Damaris Zurell

Contact - Education - Career - Projects - Awards - Professional activities - Memberships

This is me

Contact details

Prof. Dr. Damaris Zurell

Ecology/Macroecology Group

Institute for Biochemistry and Biology | University of Potsdam

Am Neuen Palais 10 | D-14469 Potsdam | Germany

Office: Maulbeerallee 3 | D-14469 Potsdam | Room 0.12

Phone: +49 331 977 191002

  • 2011 – PhD in Geoecology, University of Potsdam, Inst. of Earth and Environmental Sciences

  • 2007 – Diplom (M.Sc.) in Geoecology, University of Potsdam, Inst. of Geoecology

  • since 2020 – Professor of Ecology/Macroecology (tenure track), University of Potsdam

  • 2018 - 2020 – Junior research group leader (DFG Emmy Noether programme), Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Geography Department

  • 2016 - 2018 – Scientific staff member, Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL, Dept. Landscape Dynamics

  • 2014 - 2016 – Postdoc, Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL, Dept. Landscape Dynamics

  • 2011 - 2014 – PostDoc, University of Potsdam, Inst. for Biochemistry and Biology

  • 2022-2025 – Leibniz Collaborative Excellence (MfN / HU Berlin). “BeyondSpecies - Predicting biodiversity change by integrating genetic diversity into ecological niche models”. (Total funded budget is € 495’638, Damaris is Co-PI)
  • 2020-2022 – Interdisciplinary project funded by Swiss Data Science Center SDSC, “COMECO - Combining machine learning, ecological modelling and plant morphological characteristics to develop a tool for identifying plants of Switzerland” (WSL share CHF 200’000, Damaris is co-PI)
  • 2019-2020 – DAAD Programmes for project-related personal exchange. “RangeDyna - Moving from pattern towards process for improved forecasts of species range dynamics”. Exchange with Univ. Melbourne, Australia. (Budget € 15’808)
  • 2018-2020 – Interdisciplinary project funded by Swiss Data Science Center SDSC, “SPEEDMIND - Improving species biodiversity analyses and citizen science feedback through mining data” (WSL share CHF 200’000, Damaris is co-PI)
  • 2018-2023 – DFG Emmy Noether junior research group, “BIOPIC – Disentangling the effects of demography, dispersal and biotic interactions in population and community response to global change” (€ 1’007’919)
  • 2016-2019 – SNF Ambizione Fellowship, “SCODA – Scaling from individual interactions to community dynamics in avian assemblages” (CHF 492’204)
  • 2014-2016 – EU-FP7 Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship (IEF), “MATES – Understanding and predicting multispecies assemblages and interactions in space and time” (€ 208’000)
  • 2014 – University of Potsdam Individual Postdoc Grant “Bridge Programme” (€ 8’250)
  • 2007-2010 – PhD Scholarship by the Potsdam Graduate School on Ecological Modelling UPGradE (€ 45’600)

  • 2012 – Junior Scientist publication award by Leibniz-Kolleg Potsdam, Germany (€ 1’250)
  • 2008 – Junior Scientist Award by the Federal State of Brandenburg, Germany, Category Graduates (€ 5’000)
  • 2008 – Jacob-Jacobi Award (best degree of the academic year) by the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, University of Potsdam, Germany (€ 500)
  • 2007 – Diplom/ Master Award by the Ecological Society of Germany, Austria and Switzerland (GfÖ) (€ 2’500)

Professional activities
Professional services
  • Expert panel “Abiotic effects on biodiversity”, National Monitoring Centre Biodiversity, Germany (since 2021)
  • Deputy Editor-in-Chief Journal of Biogeography (since 2021)
  • Subject/Associate journal editor: Ecography (since 2019), Oikos (since 2018), Diversity and Distributions (2016-2019), Journal of Biogeography (Special Issue editor, 2019)
  • Recommender for PCI Ecology (since 2018)
  • Commission member IUCN SSC Climate Change Specialist Group (since 2017)
Journal reviewing
  • American Naturalist, Basic and Applied Ecology, Biology Letters, Diversity and Distributions, Ecography, Ecological Modelling, Ecosphere, Environmental Modelling & Software, Global Change Biology, Global Ecology and Biogeography, Journal of Applied Ecology, Journal of Biogeography, Journal of Ecology, Journal of Ornithology, Journal of the Royal Society Interface, Methods in Ecology and Evolution, Nature Climate Change, Nature Communications, Oikos, PeerJ, Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Theoretical Ecology
  • Natur und Landschaft
Organisation of meetings
  • 2018 – co-organisation of 3-day international workshop “Macroecology in the age of big data”, annual meeting of the GfÖ specialist group “Macroecology”, Birmensdorf, Switzerland
  • 2015 – co-organisation of 5-day international research workshop “Biotic interactions across space and time”, Akademie Waldschlösschen, Germany (participation upon invitation only)
  • 2011 – co-organisation of symposium “Towards rules of thumb for predictions of range dynamics” at annual conference of GfÖ, Oldenburg, Germany
  • 2009 – co-organisation of 3-day international workshop “Process-based modelling meets macroecological patterns”, joint annual meeting of the GfÖ specialist groups “Theory in Ecology” and “Macroecology”, Potsdam, Germany
  • 2008 – co-organisation of symposium “Macroecology and climate change – Past, present and future” during joint annual conference of European Ecological Federation (EURECO) and Ecological Society of Germany, Austria and Switzerland (GfÖ) in Leipzig, Germany


Ecological Society of Germany, Switzerland and Austria (GfÖ) International Biogeography Society (IBS)