International DAAD Alumni Seminar "Tropical diversity, ecology and land use"--

--in the run up to the European Conference of Tropical Ecology, 17 - 26 February 2016

Tropical Ecology

The "European Conference of Tropical Ecology" of the Society for Tropical Ecology was hosted by the Georg-August-University of Göttingen and the German Primate Center.

Seminar background

The title "Tropical diversity, ecology and land use" covers everything from the most biodiverse ecosystems on earth, their ecological functions and processes, land use changes, and threats and destruction of tropical ecosystems due to human overuse.

The conference title reflects the spectrum of research and teaching activities within the key research area "Sustainable Land Use Systems" of the Göttingen Campus. A large number of working groups in the Faculties of Forest Sciences and Forest Ecology, Agricultural Sciences, Biology and Psychology, Geosciences and Geography, and also Economic and Social Sciences, study the complex abiotic and biotic interactions in diverse social-ecological systems in the Tropics. The Centre of Biodiversity and Sustainable Land Use (CBL) joins the work in interdisciplinary projects, teaching and event organization.

Due to the complexity of ecological, social and economic components in land-use systems in the tropics, the knowledge transfer of modern assessment, analysis and synthesis methods in tropical ecology is crucial. Especially in biological hot spots in developing countries, the scientific survey is also for economic and political decision-making necessary (e.g. IPBES; REDD+) and there are still huge knowledge gaps.

The alumni seminar intended to elaborate and reflect the participants' expertise in socio-ecological systems. It facilitated networking between the participants and with scientists and international students of the University of Göttingen. By means of oral and poster presentations and discussion fora, visits of research facilities, and a nature reserve participants got in touch with institutions and organizations involved in tropical ecology and sustainable land use management. The furthermore had the opportunity to develop and exchange ideas with renowned experts during the seminar and at the conference.
The seminar was organized and hosted by the Centre of Biodiversity and Sustainable Land Use (CBL), Section of Tropical and Subtropical Agriculture and Forestry (SeTSAF), University of Göttingen. The seminar was offered by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in the framework of the program Alumni Special Projects. The costs were mainly covered by funds from the DAAD provided by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).


The seminar program in Göttingen included:

  • Sessions and workshops with keynotes on biodiversity and sustainable land use
  • Poster presentations from the participating alumni
  • Group work activities and professional networking opportunities with European tropical ecologists
  • Excursions
  • Cultural events

European Conference of Tropical Ecology

The Society of Tropical Ecology promotes and communicates new and emerging knowledge among tropical ecologists to advance the understanding of tropical ecosystems and their protection. It is currently Europes largest scientific association in this field of research with about 500 members. Annual international conferences invite international plenary speakers and present a platform for about 300 senior and junior scientists.