Directorate of the gtö

The members of the gtö elect the directorate of our society at the annual meetings, in a two years turnus. For further details, see our: Satzung of the gtö.

Executive board members

Pierre-Michel Forget


Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle
1 avenue du petit château
91800 Brunoy

pierre-michel.forget (at)……

I am a tropical forest ecologist studying the animal-plant relationships, mostly fruit-eating vertebrates and seed dispersal, interested in the conservation and the sustainable use of non-timber forest products, and trying to educate stakeholders and people to minimize the  impact of anthropogenic activities on tropical biodiversity and ecosystem health.

Ute Radespiel

Secretary general

Institute of Zoology
University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover
Bünteweg 17
30559 Hannover

ute.radespiel (at)……

I am a behavioural ecologist and aim to understand the factors, that drive and influence the evolution of social structures, the demography, ecological niche construction, distribution, connectivity and the long-term survival of lemur populations on various spatial scales.

Nina Farwig


Conservation Ecology
University of Marburg
Karl-von-Frisch-Str. 8
D-35032 Marburg
farwig (at)
I am a conservation ecologist interested in functional biodiversity research who seeks to better understand the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in the face of human activities.

Simone Pfeiffer


Georg-August-University Göttingen
Centre of Biodiversity and sustainable Land Use
Büsgenweg 1
37077 Göttingen


I studied ecology in Jena and Edinburgh. 2007 to 2013, I led the central coordination office of the DFG Priority Programme 1374 "Biodiversity Exploratories". Since 2013, I am the scientific coordinator for tropical / subtropical agricultural and forestry sciences in the Centre of Biodiversity and Sustainable Land Use at the University of Göttingen. I am a gtö member since 2014 and was member of the advisory board 2015-2020.

Vojtech Novotny


Biology Centre

Czech Academy of Science
Branisovska 31
37005 Ceske Budejovice
Czech Republic

novotny (at)…

I am a tropical ecologist interested in the ecology of plant-insects food webs in tropical forests and conservation of tropical biodiversity.


Scientific board members

Marco Tschapka

Editor of Ecotropica and member of scientific advisory board

Department of Experimental Ecology (Bio 3)
University of Ulm
Albert-Einstein Allee 11
D 89069 Ulm

ecotropica (at)

Chris J. Kettle

Member of scientific advisory board

ETH Zurich
CHN G75.1
Universitaetstrasse 16
8092 Zurich

chris.kettle (at)

I am a Tropical Forest Ecologist and conservation geneticist with a primary focus on plant reproductive ecology. I  aim to advance our understanding of how habitat degradation, especially fragmentation, impacts on plant biodiversity.

Holger Kurz

Member of scientific advisory board

Büro für biologische Bestandsaufnahmen
Moorkamp 10
D-20357 Hamburg
gtoe (at)

Being 21 I visited the tropical rain forest for the first time  and became interested in tropical ecology. Alongside my interest in taxonomy I tried to relate the diversification of Lauraceae with their pollination system. I became a gtö member in 1989. In 2005 I was elected as gtö’s treasurer and had this position until 2020. Having an own office as freelance expert since 1981, I familiarized with balance sheets and taxes. Having served as a treasurer of gtö for 15 years is my way to support the tropical ecology. 

Jürgen Homeier

Member of scientific advisory board

Georg-August-University Göttingen – Department of Plant Ecology and Ecosystems Research
Untere Karspüle 2
37073 Göttingen

jhomeie (at)……

I am a plant ecologist, interested in the composition of tropical plants and the ecosystem functions of tropical forests along environmental gradients and under global change impacts.

Sarah Luke

Member of scientific advisory board

Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge,

I am a community ecologist interested in the effects of habitat change on biodiversity and ecosystem functions, and development of possible strategies for conservation. My current work is based in Southeast Asia.

Eckhard W. Heymann

Editor of Ecotropica and member of scientific advisory board

Behavioral Ecology & Sociobiology Unit
Deutsches Primatenzentrum
Leibniz-Institut für Primatenforschung
Kellnerweg 4
37077 Göttingen, Germany

eheyman (at)…

I am a primatologist and behavioural ecologist, particularly interested in primate ecology and animal-plant interactions, and run a field research site in Peruvian Amazonia.

