb, M., Langerwisch, F., Rammig, A., Sachse, R., van Eupen, M., von Bloh, W., Zemp, D. C. and Thonicke, K. (2016) Large-scale impact of climate change versus land-use change on future biome shifts in Latin America. Global Change Biology, 22, 3689-3701.

Zemp, D. C., Schleussner, C.-F., Barbosa, H. M. J., van der Ent, R. J., Donges, J. F., Heinke, J., Sampaio, G., and Rammig, A.(2014) : On the importance of cascading moisture recycling in South America, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 14, 13337-13359.

Zemp, D. C., Wiedermann, M., Kurths, J., Rammig, A. and Donges, J. F. (2014): Node-weighted measures for complex networks with directed and weighted edges for studying continental moisture recycling, Europhysics Letters, 107, 58005.