With the Leibniz Chair, which was established at the end of 2011, the ZMT seeks close collaboration with disciplines not represented at the institute. The Leibniz Chair is awarded for three years to an outstanding researcher who concurrently retains his/her position at his/her home institute. The Chair is endowed with a PhD position and research funding.

In January 2015 the second Leibniz Chair was awarded by the ZMT to Prof. Dr. Douglas MacMillan, Professor of Biodiversity Economics at the University of Kent. His main area of research is the economic valuation of ecosystems. The complex process of valuation takes into account the information level of the respondents, personal values, social contexts and many other factors. This research thus facilitates an economic understanding of ecosystem services, which in the long term can contribute to the sustainable use of the systems.

MacMillan korr1With our research we assess the economic value of the services of ecosystems in order to create a basis for decision making in environmental protection and resource management. By raising awareness that the wildlife population in an ecosystem is of great value to the national economy, we create a foundation for sustainability”

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First Leibniz-Chair at the ZMT (2011 – 2014): Prof. Dr. Bettina Beer.


Local ecological knowledge and understandings of rapid environmental change on Takuu Atoll: Perceptions from a Polynesian Outlier