Jennifer Merten, M.Sc.

Research Foci

  • Social Ecology

  • Resource Governance

  • Development Geography

  • Regional Focus: South East Asia and Latin America

Research Projects

  • Regional and local governance of natural resources in a lowland rainforest transformation system (Jambi, Sumatra) (PhD-Project within the CRC 990: Ecological and Socioeconomic Functions of Tropical Lowland Rainforest Transformation Systems (Sumatra, Indonesia). Subproject C02: Socio-cultural and institutional transformation processes in rural Jambi)

  • Land use change and rural water supply in the tropics. Perceptions and impacts of oil palm expansion in Sumatra, Indonesia (Master thesis, completed in March 2013)

  • The role of traditional knowledge in indigenous ecotourism - The example of Mashaquipe an indigenous organisation in the Bolivian sub-andean Amazona (Bachelor thesis, completed in January 2011) (in German)


  • Since August 2015: Research Associate at the Department of Human Geography at the Georg-August-University of Göttingen, Germany

  • July 2012 - July 2015: Research Assistant in the CRC 990: Ecological and Socioeconomic Functions of Tropical Lowland Rainforest Transformation Systems (Sumatra, Indonesia). Subproject C02: Political and institutional impacts on cultural landscape transformation.

  • October 2011 - March 2013: Georg-August-University of Göttingen, Master of Science: Geography: Resource Analysis and Resource Management.

  • February 2010 - July 2010: Universidad Católica Boliviana, La Paz, semester abroad.

  • July 2009 - December 2009: Universidad de Costa Rica, San José, semester abroad.

  • October 2007 - March 2011: Friedrich-Alexander-University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Bachelor of Arts: Cultural Geography. Minor subjects: Economic sciences, Political sciences.


  • Merten, J., A. Röll, T. Guillaume, A. Meijide, S. Tarigan, H. Agusta, C. Dislich, C. Dittrich, H. Faust, D. Gunawan, J. Hein, Hendrayanto, A. Knohl, Y. Kuzyakov, K. Wiegand, and D. Hölscher. 2016. Water scarcity and oil palm expansion: social views and environmental processes. Ecology and Society 21(2):5.

  • Schwarze, S., Euler, M., Gatto, M., Hein, J., Hettig, E., Holtkamp, A. M., Izhar, L., Kunz, Y., Lay, J., Merten, J., Moser, S., Mußhoff, O., Otten, F., Qaim, M., Soetarto, E., Steinebach, S., Trapp, K., Vorlaufer, M. and H. Faust (2015): Rubber vs. oil palm: an analysis of factors influencing smallholders´ crop choice in Jambi, Indonesia. EFForTS discussion paper series, No. 11.

Conference Presentations:

  • 04.10.2013. Deutscher Geographentag 2013, Passau: "Transformationen und Wasserhaushalt am Beispiel der Provinz Jambi, Sumatra (Indonesien)" as part of the seminar: Von der Frontier zur Post-Frontierzone: Transformationen im ländlichen Raum der Tropen.

  • 21.11.2013: Annual Meeting of the research group (AK) Hydrology 2013, Augsburg: "Landnutzungswandel und rurale Wasserversorgung in den Tropen. Auswirkungen und Perzeption der Ölpalmexpansion auf Sumatra".