Impacts of the consumption of agricultural and forestry products



Dr. Thomas Kastner
Senior Scientist, Head of Young Scientist Group 'Impacts of the consumption of agricultural and forestry products'

Research Interests

My main research interests are the systemic relations between biomass use, international trade, land use change and species decline; long-term changes in land use systems and in the use of land-based resources; impacts on dietary patterns on land demand and on biodiversity and the role of land use in climate-change mitigation.

External Links

List of publications on Google scholar

Selected Publications

Dalin, Carole, Yoshide Wada, *Thomas Kastner*, Michael J. Puma. “Groundwater depletion embedded in international food trade. ” /Nature/ (2017): forthcoming.

Chaudhary, Abhishek, L. Roman Carrasco, and *Thomas Kastner*. “Linking national wood consumption with global biodiversity and ecosystem service losses.” /Science of The Total Environment/ 586 (2017): 985-994.

Erb, Karl-Heinz, Christian Lauk, *Thomas Kastner*, Andreas Mayer, Michaela Clarissa Theurl, and Helmut Haberl. “Exploring the Biophysical Option Space for Feeding the World without Deforestation.” /Nature Communications/ 7. (2016): 11382.

Henders, Sabine, U. Martin Persson, and *Thomas Kastner*. “Trading forests: land-use change and carbon emissions embodied in production and exports of forest-risk commodities.” /Environmental Research Letters/ 10, no. 12 (2015): 125012.

*Kastner, Thomas*, Karl-Heinz Erb, and Helmut Haberl. “Rapid Growth in Agricultural Trade: Effects on Global Area Efficiency and the Role of Management.” /Environmental Research Letters/ 9, no. 3 (2014): 034015.

*Kastner, Thomas*, Maria Jose Ibarrola Rivas, Wolfgang Koch, and Sanderine Nonhebel. “Global Changes in Diets and the Consequences for Land Requirements for Food.” /Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences/ 109, no. 18 (2012): 6868–6872.

*Kastner, Thomas*, Michael Kastner, and Sanderine Nonhebel. “Tracing Distant Environmental Impacts of Agricultural Products from a Consumer Perspective.” /Ecological Economics/ 70, no. 6 (2011): 1032–1040.

Giorgio Bidoglio
Ph.D. student

Research interests

In my PhD research, I will investigate the biodiversity footprint of Vienna as exemplary of impacts of food and biomass consumption of large urban areas on the supply regions where production occurs. The goal is to develop spatially explicit biodiversity footprint indicators and analyse trade-offs of interest to stakeholders to identify priority actions for reduction of urban pressures on biodiversity. 
Under the supervision of Dr. Kastner at BIK-F, I will also collaborate with the Institute of Social Ecology of the Alpen Adria University and the Division of Conservation Biology at the Department of Botany and Biodiversity Research of the University of Vienna. 
By making use of Life Cycle Assessment, in my Master Thesis I addressed the impacts of small hydropower for sustainable energy development in the Kerala State, India, going above the paradigm of carbon emissions and focussing on land use impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services. My previous experience might prove useful also for the new endeavour.

External links

Giorgio Bidoglio at ResearchGate

Gabriela Rabeschini
Ph.D. candidate

Research interests

My overarching research interest is on enabling sustainable food systems. More specifically, how agriculture impacts and depends on biodiversity, how trade and consumption of agricultural products impacts and depends on biodiversity, and how science can support policy-making on sustainable supply-chains. I am also interested in science education and community agroforestry / gardening.

External links

Profile on Research Gate

Dr. Larissa Nowak

Research interests

My research interests revolve around two main topics. On the one hand, I am interested in understanding how different aspects of global change impact biodiversity. On the other hand, I aim to find ways to apply such knowledge to protect biodiversity in a changing world.
My current project focuses on global and European biodiversity targets and how to make them measurable and downscale them to different sectors and actors. This work is part of a bigger project aiming to contribute to halting and reversing biodiversity loss caused by global biomass production systems (Horizon Europe project RAINFOREST – Co-produced transformative knowledge to accelerate change for biodiversity).

External links

Google Scholar

Personal website



Nowak, L., Kissling, W. D., Bender, I. M. A., Dehling, D. M., Töpfer, T., Böhning‐Gaese, K., & Schleuning, M. (2019). Projecting consequences of global warming for the functional diversity of fleshy‐fruited plants and frugivorous birds along a tropical elevational gradient. Diversity and Distributions, 25, 1362-1374.

