Department of Biology
Institute of Plant Science and Microbiology
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Jörg Helmschrot

Dr. rer. nat in geography/geoinformatics

Senior Scientist

Biodiversity, Evolution and Ecology of Plants (BEE)
Institute of Plant Science and Microbiology
University of Hamburg
Ohnhorststr. 18
22609 Hamburg, Germany

e-mail 2    joerg.helmschrot@sasscal.org

Availability: by arrangement

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Research focus

  • Landscape and eco-hydrological system analysis, modelling and assessment
  • Analysis and assessment of land management and climate change impacts on hydrological and ecosystem dynamics across spatial and temporal scales
  • Integration of in-situ measurements, time series and spatial data from all sources to observe and understand ecosystem dynamics across environments and scales
  • Process-based modelling of distributed water and solute transport in different environments
  • Role of wetlands for runoff generation and water storage in semi-arid catchments
  • EO- and GIS-based spatial analyses and modelling of land surface parameters and change detection analyses
  • Spatial discrimination and regionalization approaches
  • Data modelling by spatial metrics, geo-statistics, and geographically weighted regression

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See List of Publications

Projects (selection)

  • Southern African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management (SASSCAL), BMBF, since 2010 Weblink
  • The Future Okavango (TFO), BMBF, since 2010 Weblink
  • SA-Wetlands, BMBF, 2010-12
  • Yosemite Wetlands, DFG, 2010/11
  • ITIS-TiP, DFG, 2008 -11
  • DRYSAL I/II, BMBF, 2006 -11
  • MedSalin, BMBF, 2009-11
  • CliMed, EU, 2009-11
  • GIRMASEM, BMBF, 2006-09
  • Wetlands, DFG, 2003-06

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Curriculum vitae

Since 2013 Scientific coordination (SASSCAL) and Senior Scientist, University of Hamburg, Biocentre Klein Flottbek and Botanical Garden
2011 – 2012 Research assistant and project coordinator, Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Department of Geoinformatics, Hydrology and Modelling
2010 – 2011 Research Fellow (DFG-Postdoc-Fellowship), University of Washington, Mountain Hydrology Research Group
2006 - 2010 Research assistant and project coordinator, Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Department of Geoinformatics, Hydrology and Modelling
2003 - 2006 PhD- Student and research associate, Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Department of Geoinformatics, Hydrology and Modelling
Dissertation. Thesis:
An integrated, landscape-based approach to model the formation and hydrological functioning of wetlands in semiarid headwater catchments of the Umzimvubu River, South Africa (November 2006, FSU Jena)
Supervisor: Prof. Flügel (FSU Jena), Prof. Mäusbacher (FSU Jena), Prof. Hochschild (University Tübingen), Prof. Leavesley (USGS Denver, USA)
grade: 1.0 (summa cum laude)
2000 - 2003 Research associate, Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Department of Geoinformatics, Hydrology and Modelling
1994 – 1999 Studies of Geography (Diploma), Geology and Urban and Regional Planning, Friedrich Schiller University and Bauhau University Weimar
Diploma. Thesis:
Integration von Fernerkundung, GIS und empirischer Geländeaufnahme zur Parametrisierung physiographischer Faktoren für die distributive hydrologische Modellierung. Eine Fallstudie im semiariden Flusseinzugsgebiet des Umzimvubu, Ostkap Provinz, Südafrika (December 1999, FSU Jena)
Supervisor: Prof. Flügel (FSU Jena), Prof. Mäusbacher (FSU Jena), Prof. Schulze (University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg)
grade: 1.0 (excellent)

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Teaching experience

2007 – 2012 MSc-curriculum (courses in Applied geoinformatics, Web-based information systems, Land management and earth observation, integrated research) at Friedrich Schiller University Jena
2007 – 2012 BSc-curriculum (courses in Geoinformatics, GIS, Applied geoinformatics, Modelling of systems, Hydrological modelling (Friedrich Schiller University Jena)
2005 – 2010 Guest lecturer for courses in the field of Hydrological Modelling at Stellenbosch University (South Africa), University of Washington (USA) and Cukurova University (Turkey)
2002 – 2012 Supervision/Mentoring of undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate students (Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Cukurova University Adana, Stellenbosch University, CSIRO)
1999 – 2007 Lectures/courses in statistics, cartography, digital cartography, wetland dynamics and functions, geostatistics, geoinformation (Friedrich Schiller University Jena)

