Dr. rer. nat. Denise Heike Böhnke Thomas Meinzer-Beyer

Dr. rer. nat. Denise Heike Böhnke

  • Institut für Angewandte Geowissenschaften 
    Professur für Geochemie & Lagerstättenkunde

    KIT - Karlsruher Institut für Technologie
    Campus Süd

    Adenauerring 20b, Gebäude 50.40
    76131 Karlsruhe

Research activities

The consequences of climate change will present us with challenges in the future, the extent and significance of which for our lives is currently very difficult for individuals to assess and understand. Whether we are talking about single resources such as water or the entire urban ecosystem, we first need to understand i) how current conditions are and how they are influenced, ii) how they have already changed and iii) how they will continue to change - and what options we have to adapt and minimize the negative effects of change locally.

Urban greenery is already an essential component of healthy cities, providing many ecosystem services such as positive psychological effects, shaded and cooler places in increasingly hot summers, the storage of CO2 and providing the basis for urban biodiversity. It is likely that this importance will increase considerably in the future as, e.g., more and more people will live in cities that will benefit from urban greenery and its local buffering function for the effects of climate change.

My research interests are therefore very interdisciplinary to cover as many relevant aspects as possible - mostly related to the urban ecosystem. For example:

  • Climate adaptation: adaptation strategies, measures and their implementation in planning processes
  • Urban climatology and biometeorology: Measurement and evaluation of urban heat effects and possible adaptation measures, microclimate
  • Urban ecosystem services: Inventories, ways of consideration in planning or political decisions, living quality of public spaces

Urban ecology and urban greenery

Interview with Baden-TV on the tick situation 2021

Nature has become a real visitor magnet in the past pandemic year. This could have been one of the reasons why 2020 has developed into a real tick record year, experts suspect. The Robert Koch Institute recorded more than 700 cases of the TBE virus, which the little animals transmit, last year - more than at any time since compulsory reporting began around 20 years ago. Even if it should be rather too cold for the ticks outside at the start of today's week, the season has long started this year.

- Baden TV 12.04.2021



Past and present projects

NaMaRes - Resource management in city districts in the context of sustainable urban development, KIT-AGW

  • Joint project, with partners from KIT, City of Karlsruhe and external bureaus (GIS/software development; planning), funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and research
  • Aim: development of a webtool for the physical description and evaluation of the city district regarding the existing resources (in the field of water, area and material flows, open and green spaces, existing ecosystem services), which also includes actors, their options for action, conflicts of objectives. Resource-efficient solutions will be simulated and tested.

KomKlim: Implementation of municipal climate adaptation in urban land use planning in the pilot project for the development of the Spinelli Barracks site / northeast green corridor in Mannheim (01/2017 – 08/2018), KIT-IfR

  • Cooperation project between the KIT - Institutes for Regional Science and Applied Geosciences and the Administration of the City of Mannheim, funded by the State Institute for Environment Baden-Württemberg (LUBW)
  • Scientists were integrated in the Planning Office of the City of Mannheim as Climate experts within an ongoing urban planning process
  • Development of a climate adaptation concept for the new city district (heat/heavy rainfall/ventilation), considering the legal regulations.
  • Study of opportunities and barriers for the implementation of adaptation measures
  • Report (in German)

Technical, economic, social and political consequences of dismantling a nuclear power plant at regional and local level (2016), KIT-IfGG

Study of the ecology of ticks as vectors of pathogens in Baden - Württemberg with regard to habitat, land use, host animals and climate (2012 – 2016), KIT-IfGG

  • Joint project between the KIT Institute for Geography and Geoecology, the Zoological Institute, and the State Health Authority of Baden-Württemberg, partly financed by the BWPLUS program of the Ministry of the Environment, Climate, and Energy of Baden-Württemberg.
  • Full scholarship of the Graduate School for Climate and Environment (GRACE) of the KIT
  • Doctoral thesis (in English)

Academic career, research grants and qualifications

  • July 2016 Doctoral thesis: "Habitat ecology and microclimatic influences on the distribution of Ixodes ricinus ticks in Baden-Württemberg", published in the KIT Library
  • 2014 - 2015 Full scholarship of the Graduate School for Climate and Environment (GRACE)
  • 2012 - 2013 Mentoring Program of KIT (X-Ment External Link)
  • 2012 - 2016 Further education in project management and scientific writing, financed by Karlsruhe House of Young Scientists (KHYS)
  • 2012 - 2016 Training Program of the Helmholtz Graduate School for Climate and Environment (GRACE)
  • 2003 - 2011 Study of Geoecology at KIT (until 2009: University of Karlsruhe)


Urban Ecology - lecture, internship and seminar

Exchange KATHES cooperation - Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and Aristoteles University of Thessaloniki (AUTh), funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)

Supervised theses (from 2019)

Bender, Thomas (2020):

Jerutka, Kirke (2020): Structural and functional diversity of city squares - an assessment concept. Bachelor thesis.

