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René Dommain

photo of Rene Dommain

Dr. René Dommain is a landscape ecologist (Diplom and Dr. rer. nat. from University of Greifswald, Germany) working at the intersection of bio and geosciences in an integrative Humboldtian approach. His research centers on understanding landscape evolution, its linkage to past climatic changes and resulting biogeographic patterns and biogeochemical consequences. This work is strongly field based, often considers long timescales by analyzing cores (paleoecology), and focuses on tropical ecosystems of the East African Rift Valley and the Indo-Malay Archipelago, in particular rift lakes, equatorial mountains, and peat swamp forests. René has led and co-led expeditions to remote places in Uganda, Indonesia, Brunei, and Kenya. At the Human Origins Program he is mainly involved in the Olorgesailie Drilling Project – an effort to reconstruct one million years of landscape and climate dynamics in the southern Kenya Rift through the analysis of long sediment cores that were recovered in 2012. As part of this work René runs the Olorgesailie Drilling Project lab, analyses core samples and is regularly doing fieldwork in the Kenyan rift valley


Wijedasa, L.S., Jauhiainen, J., Könönen, M., Lampela, M., Vasander, H., LeBlanc, M.C., Evers, S., Smith, T.E.L., Yule, C.M., Varkkey, H., Lupascu, M., Parish, F., Singleton, I., Clements, G.R., Aziz, S.A., Harrison, M.E., Cheyne, S., Anshari, G.Z., Meijaard, E., Goldstein, J.E., Waldron, S., Hergoualc'h, K., Dommain, R., Frolking, S., Evans, C.D., et al. (2017) Denial of long-term issues with agriculture on tropical peatlands will have devastating consequences. Global Change Biology, doi:10.1111/gcb.13516

Dommain, R., Dittrich, I., Giesen, W., Joosten, H., Rais, D.S., Silvius, M. and Wibisono, I.T.C. (2016) Eosystem Services, Degradation and Restoration of Peat Swamps in the South East Asian Tropics. In: Bonn, A., Allott, T., Evans, M., Joosten, H., Stoneman, R., (eds.): Peatland restoration and ecosystem services: science, practice, policy. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, p. 253-288.

Dommain, R. (2016) Indonesia – Paludiculture as sustainable land use. In: Wichtmann, W., Schröder, C., Joosten, H. (eds.) Paludiculture – productive use of wet peatlands. Schweizerbart Science Publishers, Stuttgart, p. 217-223.

Cohen, A., Campisano, C., Arrowsmith, R.,… Dommain, R. et. al. (2016) The Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project: Inferring the Environmental Context of Human Evolution from Eastern African Rift Lake Deposits. Scientific Drilling, 21, 1-16.

Tocheri, M.W., Dommain, R., McFarlin, S.C., Burnett, S.E., Troy Case, D., Orr, C.M., Roach, N.T., Villmoare, B., Eriksen, A.B., Kalthoff, D.C., Senck, S., Assefa, Z., Groves, C.P. and Jungers, W.L. (2016) The evolutionary origin and population history of the grauer gorilla. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 159 (Supplement S61): 4-18.

Dommain, R., Cobb, A.R., Joosten, H., Glaser, P.H., Chua, A.F.L., Gandois, L., Kai, F.M.,Noren, A., Salim, K.A., Su’ut, N.S.H., and Harvey, C.F. (2015) Forest dynamics and tip-up pools drive pulses of high carbon accumulation rates in a tropical peat dome in Borneo (Southeast Asia). Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 120, 617–640.

Dommain, R., Couwenberg, J., Glaser, P.H., Joosten, H., and Suryadiputra, I.N.N. (2014) Carbon storage and release in Indonesian peatlands since the last deglaciation. Quaternary Science Reviews, 97, 1-32. (invited paper)

Joosten, H., Dommain, R., Haberl, A., Peters, J., Silvius, M., and Wichtmann, W. (2012) Implementation. In: Joosten, H., Tapio-Biström, M.L., Tol, S., (eds.): Peatlands - guidance for climate change mitigation by conservation, rehabilitation and sustainable use. Mitigation of Climate Change in Agriculture Series 5, FAO, Rome, pp. 9-20.

Dommain, R., Barthelmes, A., Tanneberger, F., Bonn, A., Bain, C., and Joosten, H. (2012) Country-wide overview of opportunities. In: Joosten, H., Tapio-Biström, M.L., Tol, S., (eds.): Peatlands - guidance for climate change mitigation by conservation, rehabilitation and sustainable use. Mitigation of Climate Change in Agriculture Series 5, FAO, Rome, pp. 47-84.

Dommain, R., Couwenberg, J., and Joosten, H. (2011) Development and carbon sequestration of tropical peat domes in south-east Asia: links to post-glacial sea-level changes and Holocene climate variability. Quaternary Science Reviews, 30, 999-1010.

Couwenberg, J., Dommain, R., and Joosten H. (2010) Greenhouse gas fluxes from tropical peatlands in south-east Asia. Global Change Biology, 16, 1715-1732.

Dommain, R., Couwenberg, J., and Joosten, H. (2010) Hydrological self-regulation of domed peat swamps in south-east Asia and consequences for conservation and restoration. Mires and Peat, 6, 1-17.

Dommain R. (2009) Die Wirbeltierfauna der Mongolei – Ein Überblick (The vertebrate fauna of Mongolia – an overview). In: Zemmrich, A., Schmidt, S., Rilke, S., Zölitz, R., (eds): Die Mongolei. Studien- und Exkursionsmaterialien. (Mongolia. Study and excursion materials), Verlag Callidus, Wismar, p. 70-73.

Dommain, R. (2004) Peatlands on the Ugandan side of Mount Elgon. International Mire Conservation Group (IMCG) Newsletter, 2004, 3, 9-12.

Gelbrecht J., Kallies A., Gerstberger M., Dommain R., Göritz U., Hoppe H., Richert A., Rosenbauer F., Schneider A., Sobczyk T., Weidlich M. (2003) Die aktuelle Verbreitung der Schmetterlinge der nährstoffarmen und sauren Moore des nordostdeutschen Tieflandes (Lepidoptera). Märkische Entomologische Nachrichten 5, 1-68.

Kühne L., Haase E., Wachlin V., Gelbrecht J., Dommain R. (2001) Die FFH-Art Lycaena dispar (Haworth, 1803) (Großer Feuerfalter) – Ökologie, Verbreitung, Gefährdung und Schutz im norddeutschen Tiefland (Lepidoptera, Lycaenidae). Märkische Entomologische Nachrichten 3, 1-32.