PD Dr. Christine Schmitt

Research themes
  • Science policy
  • Land use and food security
  • Sustainable use of biological resources
  • Biodiversity
Research countries
  • Ethiopia
  • Ghana
  • Kenya
  • Nigeria
  • Peru
Research projects

BiomassWeb - biomassweb.org (2013-2018, project coordinator)

Reconciling human livelihood needs and nature conservation in East African forest biodiversity hotspots - https://biodiversitynetworkkenya.wordpress.com/ (2016-2019, associated fellow)

How to achieve effective participation of communities in the monitoring of REDD+ projects: A case study on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) - www.landespflege.uni-freiburg.de/forschung/landschaft/effective-participation (2015-2016, project supervisor)

Tutorship of doctoral candidates

Consideration of forest biodiversity conservation in REDD+ implementation: an analysis of actors’ views in Kenya and Peru (Dr. S. Entenmann)

Supervision of
ongoing doctoral theses

J. Delgado: Integration of remote sensing techniques and information on ecosystem services to measure tropical forest degradation: a case study from Ecuador (first supervisor)

B.F. Nero: Urban green spaces enhance carbon sequestration and conserve biodiversity in the global South – case of Kumasi, Ghana (second supervisor)

Professional experience

Dr. Christine B. Schmitt is a senior researcher at ZEF. She received her doctoral degree at ZEF in 2006 with a PhD theses on the floristic diversity of the Ethiopian wild coffee forests. After a post-doc period at the Institute of Forest and Environmental Policy (2006-2009), she was assistant professor at the Chair for Landscape Management (2009-2014) - both University of Freiburg. Christine is interested in evaluating the environmental and human factors which shape tropical forest biodiversity and in developing strategies for reconciling use and conservation in tropical forest landscapes. In particular, she studied the implications of REDD+ for biodiversity conservation at the local, national and global level. As a member of the German delegation during CBD and IPBES meetings and a member of the 2012 Global Forest Expert Panel, Christine has worked in transdisciplinary contexts and has expertise in policy deliberation. In addition, she has teaching experience and supervised numerous undergraduate, graduate and doctoral theses.


2015: Habilitation from University of Freiburg (Venia legendi: Landscape management and nature conservation), Germany

2006: PhD in Geography (Dr. rer. nat.) from University of Bonn, Germany

2000: Diplom in Landscape Ecology from University of Münster, Germany


Schmitt CB. 2015. Global patterns of biodiversity in forests. In: Peh K, Corlett R & Bergeron Y (eds.): The Routledge Handbook of Forest Ecology. Routledge, Oxford, UK.
Slik, F. & 171 co-authors, including Schmitt CB. 2015. An estimate of the number of tropical tree species. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 112 (24): 7472–7477. Further Information


Entenmann S, Kaphegyi T & Schmitt CB. 2014. Forest biodiversity monitoring for REDD+: A case study of actors' views in Peru. Environmental Management , 53: 300-317.
Entenmann S, Schmitt CB & Konold W. 2014. REDD+-related activities in Kenya: actors’ views on biodiversity and monitoring in a broader policy context. Biodiversity and Conservation, 23: 3561-3586.
Senbeta F, Schmitt CB, Woldemariam T, Boehmer HJ & Denich M. 2014. Plant diversity, vegetation structure and relationship between plant communities and environmental variables in the Afromontane forests of Ethiopia. Ethiopian Journal of Science, 37(2): 113-130.


Entenmann S & Schmitt CB. 2013. Actors' perceptions of forest biodiversity values and policy issues related to REDD+ implementation in Peru. Biodiversity and Conservation, 22: 1229-1254.
Pistorius T & Schmitt CB. 2013. The Protection of Forests under Global Biodiversity and Climate Policies: Policy Options and Case Studies on Greening REDD+. German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) . Bonn, Germany. (Open Acess) Download [PDF | 2.05MB]
Schmitt CB. 2013. Global tropical forest types as support for the consideration of biodiversity under REDD+. Carbon Management, 4: 501-517.
Schmitt CB, Senbeta F, Woldemariam T, Rudner M & Denich M. 2013. Importance of regional climates for plant species distribution patterns in moist Afromontane forest. Journal of Vegetation Science , 24: 553-568.


