Matthias Baumann

Matthias Baumann

Senior Researcher

My name is Matthias Baumann, and I am a land-use scientist working in the conservation Biogeography Lab. I am primarily interested in reconstructing and understanding land-use processes and establish causal relationships between these processes and the factors that drive them. My work is interdisciplinary, highly collaborative and I am always looking for interesting collaborations and projects where I can bring my expertise into a different, for me new, context. Check out my research profile as my publications to get a more detailed overview of my research activities. I am also heavily involved in the teaching profile of our lab, including courses on global land-use dynamics, introductory statistics and python-programming.
+49 (0) 30 2093 - 9341
Rudower Chaussee 16, 12489 Berlin
Room 2'101

  • Land System Science
  • Reconstruction of land change processes
  • Establishing causality of land-change processes
  • PhD in Forestry, 2013

    University of Wisconsin-Madison (USA)

  • Diploma in Geography, 2009

    Geography Department, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

  • ERASMUS Studies, 2005/2006

    Universidad de Sevilla (Spain)


Humans have altered the Earth’s surface for millennia, yet the speed of transformation during the past decades has been unprecedented. This came at considerable environmental costs and today global land-use change is considered one of the main factors driving greenhouse gas emissions and contributing to the ongoing biodiversity crisis. It is therefore paramount to reconstruct how humans have modified the Earth’s surface and to better understand which mechanisms lead to particularly drastic outcomes in order to identify strategies that allow human land use while minimizing the environmental footprint associated with it. Against this background, my overarching research goal is to characterize and map land-use processes and to establish causal linkages between these land-use process and the underlying drivers. I work quantitatively using large and complex datasets and by employing a wide range of concepts and methods from different disciplines, including Geography, remote sensing, agricultural economics, statistics and geoinformatics. My research can be categorized under three reseach themes.

From descriptive to causal analysis

I use quasi-experimental methods to establish causality between interventions and outcomes.

From Land-Cover Change to Land-Change Processes

I develop new ways of using satellite imagery to describe land-change processes.

From Separation to Integration

I am finding new ways of identifying and analyzing multiple land-change processes in an integrative way.

Recent Publications

Click here for a complete list of all my journal publications. You will be able to search through them using keywords (e.g., ‘Chaco’).
(2023). Little evidence of management change in California’s forest offset program. Nature Communications Earth & Environment 4, 331.


(2023). Linking disturbance history to current forest structure to assess the impact of disturbances in tropical dry forests.. Forest Ecology and Management 539, 120989.


(2023). Partitioning the effects of habitat loss, hunting and climate change on the endangered Chacoan peccary. Diversity and Distribution.


(2023). Deforestation and agricultural fires in South-West Pará, Brazil, under political changes from 2014 to 2020.. Journal of Land Use Science 18(1), 176-195.


(2023). Agricultural intensification, Indigenous stewardship and land sparing in tropical dry forests. Nature Sustainability 6, 671-682.