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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - IRI THESys

Prof. Dr. Claas Nendel



  • Agro-ecosystem modelling
  • Landscape-scale processes
  • Simulation-aided management of ecosystem services


Agriculture is one of the oldest coupled human-environment systems and as the primary source of human nutrition, it is still of major concern in our rapidly changing world. I have set off to understand how agriculture can meet all the different demands in the best possible way and at the IRI THESys I find the cool gang that inspires me for this endeavor.Claas Nendel

Claas Nendel is co-head of the ZALF Research Platform "Data Analysis & Simulation", in which he also leads the two working groups "Ecosystem Modelling" and "Landscape Modelling". A studied geo-ecologist (University of Technology Carolo-Wilhelmina, Braunschweig, Germany; Agricultural University of Norway, Ås), he received his PhD from Braunschweig in 2002 and qualified for lecturer (Habilitation) at Berlin University of Technology in 2014. Since 2020 he is jointly appointed professor of Landscape Systems Analysis with the University of Potsdam.

He has been working for more than 20 years in agricultural research on applied integrated modelling of water, nitrogen and carbon dynamics, organic matter decomposition, crop growth, product quality, and farm economics in special crops (grapevine, vegetables) and major agricultural crops. His main focus is the carry-over effect within crop rotations and the consequences for yield and product quality, in which he serves world-wide activities towards food security, resource efficiency and climate action.

Claas is the principal developer of the MONICA simulation model for biophysical processes in agro-ecosystems, which was put together in the context of regional climate change impact in rural areas. MONICA took part in a range of research projects and international model comparison studies. Claas is vice speaker of the German Soil Science Society plant nutrition section and member of the German and the European Society of Agronomy. For the latter he will take the presidency from September 2020 onwards. He hosted the International Crop Modelling Symposium in Berlin in 2016 (320 participants), and the German Society of Agronomy meeting in Berlin in 2019 (175 participants), and published more than 100 peer-reviewed journal articles, eight book chapters and more than 170 contributions to national and international conferences.

Since May 2018, Claas Nendel is a member of IRI THESys.

Selected Publications

Nendel, C., D. Melzer and P.J. Thorburn (2019): The nitrogen nutrition potential of arable soils. Sci. Rep. 9, 5851. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-42274-y.

Stella, T., I. Mouratiadou, T. Gaiser, M. Berg-Mohnicke, E. Wallor, F. Ewert and C. Nendel (2019): Estimating the contribution of crop residue management to soil organic carbon conservation. Environ. Res. Let. 14, 094008. https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/ab395c

Batunacun, R. Wieland, Y.F. Hu, T. Lakes and C. Nendel (2019): Identifying drivers of land degradation in Xilingol, China, between 1975 and 2015, Land Use Policy 83, 543–559. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landusepol.2019.02.013.

Griffiths, P., C. Nendel and P. Hostert (2019): Intra-annual reflectance composites from Sentinel-2 and Landsat for national-scale crop and land cover mapping. Rem. Sens. Environ. 220, 135–151. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rse.2018.10.031.

Specka, X., R. Wieland and C. Nendel (2019): Temporal sensitivity analysis of the MONICA model: Application of two global approaches to analyze the dynamics of parameter sensitivity. Agriculture 9 (2), 37. https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture9020037

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