Gardner TA, Burgess ND, Aguilar-Amuchastegui N, Barlow J, Berenguer E, Clements T, Danielsen F, Ferreira J, Foden W, Lees AC, Roman-Cuesta RM, Parry L, Schmitt CB, Strange N, Khan SM, Theilade I & Vieira ICG. 2012. A framework for integrating biodiversity concerns into national REDD+ programmes. Biological Conservation, 154: 61-71.
Kapos V, Kurz WA, Gardner T, Ferreira J, Guariguata M, Koh LP, Mansourian S, Parrotta J, Sasaki N, Schmitt CB, Barlow J, Kanninen M, Okabe K, Pan Y, Thompson ID & van Vliet N. 2012. Impacts of forest and land management on biodiversity and carbon. In: Parrotta A, Wildburger C & Mansourian S (eds.): Understanding Relationships between Biodiversity, Carbon, Forests and People: The Key to Achieving REDD+ Objectives. IUFRO, Vienna, Austria. 53-80.
Thompson ID, Ferreira J, Gardner T, Guariguata MR, Koh LP, Okabe K, Pan Y, Schmitt CB, Tylianakis J, Barlow J, Kapos V, Kurz WA, Parrotta JA, Spalding MD & van Vliet N. 2012. Forest biodiversity, carbon and other ecosystem services: relationships and impacts of deforestation and forest degradation. In: Parrotta A, Wildburger C & Mansourian S (eds.): Understanding Relationships between Biodiversity, Carbon, Forests and People: The Key to Achieving REDD+ Objectives. IUFRO, Vienna, Austria. 21-52.


Entenmann S & Schmitt CB. 2011. REDD+ as a contribution to conservation and connectivity of World Heritage Forest Sites. In: Patry M, Horn R & Haraguchi S (eds.): Adapting to change. The state of conservation of World Heritage Forests in 2011. UNESCO, Paris, France. 32-38.
Pistorius T, Schmitt CB, Benick D, Entenmann S & Reinecke S. 2011. Greening REDD+ – challenges and opportunities for integrating biodiversity safeguards at and across policy levels. German Journal of Forest Research, 182: 82-98.
Pistorius T, Schmitt CB, Benick D, Entenmann S & Reinecke S. 2011. Greening REDD+: Challenges and opportunities for forest biodiversity conservation.
Schmitt CB. 2011. A tough choice: Approaches towards the setting of global conservation priorities. In: Zachos FE & Habel JC (eds.): Biodiversity Hotspots. Springer Publishers, Berlin, Heidelberg, Germany. 23-42.


Schmitt, C., F. Senbeta, M. Denich, H. Preisinger and H. J. Boehmer. 2010. Wild coffee management and plant diversity in the montane rainforest of southwestern Ethiopia. African Journal of Ecology, 48 (1): 78–86. Further Information
Schmitt, C.B., Denich, M., Sebsebe D., Friis, I. and Boehmer, H.J.. 2010. Floristic diversity in fragmented Afromontane rainforests: Altitudinal variation and conservation importance. Applied Vegetation Science, 13: 291-304.


Schmitt CB, Burgess ND, Coad L, Belokurov A, Besançon C, Boisrobert L, Campbell A, Fish L, Gliddon D, Humphries K, Kapos V, Loucks C, Lysenko I, Miles L, Mills C, Minnemeyer S, Pistorius T, Ravilious C, Steininger M & Winkel G. 2009. Global analysis of the protection status of the world's forests. Biological Conservation, 142: 2122-2130.
Schmitt CB, Pistorius T & Winkel G. 2009. Global conservation of forest biodiversity: Options for a forest protected area network under the CBD. Schriftenreihe Naturschutz und Biologische Vielfalt 84, German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN). Bonn, Germany.
Schmitt, C.B., Denich, M. & Boehmer, H.J.. 2009. Plant diversity and conservation of Afromontane rainforest with Coffea arabica in the Bonga region (SW Ethiopia). In: van der Burgt, X., van der Maesen, J. & Onanan, J.-M. (eds.): Systematics and Conservation of African Plants. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. 679-690.


