Dr. Alexandra Barthelmes

Areas of work

  • Palaeoecological reconstruction of Holocene peatland and lake habitats (e.g. vegetation, environmental conditions, human and climate impact) based on analyses of Non-Pollen Palynomorphs (NPP’s; fungal spores, plant tissue, algae, etc.), Macrofossils and Pollen;

  • Coordination of the Global Peatland Database (GPD;http://www.imcg.net/pages/publications/imcg-materials.php?lang=EN); GIS based peatland mapping with current projects in Europe, East Africa, NE China and Cuba (location, extent, status, GHG emissions of peatlands)

  • Paludicultur: Afforestation of re-wetted fen peatlands with Black alder (Alnus glutinosa); carbon accumulation and climate relevance of forested peatlands (focus at alder carrs of NE-Germany)

  • Teaching:
    • Conception and supervision of Master theses
    • Involved in planning and realization of palaeoecological courses (pollen- and macrofossil analysis) 
    • Involved in lecture „Energy and matter dynamics of mires“(master)
    • Involved in planning and realization of “Peatland and Peat courses” (DUENE e.V.)
    • Supervision of internal and visiting students (PhD)
    • Invited talks:
      2013 - “Towards sustainable land management practices for peatlands – special focus on drained areas”, FAO-Headquater, Rome (Italy)
      2013 – “High resolution peatland mapping of NE China (Heilongjiang province)”, Chanchun (China)

Education and professional career

Member of research staff at the Institute of Botany and Landscape Ecology at Greifswald University, working group Peatland Studies and Palaeoecology

Member of research staff at the Institute for Sustainable Development of Landscapes of the Earth (DUENE e.V.)

parental leave

Promotion „Vegetation dynamics and carbon sequestration of Holocene (Alnus glutinosa) 
carrs in NE Germany.“ (http://ub-ed.ub.uni-greifswald.de/opus/volltexte/2010/789/)

Short-time positions at and freelance work for Greifswald University (Analysis of diaspore traps from Sphagnum cultivation areas; selection of material for<sup>14</sup>C-Radiocarbondating);

Freelance work for Rostock University (palaeoecological analysis of lake deposits from Schleswig-Holstein and reconstruction of lake habitats); for Marburg University (palaeoecological analysis of Kobresia-grass mats from Tibet); for Wetlands International (analysis of National GHG Inventories from European countries regarding emissions from peatlands); for the government of Mecklenburg-Pomerania and DUENE e.V. (Elaboration of a guideline for Carbon credits from re-wetted peatlands);

Parental leave

Member of research staff at the Institute of Botany and Landscape Ecology at Greifswald University, working group Peatland Studies and Palaeoecology

2001-2002Hohenheim University (Stuttgart)

Studies of Landscape Ecology, Geography and Botany at Greifswald University


  • High resolution GIS-based peatland mapping of East Africa (Neederlands Environmental Assessment Agency, 2013)
  • VIP - Vorpommern Initiative for Paludiculture (BMBF, 2012)
  • PROSUGA - Industrial cultivation of peat moss for the production of innovative growing media for horticulture (BMWi, 2010-2013, research assistant)
  • MOOSFARM - Production of a sustainable and environmentally friendly substitute for peat in professional horticulture by Sphagnum farming on floating mats (BMWi, 2007-2010, research assistant)
  • ALNUS - Black alder afforestation on restored fens (DBU, 2002-2005)

[Translate to English:] Publikationen

Journal articles (peer-reviewed)

