Dr. Stefanie Heinicke


My current research focuses on evaluating climate impact model simulations as part of ISIMIP, and implementing spatial analyses for climate risk assessments for the project Weathering Risk. 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 research group on Data-centric modeling of cross-sectoral climate impacts.




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


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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

SS 2018 & SS 2019, guest 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