Dr. Stefanie Heinicke


My current research focuses on evaluating climate impact model simulations as part of ISIMIP. Combining this with the subject of my PhD research, I am also investigating the exposure of great apes to climate change impacts.

I am motivated by trying to find evidence-based solutions to challenges in biodiversity conservation in the context of climate change. Modelling, integrating large datasets from different sources, and making data accessible to researchers and decision-makers in an actionable format, are a major part of my work.

I studied International Nature Conservation at the University of Göttingen, Germany, and Lincoln University, New Zealand. I then did my PhD at the Max-Planck-Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) in Leipzig, Germany, on evidence-based conservation planning for chimpanzees in West Africa. In 2020, I joined PIK as part of the Cross-Sectoral Science Team of ISIMIP. Since summer 2023, I am one of the contacts for ISIMIP’s sector on terrestrial biodiversity.




PDF document Full Version — PDF-Dokument, 279 KB


Potsdam-Institut für Klimafolgenforschung (PIK)
T +49 (0)331 288 20896
P.O. Box 60 12 03
14412 Potsdam




15. Heinicke S*, Volkholz J*, Schewe J ... Frieler K. 2024. Global hydrological models continue to overestimate river discharge. Environmental Research Letters, doi:10.1088/1748-9326/ad52b0   [* shared first author]

14. Junker J, Quoss L, Valdez J, ... Heinicke S, ... Sop T. 2024. Threat of mining to African great apes. Science Advances, 10, eadl0335

13. Kiribou R, Tehoda P, Chukwu O ... Heinicke S. 2024. Exposure of African ape sites to climate change impacts. PLOS Climate, 3(2): e0000345

12. Treu S, Muis S, Dangendorf S, Wahl T, Oelsmann J, Heinicke S, Frieler K, Mengel M. 2024. Reconstruction of hourly coastal water levels and counterfactuals without sea level rise for impact attribution. Earth System Science Data, 16, 1121–1136


11. Heinicke S, Frieler K, Jägermeyr J and Mengel M. 2022. Global gridded crop models underestimate yield responses to droughts and heatwaves. Environmental Research Letters, 17, 044026

10. Contributing author: O'Neill B, van Aalst M, Ibrahim ZZ, Berrang-Ford L, Bhadwal S, Buhaug H, Diaz D, Frieler F, Garschagen M, Magnan A, Midgley G, Mirzabaev A, Thomas A, and Warren R. 2022. Key Risks Across Sectors and Regions. In: Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Pörtner H-O, Roberts DC, Tignor M, Poloczanska ES, Mintenbeck K, Alegría A, Craig M, Langsdorf S, Löschke S, Möller V, Okem A, Rama B (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK and New York, NY, USA, pp. 2411–2538, doi:10.1017/9781009325844.025.


9. Heinicke S, Ordaz-Németh I, Junker J … Kühl HS. 2021. Open-access platform to synthesize knowledge of ape conservation across sites. American Journal of Primatology. 10.1002/ajp.23213

8. Ordaz-Németh I, Sop T, Bala A, ... Heinicke S, ... Kühl HS. 2021. Range-wide indicators of African great ape density distribution. American Journal of Primatology, e23338

7. Andrasi B, Jaeger JAG, Heinicke S, Metcalfe K, Hockings KJ. 2021. Quantifying the road‐effect zone for a critically endangered primate. Conservation Letters, e12839


6. Heinicke S, Mundry R, Boesch C … Kühl HS. 2019. Towards systematic and evidence-based conservation planning for western chimpanzees. American Journal of Primatology. 81:e23042

5. Heinicke S, Mundry R, Boesch C … Kühl HS. 2019. Advancing conservation planning for western chimpanzees using IUCN SSC A.P.E.S. – the case of a taxon-specific database. Environmental Research Letters, 14, 064001

4. Heinicke S, Mundry R, Boesch C … Kühl HS. 2019. Characteristics of positive deviants in western chimpanzee populations. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 7:16


3. Voigt M, Wich SA, Ancrenaz M, Meijaard E, Abram N, Banes GL, Campbell-Smith G, d’Arcy LJ, Delgado RA, Erman A, Gaveau D, Goossens B, Heinicke S, ... Kühl HS. 2018. Global demand for natural resources eliminated more than 100,000 Bornean orangutans. Current Biology, 28, 761-769


2. Heinicke S, Kalan AK, Wagner OJJ, Mundry R, Lukashevich H & Kühl HS. 2015. Assessing the performance of a semi-automated acoustic monitoring system for primates. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 6(7), 753-763

1. Kalan AK, Mundry R, Wagner OJJ, Heinicke S, Boesch C & Kühl HS. 2015. Towards the automated detection and occupancy estimation of primates using passive acoustic monitoring. Ecological Indicators, 54, 217-226

Reports & book chapters


Sop T, Cheyne SM, Bachmann M, Gatiso T, Heinicke S, ... Kühl HS. 2021. The status of apes: a foundation for systematic, evidence-based conservation, State of the apes: killing, capture, trade and conservation, ed. Arcus Foundation (Arcus Foundation). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Co-editor: IUCN SSC Primate Specialist Group. 2020. Regional action plan for the conservation of western chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) 2020–2030. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland

Member scientific committee: MEEF. 2020. PNCCG - Plan National de Conservation des Chimpanzés (Pan troglodytes verus) de Guinée 2020 - 2030. Ministère de l’Environnement, des Eaux et Forêts, Conakry, République de Guinée

SS 2023, lectures on ‘Vegetation & fauna’, ‘Savanna’, and ‘Tropics’ in B.Sc. course ‘Ecozones of the World’ (in German), University Potsdam

Apr 2023, Workshop for training young academics in processing, analyzing and interpreting wildlife survey data in R, 2nd part, Kinigi, Ruanda, 6 days

Nov 2022, Workshop for training young academics in processing, analyzing and interpreting wildlife survey data in R, 1st part, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, 7 days

since WS 2020/21, lecture on ‘Climate change’ in B.Sc. course ‘Introduction to behavioral biology’ (in German), University Leipzig (online + on-site)

since WS 2020/21, lecture on ‘Primate conservation’ in M.Sc. course ‘Primate behavioral ecology’, University Leipzig (online + on-site)

WS 2019/20, lecture on ‘Primate ecology’ in M.Sc. course ‘Primate behavioral ecology’, University Leipzig

SS 2018 & SS 2019, lectures on ‘Behavioral economics’ and ‘Climate change’ in B.Sc. course ‘Introduction to behavioral biology’ (in German), University Leipzig

SS 2017, teaching assistant in B.Sc./M.Sc. course ‘Introduction to Statistics and R’, weekly course for one semester, University Leipzig

SS 2016 & SS 2017, guest lecture in M.Sc. course ‘Close to research’, University Leipzig

SS 2016 & SS 2017, student assistant in course ‘Linear Models and their application in R’, MPI EVA