Dr. Jörg Melzheimer


Department of Evolutionary Ecology

Tel: 0049 (0) 30 5168 462
E-Mail: melzheimer@izw-berlin.de

Short curriculum vitae

Professional appointments
Since 2005 research scientist at the department Evolutionary Ecology

Professional experience
Since 2005 research scientist and project coordinator of the Cheetah Research Project at Leibniz-IZW. Expert in capturing and deployment of biologgers on mammals and the analyses of the resulting spatial data. Deep knowledge of the ecology of savanna ecosystems and the corresponding mammal fauna. Paraprofessional veterinarian for chemical immobilization of wildlife as well as gun licence for dart-guns. Many years of experience in and enormous passion about science communication as well as involvement of citizens scientists in research projects. Outstanding technical expertise and remarkable troubleshooting skills as well as inventor of various scientific instruments and tools. 


  • Doctoral degree at Freie Universität Berlin
  • “Diplom” with distinction in Biology, University of Potsdam
  • Academic studies of Ecology, Evolution and Nature Conservation at the Universities of Potsdam (Germany), Witwatersrand (South Africa) and Marburg (Germany)
Research interests
  • Movement and spatial ecology
  • Behavioural ecology of wildlife species
  • Conservation biology
  • Human-wildlife and land use conflicts
  • Stakeholder dialogue and citizen science
Selected publications

Dayaram A, Seeber P, Courtiol A, Soilemetzidou S, Tsangaras K, Franz M, McEwen G, Azab W, Kaczensky P, Melzheimer J, East M, Ganbaatar O, Walzer C, Osterrieder N, Greenwood AD (2021): Seasonal host and ecological drivers may promote restricted water as a viral vector. SCI TOTAL ENVIRON 733, 145446. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.145446

Frey R, Volodin IA, Volodina EV, Efremova KO, Menges V, Portas R, Melzheimer J, Fritsch G, Gerlach C, von Dörnberg K (2020): Savannah roars: The vocal anatomy and the impressive rutting calls of male impala (Aepyceros melampus) – highlighting the acoustic correlates of a mobile larynx. J ANAT 236, 398–424. doi:10.1111/joa.13114

Melzheimer J, Heinrich SK, Wasiolka B, Müller R, Thalwitzer S, Palmegiani I, Weigold A, Portas R, Röder R, Krofel M, Hofer H, Wachter B (2020): Communication hubs of an asocial cat are the source of a human-carnivore conflict and key to its solution. PROC NATL ACAD SCI USA 117, 33325–33333. doi:10.1073/pnas.2002487117

Prüter H, Franz M, Twietmeyer S, Böhm N, Middendorff G, Portas R, Melzheimer J, Kolberg H, von Samson-Himmelstjerna G, Greenwood AD, Lüschow D, Mühldorfer K, Czirják GÁ (2020): Increased immune marker variance in a population of invasive birds. SCI REP 10, 21764. doi:10.1038/s41598-020-78427-7

Melzheimer J, Streif S, Wasiolka B, Fischer M, Thalwitzer S, Heinrich SK, Weigold A, Hofer H, Wachter B (2018): Queuing, takeovers, and becoming a fat cat: Long-term data reveal two distinct male spatial tactics at different life-history stages in Namibian cheetahs. Ecosphere 9: e02308.

Costantini D, Seeber PA, Soilemetzidou S-E, Azab W, Bohner J, Buuveibaatar B, Czirják GÁ, East ML, Greunz EM, Kaczensky P, Lamglait B, Melzheimer J, Uiseb K, Ortega A, Osterrieder N, Sandgreen D-M, Simon M, Walzer C, Greenwood AD (2018): Physiological costs of infection: herpesvirus replication is linked to blood oxidative stress in equids. Sci. Rep. 8: 1–10.

Edwards S, Portas R, Hanssen L, Beytell P, Melzheimer J, Stratford K (2018): The spotted ghost: Density and distribution of serval Leptailurus serval in Namibia. Afr. J. Ecol. 56: 831–840.

Edwards S, Fischer M, Wachter B, Melzheimer J (2018): Coping with intrasexual behavioral differences: Capture–recapture abundance estimation of male cheetah. Ecol. Evol. 8: 9171–9180.

Edwards S, Cooper S, Uiseb K, Hayward M, Wachter B, Melzheimer J (2018): Making the most of by-catch data: Assessing the feasibility of utilising non-target camera trap data for occupancy modelling of a large felid. Afr. J. Ecol. 56: 885–894.

Frigerio D, Pipek P, Kimmig S, Winter S, Melzheimer J, Diblíková L, Wachter B, Richter A (2018): Citizen science and wildlife biology: Synergies and challenges. Ethology 124: 365–377.

Voigt CC, Krofel M, Menges V, Wachter B, Melzheimer J (2018): Sex-specific dietary specialization in a terrestrial apex predator, the leopard, revealed by stable isotope analysis. J. Zool. 306: 1–7.

Costantini D, Wachter B, Melzheimer J, Czirják GÁ (2017): Socioecological and environmental predictors of physiological stress markers in a threatened feline species. Conserv. Physiol. 5: 1–14.

Potgieter GC, Weise FJ, Wachter B, Melzheimer J, Wiesel I, Stratford K (2017): Comment on Rust et al.: Human–Carnivore Conflict in Namibia Is Not Simply About Black and White. Soc. Nat. Resour. 30: 1299–1303.