Prof. Dr. To­bi­as Pli­e­nin­ger

Prof. Dr. Tobias Plieninger has been Professor of Social-Ecological Interactions in Agricultural Systems at the Universities of Kassel and Göttingen since October 2017.

He was Associate Professor at the Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management at the University of Copenhagen from 2013 to 2017. Before he was leader of a Junior Research Group on “Ecosystem Services in Cultural Landscapes“ at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities. He studied forestry at the Universities of Freiburg and Göttingen and received a PhD in Landscape Management from the University of Freiburg and a Habilitation degree in Landscape Ecology from Humboldt-University of Berlin.


  • Editorial Board member of the journals:
    • "Landscape and Urban Planning" (since 2019)
    • "People and Nature" (since 2019)
    • "Sustainability Science" (since 2019)
    • "Ecology & Society" (since 2016)
    • "Ecosystems" (since 2015)
    • "Sustainability" (2018-2019)
    • "Rangeland Ecology & Management" (2013-2015)
  • Review editor for the Europe and Central-Asia Assessment, Chapter 5, Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)
  • Work group member:
    • Biodiversity in Agricultural Landscapes, German National Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina, since 2018)
    • Historical landscape gardens in climate change, Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (BBAW, since 2015)
  • Ad-hoc referee for DFG, BMBF, EU-Research Framework Programmes, Swiss National Fund (SNF), Research Council of Norway and others

Research interest

Tobias Plieninger’s research interests are located within the field of sustainability science. His work is focused on the topics of landscape change, multifunctional land use, ecosystem services and social-ecological resilience.
He was coordinator of the EU-FP7 research project „Sustainable Futures for Europe's Heritage in Cultural Landscapes (HERCULES)“ and has been work-package-leader in the EU projects „Agroforestry that will Advance Rural Development (AGFORWARD)“ and „Spurring Innovations in Forest Ecosystem Services in Europe (SINCERE)“.


  • Agroeconomic seminar (Göttingen, summer semester)
  • Nachhaltigkeitswissenschaft (Göttingen, summer semester)
  • Social-ecological analysis and management of agricultural landscapes (Witzenhausen, winter semester)
  • Nachhaltiges Landmanagement (Göttingen, winter semester)

Further information see on the page "Courses".


  • The Science and Practice of Landscape Stewardship, Cambridge University Press, 2017 (with C. Bieling)
  • Resilience and the Cultural Landscape: Understanding and Managing Change in Human-Shaped Environments, Cambridge University Press, 2012 (with C. Bieling).
  • European Wood-Pastures in Transition: A Social-Ecological Approach, Earthscan – Routledge, 2014 (with T. Hartel)

Journal publications 

  • Plieninger, T., Áargarð av Rana, H., Fagerholm, N., Fossaberg Ellingsgaard, G., Magnussen, E., Raymond, C.M., Stahl Olafsson, A. & Verbrugge, L. (2018): Identifying and assessing the potential for conflict between landscape values and development preferences on the Faroe Islands. Global Environmental Change 52: 162-180.
  • Torralba, M., Fagerholm, N., Hartel, T., Moreno, G. & Plieninger, T. (2018): A social-ecological analysis of ecosystem services supply and trade-offs in European wood-pastures. Science Advances 4: art. eaar2176.
  • Plieninger, T., Draux, H., Fagerholm, N., Bieling, C., Bürgi, M., Kizos, T., Kuemmerle, T., Primdahl, J. & Verburg, P.H. (2016): The driving forces of landscape change in Europe: A systematic review of the evidence. Land Use Policy 57: 204-214.
  • Plieninger, T., Hartel, T., Martin-Lopez, B., Beaufoy, G., Bergmeier, E., Kirby, K., Montero, M.J., Moreno, G., Oteros-Rozas, E., Van Uytvanck, J. (2015): Wood-pastures of Europe: Geographic coverage, social-ecological values, conservation management, and policy implications. Biological Conservation 190: 70-79.

Further details: Google scholar, ResearchGate, ORCID