Mandler, Rebekka (2020): Development of an urban climatological model for the analyses of cold air flows and the urban heat island using the Innenstadt-Ost in Karlsruhe as an example. Master Thesis (in German).

Geiger, Yannis (2019): Modeling of urban climate effects of building measures on the southern campus of the KIT on adjacent urban areas. Master's Thesis (in German).

Bach, Jessica (2019): The heat stress and effects of the environmental parameters of the Lidellplatz in downtown Karlsruhe on the human bioclimate. Master thesis (in German).

Krehl, Alice (2019): Inventory of ecosystem services in the eastern city centre of Karlsruhe. Bachelor thesis (in German).

City squares

Böhnke, D; Jerutka, K. (2020): City squares: On the evaluation of the amenity quality of urban spaces (in German).
STADT und RAUM 6/2020, S 330-335


Einblicke in die Herausforderungen kommunaler Klimaanpassung in der Bauleitplanung
Böhnke, D. H.
2024, March 19. 10. BIOMET-Tagung (2024), Offenbach, Germany, March 19–21, 2024
Assimilating data from local thermal measurements in urban-scale flow and dispersion modelling
Boehnke, D.; Tsegas, G.; Moussiopoulos, N.
2022, June 29. 13th International Conference on Air Quality - Science and Application (2022), Thessaloniki, Greece, June 27–July 1, 2022
Journal Articles
Mapping Urban Green and Its Ecosystem Services at Microscale—A Methodological Approach for Climate Adaptation and Biodiversity
Boehnke, D.; Krehl, A.; Mörmann, K.; Volk, R.; Lützkendorf, T.; Naber, E.; Becker, R.; Norra, S.
2022. Sustainability, 14 (15), Art.-Nr.: 9029. doi:10.3390/su14159029Full textFull text of the publication as PDF document
Karlsruhe schwitzt: Hitzesommer in der Innenstadt und wie Forschung da helfen kann
Boehnke, D.
2021, March 8. Wissenschaftskommunikation im Projekt “Und was machst du so? (2021), Online, March 8, 2021
Conference Papers
The many faces of the factor temperature and its effects on individuals and populations
Boehnke, D.
2021. 14th International Symposium on Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases (2021), Online, März 24-26, 2021
Book Chapters
Grünbestände in privaten Innenhöfen und deren Ökosystemleistungen im Stadtquartier: Erkenntnisse einer quartiersweiten Erhebung in Karlsruhe
Böhnke, D.; Volk, R.; Lützkendorf, T.; Naber, E.; Krehl, A.; Becker, R.; Norra, S.
2021. Flächennutzungsmonitoring XIII. Hrsg.: G. Meinel, 149–157, Rhombos-Verlag. doi:10.26084/13dfns-p014Full textFull text of the publication as PDF document
Identifikation und Bewertung von Entsiegelungspotenzialen als Beitrag zur nachhaltigen Quartiersentwicklung: Zwischenergebnisse aus NaMaRes
Volk, R.; Naber, E.; Lützkendorf, T.; Böhnke, D.; Mörmann, K.; Schultmann, F.; Norra, S.
2021. Flächennutzungsmonitoring XIII. Hrsg.: G. Meinel, 209–219, Rhombos-Verlag. doi:10.26084/13dfns-p019Full textFull text of the publication as PDF document
NaMaRes: Stakeholder-specific assessment of resource-efficiency measures in urban districts - first results
Volk, R.; Lützkendorf, T.; Schambelon, S.; Naber, E.; Mörmann, K.; Böhnke, D.; Norra, S.; Schuhmann, R.; Ehbrecht, A.; Balouktsi, M.; Schultmann, F.
2020, June. Beyond - World Sustainable Built Environment Conference (2020), Online, November 2–4, 2020
Umsetzung der Klimaanpassung in die Bauleitplanung – Erkenntnisse einer Pilotstudie
Boehnke, D.
2020, February. 5. Konferenz "Räume neu denken - Planung in einer Welt im Wandel" (2020), Dortmund, Germany, February 17–18, 2020
Environmental and Health Impacts in Cities
Boehnke, D.
2019, September. GRACE Sommerschule - Saubere Energie und Nachhaltigkeit (Summer School - Clean Energy and Sustainability) (2019), Possidi, September 2–6, 2019
Möglichkeiten und Hemmnisse der kommunalen Klimawandelanpassung in RLP
Boehnke, D.; Körner, F.; Greuloch, W.
2019, October 29. Klimawandelanpassung in Kommunen - Netzwerktreffen rheinland-pfälzischer Kommunen und Landkreise (2019), Annweiler am Trifels, Germany, October 29, 2019
Book Chapters
Risiko einer FSME-Infektion infolge individueller Exposition und alimentärer Übertragung
Böhnke, D.
2019. FSME in Deutschland. Stand der Wissenschaft. Hrsg.: Franz Rubel, Julia Schiffner-Rohe, 137–150, Deutscher Wissenschaftsverlag Full textFull text of the publication as PDF document
Freilandstudien zu Kleinsäugern und Zecken
Petney, T.; Littvin, N.; Böhnke, D.; Obiegala, A.; Schaeffer, M.; Muders, S.; Pfäffle, M.; Pfeffer, M.
2019. FSME in Deutschland. Stand der Wissenschaft. Hrsg.: Franz Rubel, Julia Schiffner-Rohe, Julia, 81–94, Deutscher Wissenschaftsverlag
Forest microclimate – a rarely measured habitat
Boehnke, D.
2018, November. Universidade Federal do Paraná (2018), Curitiba, Brazil, November 2, 2018
Conference Papers
Die Bedeutung des Bodens für Klimaanpassungsmaßnahmen in Städten in Hinblick auf die Stadtplanung
Boehnke, D.
2018. 2. Symposium "Wahrnehmung und Bewertung von Böden in der Gesellschaft", Leipzig, 11.-12.10.2018, DBG

