Institute of


Dr. Niels Hellwig

Dr. Niels  Hellwig
Bundesallee 68
38116 Braunschweig
+49 531 596 2579
+49 531 596 2599

Research interests

  • Indicator-based study of biodiversity changes in agricultural landscapes
  • Spatial and temporal analysis of ecosystems using earth observation data and environmental modelling
  • Decomposition processes and humus forms at forest sites
  • Large-scale analysis of land-use change and related pressures on protected areas
  • GIS-based and statistical spatial modelling

Short CV

  • since 2020: Research associate at Thünen Institute of Biodiversity
  • 2018-2019: Research associate at Institute of Environmental Science and Geography, University of Potsdam (until 12/2018: Institute of Earth and Environmental Science)
  • 2018-2019: Lecturer at Faculty of Business Management and Social Sciences, Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences
  • 2018-2019: Lecturer at Institute of Geography, Osnabrück University
  • 2015-2018: Doctoral student at Institute of Geography, Osnabrück University
  • 2014-2018: Research assistant at Institute of Geography, Osnabrück University
  • 2009-2014: Studies in Applied System Science at Osnabrück University (Master of Science in Environmental Systems and Resources Management)



Hellwig, N., Schubert, L.F., Kirmer, A., Tischew, S., Dieker, P. (2022): Effects of wildflower strips, landscape structure and agricultural practices on wild bee assemblages – A matter of data resolution and spatial scale? Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 326, 107764. Link / PDF

Schmidt, A., Kirmer, A., Hellwig, N., Kiehl, K., Tischew, S. (2022): Evaluating CAP wildflower strips: High-quality seed mixtures significantly improve plant diversity and related pollen and nectar resources. Journal of Applied Ecology.

Schubert, L.F., Hellwig, N., Kirmer, A., Schmid-Egger, C., Schmidt, A., Dieker, P., Tischew, S. (2022): Habitat quality and surrounding landscape structures influence wild bee occurrence in perennial wildflower strips: Wild bee occurrence in wildflower strips. Basic and Applied Ecology.


Mupepele, A.-C., Hellwig, N., Dieker, P., Klein, A.-M. (2021): Wild-bee trends in Germany and their drivers for change - Research protocol for a systematic review.


Kärcher, O., Filstrup, C.T., Brauns, M., Tasevska, O., Patceva, S., Hellwig, N., Walz, A., Frank, K., Markovic, D. (2020): Chlorophyll a relationships with nutrients and temperature, and predictions for lakes across perialpine and Balkan mountain regions. Inland Waters 10(1), 29-40. Link / PDF


Hellwig, N., El Hourani, M., Graefe, U., Milbert, G., Broll, G. (2019): Naturwaldzellen als Ort bodenökologischer Forschung. Natur in NRW 1/2019, 30-35. PDF

Hellwig, N., Tatti, D., Sartori, G., Anschlag, K., Graefe, U., Egli, M., Gobat, J.-M., Broll, G. (2019): Modeling Spatial Patterns of Humus Forms in Montane and Subalpine Forests: Implications of Local Variability for Upscaling. Sustainability 11(1), 48. Link / PDF

Hellwig, N., Tatti, D., Sartori, G., Anschlag, K., Graefe, U., Egli, M., Gobat, J.-M., Broll, G. (2019): Verbreitungsmuster von Waldhumusformen in den italienischen Alpen in Abhängigkeit von der räumlichen Skala. In: Berichte der DBG (eprints), PDF (21.01.2020).

