Hannes Knapp, Alumni


Hannes Knapp (Germany, 1981)

M.Sc. in Biology

PhD project
Habitat Harz: The Environmental History of a Mountain Area and its Foothills.
Main aims of the project are to elucidate human impact on the vegetation in detail and to cast more light into woodland and charcoal usage by human. Moreover to separate natural and anthropogenic influences to obtain a detailed history of the vegetation dynamics and the climate since the early Holocene focusing on the late Holocene.
Therefore my investigation is based on four palaeobotanical studies on different archives, altitudes and timescale in the Harz Mountains:
  • Charcoal analyses on kilns above 600 m a.s.l. (kiln- and dendro-anthracology; Modern Times)
  • Charcoal analyses on archaeological excavations (archaeo- and dendro-anthracology) in combination with the analyses of botanical macro-remains in the middle Harz (Middle Ages)
  • Palynology of peat-bog cores in the upper Harz (Early to late Holocene)
  • Stable isotope geochemistry on a peat profile (since the Iron Age)
In general, wood charcoal analysis provides site-related information on species occurrence and woodland composition while pollen analyses gives the possibility of reconstructing local and/or regional vegetation diachronically. But for separating between the climate signal and human activity a comparison with non botanical proxies is essential. For the first time in the Harz we apply a high resolution multi-proxy analyses on a peat profile to elucidate climate variability (temperature and hydrology) and to compare it with human activity. This investigation is in cooperation with the Institute of Bio- and Geosciences – IBG 3: Agrosphere (Research Centre Jülich) and based on the analyses of d 13Ccellulose and 18Ocellulose from Sphagnum L. and of palynology (transfer functions, cooperation with Dr. Norbert Kühl, Bonn). Additionally flux-rate, the humification and loss on ignition were measured.
Research interests Paleoenvironmental reconstruction, Climate and environmental changes, Vegetation dynamics and human impact
Post PhD Position Postdoctoral Position at the University of Mainz

Member of the Graduate School “Human Development in Landscapes” Thesis: Habitat Harz - The environmental history of a mountain area and its foothills.

Graduation as Diplom-Biologe, Diploma thesis: Palynological reconstruction of vegetation dynamics during the Saalian-Eemian transition in the southwest German alpine foreland.

Examination in Ecology and Evolution of plants, Ecology and Evolution of animals - Molecular Evolution and in Geology - Micropalaeontology.

2003 - 2008
Studies of Biology at the Goethe-University Frankfurt and the Research Institute Senckenberg.

Work experience

01/2006 – 08/2008
Student research assistant at the Institute of Geoscience, Working Group Paleoenvironmental Dynamics Group.

01/2006 – 06/2006
Student research assistant at the project Biodiversity mapping and monitoring in the Taunus Mountains, Hessen, Germany.

01/2006 – 06/2006
Tutorial student assistant at the course "Taxonomy and ecology"

06/2005 – 12/2006
Student assistant at the Research Institute Senckenberg, Department for Botany and Molecular Evolution.

05/2004 – 12/2004
Student assistant at the Research Institute Senckenberg, Department for Botany and Molecular Evolution.

08/ 2004 – 09/2004
Student assistant on the palaeontological excavation at the Eckfeld Maar, Naturhistorisches Museum Mainz, Germany.

02/2003 – 03/2003
Course in nature conservation, hydrology and landscape ecology.

10/2002 – 11/2002
Internship, Working Group Biodiversity mapping, Research Institute Senckenberg.

05/2002 – 07/2002
Internship in biochemistry, Goethe-University, Frankfurt.

01/1996 – 03/1996
Internship Museum of Prehistoric and Protohistoric Archaeology, Frankfurt.

Selected publications

Knapp, H. (in print). Archäobotanische Untersuchungen an Verhüttungsplätzen aus dem Mittelharz (10.-13. Jh.) mit Schwerpunkt auf Holzkohlenanalysen: Lässt sich die Holznutzung zwischen verschiedenen Verhüttungsplätzen (Kupfer- und Silberschmelzplätzen) und dem metallurgischen Montangewerbe unterscheiden?

Knapp, H., Vincent, R., Kirleis, W., & Nelle, O. (in press). Woodland history in the upper Harz Mountains revealed by kiln site, soil sediment and peat charcoal analyses. Quaternary International (2012), 1-13.

Robin, V., Knapp, H., Bork, H.-R. & Nelle, O. (in press). Complementary use of pedoanthracology and peat macro-charcoal analysis for fire history assessment: Illustration from central Germany. Quaternary International (2012), 1-11

In progress
Knapp, H., Kirleis, W., & Nelle. Woodland

  • Senckenbergische Naturforschende Gesellschaft Frankfurt am Main
  • Paläontologische Gesellschaft
  • European Geosciences Union