Schmitt CB, Pistorius T & Winkel G. 2007. A global network of forest protected areas under the CBD: Opportunities and challenges. Proceedings of an International Expert Workshop, Freiburg, May 9-11, 2007. Freiburger Schriften zur Forst- und Umweltpolitik 16. Verlag Kessel. Remagen, Germany.


Schmitt, C. 2006. Montane rainforest with wild Coffea arabica in the Bonga region (SW Ethiopia): plant diversity, wild coffee management and implication. Doctoral thesis at Faculty of Math. & Nat. Science, University of Bonn. Cuvillier Verlag Further Information
Schmitt, C., S. Feyera, M. Denich, H. Preisinger, H. Böhmer. 2006. Impact of wild coffee management on plant diversity in montane rainforest of the Bonga region (SW Ethiopia). In: National Biodiversity Data Bank (eds.): Biodiversity in inhabited areas of Eastern Africa, abstracts and programme. Makerere University und University of Dar es Salaam: Makerere, 43-44.
Schmitt, C.B. 2006. Schutz und Nutzung der biologischen Vielfalt von Bergregenwald mit wildem Kaffee (Coffea arabica L.) in der Bonga-Region Südwest-Äthiopiens. In: Korn, H. and U. Feit (eds.): Treffpunkt Biologische Vielfalt VI, BfN-Skripten. Bundesamt für Naturschutz: Bonn. 121-126.
Schmitt, C.B. 2006. Montane rainforest with wild Coffea arabica in the Bonga region (SW Ethiopia): plant diversity, wild coffee management and implications for conservation. Ecology and Development Series No. 47. Cuvillier Verlag. Göttingen.
Schmitt, C.B., Feyera S., M. Denich, H. Preisinger and J. Böhmer. 2006. Impact of traditional coffee management on the biodiversity of natural coffee forests in Bonga region (SW Ethiopia). In: Society for Tropical Ecology (eds.): 19th Annual Conference “Connecting microbes, plants, animals and human impact”, book of abstracts. University of Kaiserslautern: Kaiserslautern. 221.


Feyera, S., C. Schmitt, M. Denich, D. Sebsebe, P. Vlek, H. Preisinger, W. Tadesse and T. Demel. 2005. The diversity and distribution of lianas in the Afromontane rain forests of Ethiopia. Diversity and Distributions, 11: 443-452.
Schmitt, C.B., Feyera S., M. Denich, H. Preisinger, Tadesse W. and Sebsebe D.. 2005. Sustainable management of the montane rainforests with wild coffee (Coffea arabica L.) in the Bonga region of Southwest Ethiopia. In: Tielkes, E., C. Hülsebusch, I. Häuser, A. Deininger and K. Becker (eds.): The Global Food & Product Chain - Dynamics, Innovations, Conflicts, Strategies, book of abstracts Tropentag 2005. University of Hohenheim: Stuttgart. 78.


Schmitt, C.B. and M. Ruhnau. 2002. Sortenvielfalt als Chance für den pestizidfreien Apfelanbau. In: BUKO Agrar Koordination (eds.): Biologische Vielfalt und Ernährungssicherung. BUKO Agrar Dossier 25. Schmetterlingsverlag: Stuttgart. 114-120.


Schmitt, C.B., G.E. Broll, Th.W. Kuyper and N.A. Onguene. 2001. Mycorrhizal selectivity of three timber tree species in the tropical rainforest of South Cameroon. Mitteilungen der Deutschen Bodenkundlichen Gesellschaft 96, .


Senior Researcher


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