Hellwig, N., Walz, A., Markovic, D. (2019): Climatic and socioeconomic effects on land cover changes across Europe: Does protected area designation matter? PLoS ONE 14(7), e0219374. Link / PDF / Hervorhebung und Kommentierung im PNAS Journal Club

Noebel, R., Walz, A., Pasetto, D., Dobkowitz, S., Peterseil, J., Cazacu, C., Poursanidis, D., Hellwig, N., Markovic, D., Giezendanner, J., Rinaldo, A., Mari, L., Melià, P., Gatto, M., Casagrandi, R., Rocchini, D., Féret, J.-B., Salvatori, N., Garzon-Lopez, C.X., Kärcher, O., Filstrup, C.T., Brauns, M., Tasevska, O., Patceva, S., Frank, K., Karnieli, A., Ohana-Levi, N., Silver, M., Paz-Kagan, T., Panov, N., Vargehese, D., Chrysoulakis, N., Beierkuhnlein, C., Provenzale, A., Gavish, Y., Kunin, B., Ziv, G., Guerra, C.A., Rosa, I.M.D., Eisenhauer, N., Valentini, E., Wolf, F., Filipponi, F., Karger, D.N., Xuan, A.N., Mathieu, J., Lavelle, P., Pereira, H., Alcaraz-Segura, D., Cazorla, B., Bagnato, C., Berbery, E.H., Epstein, H.E., Jobbágy, E.G., Cabello, J., Peñas, J., Pacheco, M., Vallejos, M., Fernández, N., Paruelo, J., Madon, B. (2019): Guidelines for large-scale monitoring ecosystems. ECOPOTENTIAL Deliverable No. 8.5. PDF

Ziemba, A., El Serafy, G., Gosal, A., Ziv, G., Markovic, D., Hellwig, N., Kärcher, O., Simionesei, L., Carvalho-Santos, C., Monteiro, A., Stritih, A., Muñoz, M.S., Billing, M. (2019): Adapted/improved process-based models assimilating EO/ in situ data. ECOPOTENTIAL Deliverable No. 6.2. PDF


Hellwig, N. (2018): Spatial patterns of humus forms, soil organisms and soil biological activity at high mountain forest sites in the Italian Alps. Doctoral thesis, Osnabrück University. Link / PDF

Hellwig, N., Gómez-Brandón, M., Ascher-Jenull, J., Bardelli, T., Anschlag, K., Fornasier, F., Pietramellara, G., Insam, H., Broll, G. (2018): Humus Forms and Soil Microbiological Parameters in a Mountain Forest: Upscaling to the Slope Scale. Soil Systems 2(1), 12. Link / PDF

Walz, A., Schulz, J., Palazzi, E., Beierkuhnlein, C., Billing, M., Casagrandi, R., Domingo-Marimon, C., Filipponi, F., Hellwig, N., Hoffmann, S., Karnieli, A., Mari, L., Markovic-Bredthauer, D., Mouillot, D., Provenzale, A., Valentini, E., Weiser, F. (2018): Current state of ecosystems and ecosystem services beyond PAs. ECOPOTENTIAL Deliverable No. 8.2. PDF


Anschlag, K., Tatti, D., Hellwig, N., Sartori, G., Gobat, J.-M., Broll, G. (2017): Vegetation-based bioindication of humus forms in coniferous mountain forests. Journal of Mountain Science 14(4), 662-673. Link / PDF

Hellwig, N., Anschlag, K., Broll, G. (2017): Modellgestützte Analyse räumlicher Dekompositionsmuster im Hochgebirge. In: Berichte der DBG (eprints), PDF (21.01.2020).

Hellwig, N., Graefe, U., Tatti, D., Sartori, G., Anschlag, K., Beylich, A., Gobat, J.-M., Broll, G. (2017): Upscaling the spatial distribution of enchytraeids and humus forms in a high mountain environment on the basis of GIS and fuzzy logic. European Journal of Soil Biology 79, 1-13. Link


Hellwig, N., Anschlag, K., Broll, G. (2016): A fuzzy logic based method for modeling the spatial distribution of indicators of decomposition in a high mountain environment. Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research 48(4), 623-635. Link / PDF


Hellwig, N., Graefe, U., Tatti, D., Anschlag, K., Gobat, J.-M., Broll, G. (2015): GIS-basierte Modellierung von Humusformen und Enchyträen in zwei italienischen Alpentälern. In: Berichte der DBG (eprints), PDF (21.01.2020).