News and media coverage

September 3, 2021

Publication: Deadwood as a carbon store: Insects accelerate decomposition on Mount Kilimanjaro

All over the world, climatic influences, insects and other arthropods, as well as microorganisms cause a constant decomposition of deadwood. This natural decomposition releases significant amounts of carbon into the environment and therefore has a major impact on the Earth’s carbon cycle. This has been proven by a new study published in Nature. The speed and causes of deadwood decomposition were investigated at 55 forest sites on six continents. Dr. Andreas Hemp and Dr. Claudia Hemp from the University of Bayreuth investigated deadwood decomposition in different climatic zones on Mount Kilimanjaro.

>> For more information, please refer to the press release of the University of Bayreuth:

>> Publication: Seibold et al.: The contribution of insects to global forest deadwood decomposition. Nature (2021). DOI:

August 27, 2021

Award: Katrin Böhning-Gaese, speaker of Kili-SES, receives this year’s German Environmental Award

The Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU) is awarding this year’s German Environmental Award totaling 500,000 Euros to two internationally renowned individuals for outstanding achievements in their scientific disciplines to protect species, the climate and the environment: Prof. Dr. Katrin Böhning-Gaese for her cutting-edge research on the importance of biodiversity for the planet and humans, and Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Hans Joosten for his decades of scientific work on peatlands as climate protectors – and the serious consequences of peatland drainage for global warming. “The German Environmental Award 2021 should be a signal: We only have one earth. And we must treat the diversity of life with care,” said DBU Secretary General Alexander Bonde. “The two award winners have made an outstanding contribution on this.” The DBU’s German Environmental Award will be presented by German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier on October 10 in Darmstadt.

Source: Press release of Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU), in German; Translation: DeepL, Mathias Templin

August 26, 2021

Publication: New study demonstrates significant carbon storage in African mountain forests

The tropical mountain forests of Africa store more carbon per hectare in their above-ground biomass than all other tropical forests on earth. With this great storage capacity, which was previously estimated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to be considerably lower, they have made a major contribution to climate protection. This is the conclusion of a study published in Nature by an international network of researchers who are urging for the preservation of these carbon-rich ecosystems. Dr. Andreas Hemp from the University of Bayreuth and his team investigated carbon stocks in the mountain forests of Kilimanjaro.

>> For more information, please refer to the press release by the University of Bayreuth:

>> Publication: Aida Cuni-Sanchez et al.: High aboveground carbon stock of African tropical montane forests. Nature (2021). DOI:

April 26, 2021

Virtual Kili-SES Kick-off Meeting

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic our Kick-off Meeting unfortunately had to take place virtually. The goals of this meeting were to familiarize the new PhD students and PostDocs with the overall research questions, the research design and methodology of Kili-SES and to faciliate the communication between the natural and social sciences.

March 31, 2021

Publication: New “Field Guide to Bushcrickets, Wetas and Raspy Crickets of Tanzania and Kenya” by Claudia Hemp

This new field guide covers northern to central Tanzania, southern Kenya, and parts of central Kenya. For species-rich genera, morphological details are provided, together with keys to genera and species as well as distribution maps for most taxa. The enclosed DVD features the songs of 185 species.

>> For more information see publications page