  • Prager A, Theuerkauf M, Couwenberg J, Barthelmes A, Joosten H, Aptroot A (2012): Pollen and Non-pollen palynomorphs as tools for identifying alder carr deposits: A surface sample study from NE-Germany. Review of Palynology and Palaeobotany 186: 38-57.
  • Barthelmes A, de Klerk P, Prager A, Unterseher M, Joosten H (2012): Expanding NPP analysis to eutrophic and forested sites: Significance of NPPs in a Holocene wood peat section (NE Germany). Review of Palynology and Palaeobotany 186: 22-37.
  • Couwenberg J, Thiele A, Tanneberger F, Augustin J, Bärisch S, Dubovik D, Liashchynskaya N, Michaelis D, Minke M, Skuratovich A, Joosten H (2011): Assessing greenhouse gas emissions from peatlands using vegetation as a proxy. Hydrobiologia 674: 67-89.
  • Barthelmes A, Gerloff D, de Klerk P, Joosten H (2010): Short-lived vegetation dynamics in alder carrs: a palaeoecological case study from Vorpommern (NE Germany). Folia Geobotanica 45: 279-302.
  • Kaiser K, Miehe G, Barthelmes A, Ehrmann O, Scharf A, Schult M, Schlütz F, Adamczyk S, Frenzel B (2008): Turf-bearing topsoils on the central Tibetan Plateau, China: pedology, botany, geochronology. Catena 73: 300-311.
  • Barthelmes A, Prager A, Joosten H (2006): Palaeoecological research of Alnus wood peats with special attention to non-pollen palynomorphs. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 141: 33-51.
  • Kaiser K, Barthelmes A, Czakó Pap S, Hilgers A, Janke W, Kühn P, Theuerkauf M (2006): A Lateglacial palaeosol cover in the Altdarss area, southern Baltic Sea coast (northeast Germany): investigations on pedology, geochronology and botany. Netherlands Journal of Geosciences 85: 197-220.
  • Prager A, Barthelmes A, Theuerkauf M, Joosten H (2006): Non-pollen palynomorphs from modern Alder carrs and their potential for interpreting microfossil data from peat. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 141: 7-31.
  • Prager A, Barthelmes A, Joosten H (2006): A touch of tropics in temperate mires: on Alder carrs and carbon cycles. Peatlands International 2006: 26-31.


Conference Proceedings

  • Barthelmes A, Dommain R, Joosten H (2012): Global potential of paludiculture as land use alternative for rewetted peatlands. Proceedings of the 14th International Peat Congress, Stockholm 3-8 June, Sweden, pp. 387-394.
  • Barthelmes A, Couwenberg  J (2008): Carbon accumulation in alder carrs (case studies from north-east Germany). In: Farrel C, Feehan J (eds.) After wise use - The future of peatlands. Proc. 13th Int. Peat Congress, Tullamore 8-13 June Ireland, pp. 564-568.


Research reports, discussion papers, other journal papers

  • Barthelmes A, Couwenberg J, Emmer I, Schäfer A, Wichtmann W, Joosten H (2010): MoorFutures® - Kohlenstoff-Zertifikate aus der Wiedervernässung degradierter Moore in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Institut für Dauerhaft Umweltgerechte Entwicklung von Naturräumen der Erde (DUENE e.V.), 69 S.
  • Barthelmes A, Berg J, Brandt V, Lemke E, Lenschow U, Lorenz S, Mauersberger R, Michaelis D, Röhe P, Rowinsky V, Schröder J, Wirner M (2010): Moore und Feuchtwälder in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Exkursionsführer zur Jahrestagung der Arbeitsgemeinschaft Forstliche Standorts- und Vegetationskunde, Landesforst Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Schwerin.
  • Barthelmes A (2009): Vegetation dynamics and carbon sequestration in Holocene alder (Alnus glutinosa) carrs in NE Germany. Dissertation, Universität Greifswald.
  • Barthelmes A, Couwenberg J, Joosten H (2009): Peatlands in National Inventory Submissions 2009 - an analysis of 10 European countries. Wetlands International, Ede, 2009.
  • Schäfer A, Joosten H, Barthelmes A, Kaffke A, Koska I, Schröder A, Succow M (2005): Erlenaufforstung auf wiedervernässten Niedermooren. ALNUS-Leitfaden, Institut für dauerhaft umweltgerechte Entwicklung von Naturräumen der Erde, Greifswald. 
  • Barthelmes A, Joosten H (2003): Moor- und Torftypen. Akademie gemeinnütziger Wissenschaften zu Erfurt, Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Klasse, Sitzungsbericht 12.
  • Koska I, Barthelmes A, Kaffke A (2003): Umweltgerechter Erlenanbau – ökologische Aspekte. Greifswalder Geographische Arbeiten 31: 55 - 63.
  • Joosten H, Gaudig G, Barthelmes A, Michaelis D (2003): Was lehrt uns die Vegetationsgeschichte über die Dynamik unserer Moore. Archiv für Naturschutz und Landschaftsforschung 42: 49 - 65.
  • Barthelmes A (2002): Vom Kesselmoor zum Quellmoor - ungewöhnliche Moorbildungssequenzen im Rodder Forst (Mecklenburg -Vorpommern). Greifswalder Geographische Arbeiten 26: 131 - 134.