NFM 10-12-2020

Prof. Dr. Klement Tockner

Curriculum Vitae

Science offers much more freedom than we use. This is a dilemma of science: we are not brave enough, we are not uncomfortable enough, we do not use freedom enough. The greatest responsibility actually lies with those who have the privilege of a permanent position in science. They have to think big, start long-term projects, and set an example for the community.

(Klement Tockner, 2018)

Curriculum vitae

Klement Tockner is Director General of the Senckenberg Society for Nature Research and Professor of Ecosystem Science at Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main (since 2021). He was President of the Austrian Science Fund (FWF; 2016-2020), Professor of Aquatic Ecology at the Freie Universität Berlin (2007-2020) and Director of the Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB), Berlin
(2007-2016). He received a PhD in Zoology and Botany at the University of Vienna (1993) and a titular professorship at ETH Zurich (2005).

Klement Tockner is a leading international freshwater researcher, particularly in the fields of biodiversity, ecosystem science and environmental management. He was Editor-in-Chief of the journal Aquatic Sciences (2005-2014) and is Editorial Board Member of the journal Ecosystems. He has published around 250 scientific papers, including more than 190 ISI articles. In 2009, he published a comprehensive book on European rivers (“Rivers of Europe”, Elsevier / Academic Pres; 2nd edition in 2022).

Klement Tockner has successfully led large inter- and transdisciplinary projects such as the “BioFresh” project funded by the European Commission. He advises scientific institutions worldwide on their strategic development and is a member of several scientific committees and advisory boards, including the Science Council of the German Federal Government, the University Council of the University of Salzburg, Austria, and a member of the Scientific Advisory Board at the University of Basel, Switzerland. He is an elected member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina and the Academy of Sciences and Literature Mainz. For the FWF, he received the Wikimedia Prize for “Open Knowledge” in 2019 and was named “National Champion” of the first Frontiers Planet Prize (2023).


BC – Biology Centre of CAS, České Budějovice, Czech Republic (since 2019)

ZALF – Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research, Müncheberg, Germany (2016-2020, Member of the Board of Trustees)

NIES – National Institute for Environmental Studies, Japan (since 2015)

BfG – Federal Institute of Hydrology, Bonn, Germany (2011-2016; co-chair)

ICRA – Catalan Water Research Institute, Girona, Spain (2009-2016)


since 2021 Director General of the Senckenberg Society for Nature Research 

since 2021 Professor of Ecosystem Sciences at Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany 

2017-2021 Head of the Austrian Agency for Research Integrity – ÖAWI, Vienna, Austria 

2016-2020 President of the Austrian Science Fund – FWF, Vienna, Austria 

2007-2020 Professor of Aquatic Ecology at the Freie Universität Berlin, Germany 

2007-2016 Director of the Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB),           Berlin, Germany 

2005 Titular professorship at ETH Zurich, Switzerland 

2004/2005 Visiting Scientist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Millbrook, NY, USA 

2002 JSPS research fellow at Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan 

1999-2007 Group leader at EAWAG/ETH, Dübendorf, Switzerland 

1996-1999 Assistant Professor (“Senior Assistant”) at ETH Zurich, Switzerland 

1994-1996 Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Vienna, Austria 

1993-1994 Freshwater consultant in Rwanda and Uganda, Africa 

1993 PhD in Zoology and Botany at the University of Vienna, Austria 

Completed Activities (selection)

BioFresh: Coordinator of the FP7-EU project (2009-2014) 

DIVERSITAS:Member of DIVERSITAS freshwater BIODIVERSITY (2009-2013) 

Member of the jury of the European River Prize (2013) 

ISRS – International Society for River Science: Member of the Board of Directors (2009-2013) 

BeGenDiv – Berlin Center for Genomics in Biodiversity Research: Co-Speaker (2011-2016) 

UNEP project on water quality guidelines for ecosystems: Member of the Scientific Drafting Group 

Global Environmental Outlook Report 5 of UNEP: Principal Reviewer (Biodiversity chapter) 

Member of advisory board of various research institutions in Germany, the Czech Republic and Austria

Uppsala University: Chair of the Evaluation Committee (Department of Biology, 2017) 

Science Europe: Member of the Executive Committee (2016-2020) and the Steering Committee (2017) 

Editorial activities

Editor-in-chief (2005-2014) and co-editor (2015-2019) of the journal Aquatic Sciences: Transboundary Research 

Co-editor of four special issues (Aquatic Sciences, Freshwater Biology, Rivers Research and Application, Fundamental and Applied Limnology) 

Forschungsverbund Berlin / Berlin Research Network

Spokesperson of a network of eight research institutes of the Leibniz Association (2011-2013), co-spokesperson (2015-2016) 

Leibniz Association 

Spokesperson for the Leibniz Research Network on Biological Diversity (LVB), a network of 22 institutes (2009-2014) 

Spokesperson of the Section “Environmental Sciences” (Section E: Environmental Sciences; 2011-2013) 

Prizes & Awards (selection)

Elected member of the Academy of Sciences and Literature Mainz (elected 2022), elected member of the German Academy of Sciences, Leopoldina (elected in 2015), elected member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (kMA, elected in 2012). “National Champion” of the first Frontiers Planet Prize (2023), Wikimedia Prize for “Freies Wissen” (FWF, 2019), Fenner Lecture (UNC-Chapel Hill, USA, 2013), Margalef Lecture (Guimares, Portugal, 2012), Fellow of JSPS, Sendai, Japan (2002), Liepolt-Prize for Danube Research (1999).