Melanie Dammhahn

Member of scientific advisory board

University Greifswald


I am a behavioural and animal ecologist with research interests at the interface between ecology, behaviour and evolution. Primarily, I am interested in drivers and limits of within-species variation in behaviour, life-history and ecophysiology and their consequences for ecological interactions within and between species. My studies are on a wide range of mammalian taxa, such as rodents, lemurs, insectivores, bats and carnivores.

Raffael Ernst

Member of scientific advisory board

Museum of Zoology
Senckenberg Natural History Collections Dresden
Königsbrücker Landstr. 159
D-01109 Dresden

raffael.ernst (at)…

I am animal ecologist and herpetologist interested in how phylogeny and ecology drive patterns of functional diversity in biological communities

Alice C. Hughes

Member of scientific advisory board

Centre for Integrative Conservation
Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden
Chinese Academy of Sciences
Menglun, Mengla
Yunnan 666303
P.R. China

ach_biodiversity (at)

I am a conservation biogeographer looking at patterns of diversity and drivers of biodiversity change across Southeast Asia.

Bettina Engelbrecht

Member of scientific advisory board

Department of Plant Ecology
University of Bayreuth
Universitaetsstrasse 30
95440 Bayreuth

bettina.engelbrecht (at)…

I am a tropical plant ecologist interested in the factors shaping tropical tree diversity under current and future climate, with a focus on direct and indirect effects of drought. To that end, I am explicitly linking plant physiological and functional ecology with population and community ecology.

Eike Lena Neuschulz

Member of scientific advisory board

Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Reserach Centre
Senckenberganlage 25
60325 Frankfurt am Main

elneuschulz (at)

I am interested in species communities and their ecosystem functions and services. In particular, I study ecosystem functions provided by birds across elevational gradients in temperate and tropical mountain regions.

Sven Günter

Member of scientific advisory board

Head of Dept., Forestry Worldwide
Thünen Institute of International Forestry and Forest Economics
Leuschnerstr. 91
21031 Hamburg, Germany

sven.guenter (at)

I am a forester, contributing to science-based solutions for sustainable policies in the field of multipurpose forestry, ecosystem services and livelihoods in tropical forest landscapes. My major motivation for participation in the advisory board of the Society for Tropical Ecology is helping to bridge the gap between solid ecological research and sustainable management of forest ecosystems and livelihoods of forest dependent people in the tropics.

Annemarie Wurz

Member of scientific advisory board - Social Media Manager

Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
Department of Crop Science
Grisebachstr. 6
37077 Göttingen

annemarie.wurz (at)

Twitter: @annemarie_wu

I am a tropical ecologist interested in pollination and pollinator conservation in crop production systems. Currently, I am a PhD student researching the effect of land-use change on biodiversity in vanilla agroforestry and other land-uses in north-eastern Madagascar. I find science communication very important and therefore I am happy to manage the Gtö’s twitter and facebook accounts to increase our visibility and impact through social media.

Pia Parolin

Member of the scientific advisory board 

INRA, Univ. Nice Sophia Antipolis
CNRS, UMR 1355-7254
Institut Sophia Agrobiotech
06900 Sophia Antipolis

pia.parolin (at)

I am a tropical ecologist interested in wetlands and floodplain ecology and conservation, seeking to enhance conservation efforts in tropical countries and improve networking between European tropical ecologists.

I also started the project #MyMessageAsAScientist, a photo portrait project of scientists and their statements, supported by the gtö:

Pablo Orozco-terWengel

Member of scientific advisory board

Cardiff School of Biosciences 
Cardiff University 
The Sir Martin Evans Building 
Museum Avenue 
CF10 3AX

orozco-terwengelpa (at)

I was born in Colombia, one of the countries with highest biodiversity. Since an early age I have been interested in the natural world, and considering the diversity of my country of origin, I’ve also been interested in finding out ways to conserve that biodiversity. My work has since an early stage focused in understanding how evolutionary processes have shaped the genetic variation of species throughout the tropics, and aimed at using that knowledge to inform management strategies for conservation in the region. Since the appearance of next generation sequences, I have strived to use that information to further understand genetic processes leading to local adaptation, as these provide insights on how species may be able to deal with some aspects of climate change.

Patrick A. Jansen

Member of scientific advisory board

Department of Environmental Sciences
Wageningen University
PO Box 47
6700 AA Wageningen
The Netherlands

patrick.jansen (at)……

I am a community ecologist studying interactions between wildlife and plants, such as seed dispersal and herbivory, in the tropics as well as the temperate zone. Much of my work involves the use of camera traps to record animal presence, abundance and behaviour.