Supervisor / advisory committee member

  • Thomas Steudel: Implementation of dynamic land use in hydrological modelling with J2000 (working title) (PhD, since 2011)
  • Hendrik Göhmann: Process-based nutrient modelling in irrigated agricultural systems in Namibia and Turkey (working title) (PhD, since 2012)
  • Richard Bugan: Modelling and regulating hydrosalinity dynamics in the Sandspruit river catchment (Western Cape) (PhD, since 2008)
  • Cenk Donmez: Use of process-based ecosystem modelling to understand the complex interactions between land-surface and atmosphere at different spatial scales with emphasize on ecosystem modelling in combination with hydrological and decision tree models and remote sensing data (PhD, 2012)
  • Cornelia Scheffler: Development of a Downscaling Scheme for a Coarse Scale Soil Water Estimation Method (PhD, 2008)
  • Thomas Steudel: Anwendung des hydrologischen Modellsystems J2000 unter semiariden Bedingungen unter besonderer Berücksichtigung des Contour Farming, verschiedener Ansätze zur Zirkelauflösung und topologischer Teilflächenverknüpfung (MSc, 2011)
  • Hendrik Göhmann: Analyzing the hydrological- and nutrient transport characteristics in the irrigation area of Arkarsu - Seyhan catchment - Turkey (MSc, 2011)
  • Tobias Sieg: Erstellung und Anwendung eines Workflows zur Validierung eines satellitenbasierten Evapotranspirationsmodells an Daten ausgewählter Eddy-Kovarianz-Stationen in Deutschland (BSc, 2011)
  • Lisa Schwedes: Hydrologische Systemanalyse des Longa Flusses im Okavango Einzugsgebiet (BSc, 2011)
  • Melanie Fleischer: Systemanalyse im Cuiriri Einzugsgebiet, Angola (BSc, 2011)
  • Axel Kunz: Analyzing the severity and frequency of Cold Air Pools (CAP) in the Sierra Nevada, California (Analyse der Intensität und Häufigkeit von Cold Air Pools (CAP) in der Sierra Nevada, Kalifornien) (BSc2010)
  • Kevin Sturm: Vergleichende hydrologische Modellierung zweier mesoskaliger Einzugsgebiete in der Sierra Nevada, Kalifornien (BSc, 2010)
  • Eric Thomas: Anwendung des Modellsystems J2000g in mediterranen Landschaften (BSc, 2009)
  • Dorothee Kemnitz: Integrated hydrological/hydrochemical modelling to determine spatial distributed flow components and nitrate dynamics in the Duck catchment in Tasmania/Australia (BSc, 2007)
  • Hannes Müller-Schmied: Integrative Ableitung hydrologischer Funktionen von Feuchtgebieten am Beispiel des "Wipfragrund", oberes Gera-Einzugsgebiet, Thüringen (Diplom, 2008)
  • Helen Dahlke: Reliefgestützte Ableitung und Validierung von Feuchtgebieten in semi-ariden Einzugsgebieten der Ostkap Provinz Südafrikas (Diplom, 2004)

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Other professional experiences

Reviewer for journals / publishers

  • Hydrology Research (IWA)
  • Wetlands (Springer)
  • Climatic Change (Springer)
  • Hydrological and Earth System Sciences - HESS (EGU)
  • Wetland Ecology and Management (Springer)
  • Physics and Chemistry of the Earth (Elsevier)
  • Journal of Water and Climate Change (IWA)
  • Polish Journal of Environmental Studies
  • Photogrammetrie, Fernerkundung, Geoinformation (DGPF)
  • Zentralblatt für Geologie und Paläontologie (E. Schweizerbart Science Publishers)
  • Taylor & Francis

Reviewer and Judge for Conferences

  • AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, USA, 2010
  • MODSIM (Modelling and Simulation Society of Australia and New Zealand), 2005
  • 28. International Conference of the Society of Wetland Scientist, Madison, USA, 2007
  • 30. International Conference of the Society of Wetland Scientist, Sacramento, USA, 2007

Reviewer for Funding Agencies

  • Icelandic Research Fund (IRF), Island
  • National Research Foundation (NRF), South Africa
  • German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)


  • Invited talk to the Yosemite Hydro-climate meeting (10/2010)
  • Invited contribution to the newsletter of the German Embassy in South Africa, 10/2009
  • Invited speaker at the Filmfestival ‘Global dimension’, Topic Water, Jena, 10/2008
  • Introduction of the Department of Geography at ‘Tag der offenen Tür’, Jena, 11/2007

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Field experience

  • Upper Okavango, Angola
  • Western Cape, South Africa
  • Yosemite Valley, California, USA
  • Eastern Cape, South Africa
  • Arkasu Irrigation District, Turkey
  • Seyhan River Basin, Turkey
  • Tanguro Research Farm, Mato Grosso, Brazil
  • Mkomazi River Basin, South Africa
  • Limpopo River Basin, South Africa
  • Ruhuna Basin, Sri Lanka
  • Saale River Basin, Germany

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Honors, awards & fellowships

  • Invitation by the Humboldt-Foundation to participate the Indo-German Frontiers of Engineering Symposium 2013 in Hyderabad, India (Mar 2013)
  • DFG-Scholarship for a research on high-mountain wetlands in the Sierra Nevada at the Mountain Hydrology Research Group, University of Washington, Seattle, 04/10-03/11
  • EU-Fellowship through the project ‘CLIMed’ funded by EU-Marie Curie Action (People) ‘International Research Staff Exchange Scheme to visit the Climate Hazards Group at University of California, Santa Barbara in 2009 (July – October) and 2010 (Feb – Apr)
  • Proposed for the Faculty Award 2007 of the School of Chemistry and Earth Sciences at the FSU Jena (ranked 2.)
  • Honorable Mention Award for best poster presentation at 27th International Conference of the Society of Wetland Scientists, Cairns, Australia, June 2006
  • Student Travel Award from the Society of Wetland Scientists (SWS), 26th International Wetlands Conference, Charleston, SC, USA, June 2005
  • EU-Scholarship to participate in the "Conference for Wetlands: Monitoring, Modelling and Mangement (W3M)", organised by the "Center of Excellence in Wetland Hydrology", Wierzba, Poland, September 2005

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Professional affiliations

  • German Association of University Professors and Lecturers (DHV), since 2010 Weblink
  • American Geophysical Union (AGU), since 2010 Weblink
  • Thüringer Geographische Gesellschaft zu Jena e.V. (ThüGG), since 2006
  • International Mire Conservation Group (IMCG), since 2006 Weblink
  • Modelling and Simulation Soc. of Australia and New Zealand, since 2005 Weblink
  • Society of Wetland Scientists (SWS), since 2004 Weblink
  • Association of State Wetland Managers (ASWM), since 2003 Weblink

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Imprint  /  last update: 2013-01-23  by: Jörg Helmschrot DE