Publications until 2017


Boehnke, Denise; Gebhardt, Reiner; Petney, Trevor; Norra, Stefan (2017)
On the complexity of measuring forests microclimate and interpreting its relevance in habitat ecology: the example of Ixodes ricinus ticks
In: Parasites and Vectors, in press. DOI 10.1186/s13071-017-2498-5

Open access

 External Link


Böhnke, Denise (2016)
Habitat ecology and microclimatic influences on the distribution of Ixodes ricinus ticks in Baden-Württemberg
Dissertation, Karlsruhe
DOI(KIT): 10.5445/IR/1000061789
Open access External Link
Brugger K; Boehnke D; Petney T; et.al. (2016)
A Density Map of the Tick-Borne Encephalitis and Lyme Borreliosis Vector Ixodes ricinus (Acari: Ixodidae) for Germany
In: Journal of Medical Entomology, vol.53, n°6, 2016, p. 1292-1302. DOI: 10.1093/jme/tjw116
Access External Link
Boehnke D; Brugger K; Pfäffle M; Sebastian P; Norra S; Petney T; Oehme R; Littwin N; Lebl K; Raith J; Walter M; Gebhardt R; Rubel F (2015)
Estimating Ixodes ricinus densities on the landscape scale
International Journal of Health Geographics. DOI: 10.1186/s12942-015-0015-7
Open access External Link
Petney T; Pfäffle M.; Littwin N.; Norra S.; Böhnke D.; Hogewind F.; Gebhardt R.; Oehme R; Steidle J.; Kahl O.; Dautel H. (2015)
Untersuchung der Ökologie von Zecken als Überträger von Krankheitserregern in Baden - Württemberg in Bezug auf Habitat, Landnutzung, Wirtstiere und Klima
In: Fachdokumente zur Umweltforschung der LUBW. Gefördert durch Programm „Lebensgrundlage Umwelt und ihre Sicherung“ (LUBW), Land Baden-Württemberg.
Zwischenbericht 2015 External Link

Presentations and posters

Volk, Rebekka; Lützkendorf, Thomas; Schambelon, Sophia; Naber, Elias; Mörmann, Kai; Böhnke, Denise; Norra, Stefan; Schuhmann, Rainer; Ehrbecht, Anke; Baloutski, Maria, Schultmann, Frank (2020)
NaMaRes: Stakeholder-specific assessment of resource-efficiency measures in urban districts - first results
Poster at Beyond 2020 – World Sustainable Built Environment Conference. 9. – 11. Juni 2020
Boehnke, Denise (2020)
Umsetzung der Klimaanpassung in die Bauleitplanung – Erkenntnisse einer Pilotstudie
Vortrag at 5.Dortmunder Konferenz „Räume neu denken – Planung in einer Welt im Wandel“. Dortmund. 17. - 18. Februar 2020
Boehnke, Denise (2019)
Möglichkeiten und Hemmnisse der kommunalen Klimawandelanpassung in RLP
Experten Café und Podiumsdiskussion. Stiftung für Ökologie und Demokratie e. V., Annweiler. 29.10.2019
Boehnke, Denise (2019)
Environmental and Health Impacts in Cities
Vortrag at GRACE Sommerschule, Saubere Energie und Nachhaltigkeit, Possidi, Griechenland. 2.-6. September 2019