Institut Méditerranéen de Biodiversité et d'Ecologie marine et continentale (IMBE), Centre National de Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Aix-en-Provence, France
Wolfgang, environmental geographer and global ecologist, is scientific co-director at IMBE.
With a PhD in Plant Ecology, Wolfgang's research contributions were initially in the area of modelling forest dynamics under climate change. He then began to seek a broader understanding of biosphere dynamics at the global and continental scale, including aspects of natural and human disturbance as well as biodiversity. In the early 2000s, Wolfgang directed the first ever region-specific and comprehensive ecosystem service assessment across Europe (see Advanced Terrestrial Ecosystem Analysis and Modelling, ATEAM). Through his work, Wolfgang aims to demonstrate the true value of intact ecosystems for people, in order to allow for more rational management of environmental resources, notably at the global scale.
Wolfgang is involved in several European research projects, including Operational Potential of Ecosystem Research Applications (OPERAs) which aims to bridge the gap between ecosystem science and practice, Building the European Biodiversity Observation Network (EU-BON) which works towards a unified data system for biodiversity, and Land-use change: assessing the net climate forcing, and options for climate change mitigation and adaptation (LUC4C) which adresses climatic consequences of changes in land use and land management.
Wolfgang strongly believes in coordinated global change research programmes. In addition to being the co-chair of ecoSERVICES Scientific Steering Committee, Wolfgang is a contributor in many roles to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) since 1995; he was recently a Coordinating Lead Author of Chapter 18, Detection and Attribution of Observed Impacts of Climate Change of Working Group II's contribution to the Fifth Assessment Report and was part of the Core Writing Team of the Fifth Assessment's Synthesis Report. Wolfgang also regularly serves as advisor of the German government and the European Union Research Directorate on questions related to biodiversity and climate.