Mehner T, Likens GE, Tockner, K. (Eds)(forthcoming) Encyclopedia of Inland Waters. Elsevier.

Tockner, K., Uehlinger U, Robsinson CT (Eds) (2009) Rivers of Europe. Elsevier/ Academic Press. 700 pages (2nd Edition: 2021)

Woolsey S, Weber C, Gonser T, Hoehn E, Hostmann M, Junker B, Roulier C, Schweizer S, Tiegs S, Tockner, K., Peter A (2005) Handbook for Evaluating Rehabilitation Projects in Rivers and Streams. A Publication of the Rhone-Thur Project. Eawag, WSL, LCH-EPFL, VAW-ETHZ. 112 pp.


Lewandowski J, Nützmann G, Tockner, K. (2014) (Eds) Frontiers in Real- Time Ecohydrology. Fundamental and Applied Limnology 184 (3).

Milner AM, Tockner, K. (2010) (Eds) Freshwater Benthic Science – what has it contributed to ecological theory? River Research and Applications 26.

Gurnell A, Tubino M, Tockner, K. (2009) (Eds) Linkages and feedbacks in highly dynamic alpine fluvial systems. Aquatic Sciences 71.

Tockner, K., Kollmann J, Edwards PE, Ward JV (2002) (Eds) Riverine Landscapes. Freshwater Biology 47.

Ausgewählte Artikel

*He, F., Zarfl, C., Bremerich, V., David, J. N., Hogan, Z., Kalinkat, G., Tockner, K. & Jähnig, S. C. (2019). The global decline of freshwater megafauna. Global Change Biology 25: 3883-3892.

Grill, G., Lehner, B., Thieme, M., Geenen, B., Tickner, D., Antonelli, F., … Tockner, K., Valdujo, P.H., van Soesbergen, A. & Zarfl, C. (2019) Mapping the world’s free flowing rivers. Nature 569: 215–221.

Jeschke, J., Lokatis, S., Bartram, I. & Tockner, K. (2019) Knowledge in the Dark: Scientific Challenges and Ways Forward. Facets 4: 423-441.

*Reid, A. J., Carlson, A. K., Creed, I. F., Eliason, E. J., Gell, P. A., Johnson, P. T., …..Tockner, K., … & Smol, J. P. (2019). Emerging threats and persistent conservation challenges for freshwater biodiversity. Biological Reviews 94(3): 849-873.

Turnbull L, Hütt M-C, Ioannides AA, Kininmonth S, Poeppl R, Tockner, K., Bracken LJ, Keesstra S, Liu L, Masselink R, Parsons AJ (2018) Connectivity and complex systems: learning from a multi-disciplinary perspective. Applied Network Science 3:art.11

Datry T, Foulquier A, Corti R, von Schiller D, Tockner, K., …. C, Zoppini A (2018) A global analysis of terrestrial plant litter dynamics in non- perennial waterways. Nature Geoscience 11(7):497-503

*Tydecks L, Jeschke JM, Wolf M, Singer G, Tockner, K. (2018) Spatial and topical imbalances in biodiversity research. PLoS One 13(7):e0199327

*Tydecks L, Bremerich V, Jentschke I, Likens, GE & Tockner, K. (2016) Biological field stations: A global infrastructure for research, education, and public engagement. BioScience 66:164-171

Zarfl C, Lumsdon AE, Berlekamp J, *Tydecks L, Tockner, K. (2015) A global boom in hydropower dam construction. Aquatic Sciences 77(1):161-170

Acuña V, Datry T, Marshall J, Barceló D, Dahm CN, Ginebreda A, McGregor G, Sabater S, Tockner, K., Palmer MA (2014) Why should we care about temporary waterways? Science 343: 1080-1081.

*Muehlbauer JD, Collins SF, Doyle MW, Tockner, K. (2014) How wide is a stream? Spatial extent of the potential “stream signature” in terrestrial food webs using meta-analysis. Ecology 95: 44-55.

*Steward AL, von Schiller D, Tockner, K., Marshall JC, Bunn SE (2012) When the river runs dry: human and ecological values of dry riverbeds. Front. Ecol. Environ. 10(4):202-209

Pahl-Wostl C, Nilsson C, Gupta J, Tockner, K. (2011) Societal learning needed to face the water challenge. Ambio 40(5):549-553

Hölker F, Wolter C, *Perkin E, Tockner, K. (2010) Light pollution as a biodiversity threat. Trends in Ecol. Evol. 25:681-682.

Tockner, K., Pusch MT, Borchardt D, Lorang MS (2010) Multiple stressors in coupled river-floodplain ecosystems. Freshw. Biol. 55:135-151

*Tonolla D, Acuña V, Uehlinger U, Frank T, Tockner, K. (2010) Thermal heterogeneity in river floodplains. Ecosystems 13(5):727-740

Nakamura K, Tockner, K., Amano K (2006) River and wetland restoration: Lessons from Japan. Bioscience 56(5):419-429

*Paetzold A, Schubert CJ, Tockner, K. (2005) Aquatic terrestrial linkages along a braided-river: riparian arthropods feeding on aquatic insects. Ecosystems 8(7):748-759

Tockner, K., Stanford JA (2002) Riverine flood plains: present state and future trends. Environ. Conserv. 29(3):308-330

Ward JV, Tockner, K. (2001) Biodiversity: towards a unifying theme for river ecology. Freshw. Biol. 46(6):807-819

(* doctoral candidates)

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