Biodiversity, Macroecology and Biogeography

Dr. (Delphine) Clara Zemp


email: delphine-clara.zemp[at]
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.

Projects (funded by the German Research Foundation):

I am currently postdoctoral 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"

I previously investivated vegetation-rainfall feedbacks in the Amazon region as part of my PhD in the International Research Training Group "Dynamical Phenomena in Complex Networks".

Awards and distinctions

2016: PhD thesis graded magna cum laude (very good)
2016: Start-up research grant from the DFG-funded IRTG1740
2015: Merian Award for best presentations at the annual meeting of 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 for best diploma theses


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. Forest-rainfall cascades buffer against drought across the Amazon. Nature Climate Change, doi:10.1038/s41558-018-0177-y, 2018.

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

Zemp, D. C., Schleussner, C.F., Barbosa, M. J., and Rammig, A. Deforestation effects on Amazon forest resilience. Geophysical Research Letters , 44, doi:10.1002/2017GL072955, 2017. 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. Self-amplied Amazon forest loss due to atmosphere-vegetation feedbacks. Nature Communications, doi:10.1038/ncomms14681, 2017.

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. Large-scale impact of climate change versus land-use change on future biome shifts in Latin America. Global Change Biology, 22, 3689-3701, 2016.

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.: On the importance of cascading moisture recycling in South America, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 14, 13337-13359, 2014.

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