The UFZ was established in 1991 as the first and only centre in the Helmholtz Association of National Research Centres (HGF) to be exclusively devoted to environmental research in a great variety of fields. It currently employs around 900 people. UFZ has already become a world-wide acknowledged centre of expertise in biodiversity and sustainable landuse research. The UFZ has a strong focus on interdisciplinary research involving ecologists, social and legal scientists, and economists. Relevant commissioned research topics are research projects on habitat fragmentation, biodiversity indicators and monitoring.
Klaus Henle (PhD) is head of the Department of Conservation Biology. His research focuses on biodiversity conservation with particular emphasis on landuse change effects on biodiversity, habitat fragmentation, biodiversity monitoring, and indicators. He coordinated the EU-project EuMon (EU-wide monitoring and systems of surveillance of species and habitats of Community interest). Currently, he is the coordinator of the EU-project SCALES (Securing the Conservation of biodiversity across Administrative Levels and spatial, temporal, and Ecological Scales)
Christiane Ilg (PhD) is specialized in hydrobiology; she has experience in stream biodiversity and the use of functional indicators in rivers. Her current research focuses on the biological functioning of floodplain ecosystems, extreme flood events, and the impacts of floodplain restoration measures on biodiversity.
Mathias Scholz (Dipl.-Ing.) is landscape planner with special expertise in riverine wetlands. Within the EU-projects EVALUWET and Euro-limpacs, he was working on the functional assessment in floodplains and the impact of climate change on floodplain functions. He has worked on conservation priorities in the EuMon-Project. Currently he is working on restoration perspectives on floodplains in Central Europe.
Irene Ring (PhD) is deputy head of the Department of Economics at UFZ. Her research focuses on environmental federalism, conservation economics, regional sustainability, and environmental policy instruments. Together with Klaus Henle, she coordinated the EU-Project FRAP that developed a generic framework for biodiversity reconciliation action plans.