Schleuning, M., Neuschulz, E. L., Albrecht, J., Bender, I. M., Bowler, D. E., Dehling, D. M., Fritz, S. A., Hof, C., Mueller, T., Nowak, L., Sorensen, M. C., Böhning‐Gaese, K., & Kissling, W. D. (2020). Trait-based assessments of climate-change impacts on interacting Species. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 35, 319-328.

Bender, I. M. A., Kissling, W. D.,Blendinger, P. G., Böhning‐Gaese, K., Hensen I., Kühn, I., Muñoz, M. C., Neuschulz, E. L. , Nowak, L., Quitián, M., Saavedra, F., Santillán, V., Töpfer, T., Wiegand, T., Dehling, D. M., & Schleuning, M. (2018). Morphological trait matching shapes plant–frugivore networks across the Andes. Ecography, 41, 1910-1919.

Dugger, P. J., Blendinger, P. G., Böhning‐Gaese, K., Chama, L., Correia, M., Dehling, D. M., Emer, C., Farwig, N., Fricke E. C., Galetti, M., García, D., Grass, I., Heleno, R., Jacomassa, F. A. F., Moraes, S., Moran, Catherine,Muñoz, M. C., Neuschulz, E. L., Nowak, L. , Piratelli, A., Pizo, M. A., Quitián, M., Rogers, H. S., Ruggera, R. A., Saavedra, F., Sánchez, M. S., Sánchez, R., Santillán, V., Schabo, D. G., Ribeiro da Silva, F., Timóteo, S., Traveset, A., Vollstädt, M. G. R., & Schleuning, M. (2018). Seed‐dispersal networks are more specialized in the Neotropics than in the Afrotropics. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 28, 248-261.

Dr. Paulina Ansaa Asante
Dr. Paulina Ansaa Asante

Research Interests

My current research focusses on developing a quantitative framework to evaluate the effectiveness of ongoing commodity (cocoa, oil palm, soy and cattle) supply-chain interventions aimed at halting tropical deforestation. This involves collating methods and metrics to assess policy impacts across various sustainability domains—environmental, economic, and social. This is a part of the BEDROCK project.

During my PhD at Wageningen University and Research, I used an interdisciplinary-approach combining spatial analysis, crop modeling, and empirical analysis to assess drivers of cocoa yields and the yield gap under current and future climates. Prior to this, my research mainly focused on using remote sensing and Geographic Information Systems algorithms for crop area mapping and for site suitability analysis.


External links

Research Gate   


Google scholar


Manuela Gómez Suárez
Research assistant

Research interests

My research interests are mainly focused on biodiversity conservation, anthropogenic effects on biodiversity and how species cope with and adapt to environmental changes, with a special interest in mammals and birds. At Senckenberg BiK-F I am working on the project GRADED, looking at global impacts of agricultural trade and consumption on ecosystems and biodiversity. 

Dr. Siyi Kan

Research interests

My research interests revolve around global land use and land cover change, including its status, socioeconomic drivers (e.g., supply chain impacts) eco-environmental consequences (e.g., carbon emissions and biodiversity loss) and climate change risk and adaptation. My current project focuses on the global impacts of agricultural trade and consumption on ecosystems and biodiversity: exploring Germany’s and China’s role as importing and consuming countries.

External links

Profile on Google Scholar

Profile on ResearchGate


Florian Schwarzmueller Sbik-f
Dr. Florian Schwarzmüller

Research interests

I am an Ecological Modeller working on the effects of global change on the stability and functioning of ecological communities. During my PhD at the University of Göttingen, I worked on the effect of climate change, nutrient enrichment and habitat fragmentation on the stability of trophic interaction systems. I then went on to do a postdoc at the Commonwealth Scientific Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Brisbane, Australia. There, I worked in an interdisciplinary project on the effectiveness and acceptance of Area-wide management strategies in a complex socio-ecological system.
At Senckenberg BiK-F, I am currently working on a project entitled “Consumption Based Accounting of Land-Use Carbon Emissions (CoBALUCE)” which is a joined project between SBiK-F and the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna. In this project, we are looking at the effect of land-use change for the production of forestry and agricultural products on ecosystem carbon storage. We aim to attribute these emissions to products that are traded globally, to trace the emissions from the place they are producer to the consumer of the final product. The results can inform consumer decisions or global mitigation policies. I am also interested in effects of land-use change on biodiversity and in developing model scenarios along future socio-ecological pathways.

External links

My Twitter account @FSchwarzmueller

Profile on ResearchGate

List of publications on Google Scholar

Dr. Perrine Laroche
Farina Hoffmann