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Department of Zoology




  • 2014: PhD in Conservation Biology, University of Copenhagen (Denmark)
  • 2008: MSc Biology. University of Copenhagen (Denmark)
  • 2005: BSc Biology. University of Copenhagen (Denmark)


  • 2016–present: Research fellow in the Conservation Science Group. Dept. Zoology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge (UK). Funded by the Carlsberg foundation, the Villum Foundation and the EU Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowships program 
  • 2014–2015: Postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate, Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen (Denmark) (3/4 full time)
  • 2014–2015: Consultant for the World Bank’s Global Environmental Facility (GEF) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) (1/4 full time)
  • 2009-2010: High school biology teacher at Det Frie Gymnasium, Copenhagen, Denmark


  • Research Associate at Clare College, University of Cambridge (since 2018)
  • Co-chair of the IUCN WCPA Management Effectiveness Specialist Group (since 2018)
  • Board of Govenors Society for Conservation Biology Europe Section (since 2018)
  • Research Associate at Darwin College (2017-2018)
  • Member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s World Commission on Protected Areas (IUCN-WCPA) (since 2013)
  • Member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Species Survival Commission (IUCN-SSC) (since 2012)
  • Member of the Danish Minster for the Environment's national committee on forests and forestry (2011-2016)
  • Member of the IUCN SSC-WCPA joint taskforce on Biodiversity and Protected areas (since 2010)
  • Member of board of governors of the Danish Society for Nature Conservation, largest Danish NGO with more than 130,000 members (since 2009)


My work focuses on understanding pressures and threats to protected areas and how globally applied management effectiveness tools like the Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool (METT) can be used to inform what makes protected areas effective in reducing human pressure. I also work on evaluating the effectiveness of protected areas internationally combining management effectiveness data with data on changes in biodiversity outcomes.

My research builds on a strong tradition of mapping human pressure using remotely-sensed data (e.g. the Human Footprint) to explore patterns of effectiveness across the globe. I am also interested in understanding how pressure as measured by remote sensed data, which often represents drivers or sources of pressure can be combined with on the ground perceptions of pressure to better understand how human processes translates in to biodiversity loss.


Key publications: 

Schleicher, S,  Eklund, J, Barnes, MD. Geldmann, J, Oldekop, JA, Jones, JPG (2019) Statistical matching for conservation science. Conservation Biology. Link.

Geldmann, J, Manica, A, Burgess, ND, Coad, L, Balmford, A (2019) A global-level assessment of the effectiveness of protected areas at resisting anthropogenic pressures. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), 01908221. Link.

Olsen, TMB, Geldmann, J, Harfoot, M, Tittensor, DP, Price, B, Sinovas, P, Nowak, K, Sanders, NJ, Burgess, ND (early view) Thirty-six years of Legal and Illegal Wildlife Trade entering the USA. ORYX. Link.

Eklund, J, Coad, L, Geldmann, J, Cabeza, M (early view) What constitutes a useful measure of protected area effectiveness? A case study of management inputs and protected area impacts in Madagascar. Conservation Science and PracticeLink.

Coad, L, Watson, J, Geldmann, J, Burgess, ND, Leverington, F, Hockings, M, Knights, K, Di Marco, M (2019) Widespread shortfalls in protected area resourcing undermine efforts to conserve biodiversity. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 17: 259-264. Link.

Rogalla von Bieberstein, K, Sattout, E, Christensen, M, Pisupati, B, Burgess, ND, Harrison, J, Geldmann, J (2019) Improving collaboration in the implementation of global biodiversity conventions. Conservation Biology, 33: 821-831. Link.

He, F, Bremerich, V, Zarfl, C, Geldmann, J, Langhans, SD, David, JNW, Darwall, W, Tockner, K, Jähnig, SJ (2018) Freshwater megafauna diversity: patterns, status, and threats. Diversity and Distribution, 24: 1395-1404 Link.

Post, G and Geldmann, J (2018) Exceptional responders in conservation. Conservation Biology, 32: 576-583 Link

González-Varo, JP, and Geldmann, J. (2018) Bee conservation: Key role of managed bees and Bee conservation: Inclusive solutions - Response. Science, 360: 390. Link.

Geldmann, J, Coad, L, Barnes, M, Craigie, ID, Woodley, S, Balmford, A, Brooks, TM, Hockings, M, Knights, K, Mascia, MB, McRae, L and Burgess, ND. (2018) A global analysis of management capacity and ecological outcomes in protected areas. Conservation Letters. Link

Geldmann, J. and González-Varo, JP. (2018) Conserving honeybees does not help wildlife. Science: 359: 392-393. Link

Schulze, K, Knights, K, Coad, L, Geldmann, J, Leverington, F, Eassom, A, Marr, M, Butchart, SHM, Hockings, M, and Burgess ND. (2018) An assessment of threats to protected areas. Conservation Letters. Link

Navarro, LM., Marquesa, A, Proença, V, Ceausu, S, Gonçalves, B, Capinha, C, Fernandez, M, Geldmann, J, Pereira, HM. (2017) Restoring degraded land: contributing to Aichi targets 14, 15, and beyond. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 29, 207-214. Link

Mascia, MB, Fox, HE, Glew, L, Ahmadia, GN, Agrawal, A, Barnes, M, Basurto, X, Craigie, ID, Darling, E, Geldmann, J, Gill, D, Holst, S, Jensen, OP, Lester, SE, McConney, P, Mumby, PJ, Nenadovic, M, Parks, JE, Pomeroy, RS and White AT (2017) A Novel Framework for Analyzing Conservation Impacts: Evaluation, Theory, and Marine Protected Areas. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 93-115. Link

Gill, DA, Mascia, MB, Ahmadia, GN. Glew, L, Lester, SE, Barnes, M, Craigie, ID, Darling, E, Free, CM, Geldmann, J, Holst, S, Jensen, OP, White, A, Basurto, X, Coad, L Gates, RD, Guannel, G, Mumby, PJ, Thomas, H, Whitmee, S, Woodley, S, and Fox, HE (2017) Capacity shortfalls hinder the performance of marine protected areas globally. Nature: 543, 665-669. Link

Barnes, M, Craigie, ID, Harrington, L, Geldmann, J, Collen, B, Whitmee, S, Balmford, A, Burgess ND, Brooks, T, Hockings, M and Woodley, S (2016) Correlates of wildlife population trends in protected areas. Nature Communications: 7, 12747. Link

Geldmann, J. Heilmann-Clausen, J, Holm, TE, Levinsky, I, Markussen, B, Olsen, K, Rahbek, C, Tøttrup, AP (2016) What determines spatial bias in citizen science? – Exploring four recording schemes with different proficiency requirements. Diversity and Distribution, 11: 1139-1149 Link

Joppa L, O’Connor, B, Visconti, P, Smith, C, Geldmann, J, Hoffmann, M, Watson, JEM, Butchart, SHM, Virah-Sawmy, M, Halpern, BS, Ahmed, SE, Balmford, A, Sutherland, WJ, Harfoot, M, Hilton-Taylor, C, Foden W, Di Minin, E, Pagad, S, Genovesi, P, Hutton, J & Burgess, ND (2016) Filling in biodiversity threat gaps. Science: 352, 416-418. Link

Geldmann, J, Coad, L, Barnes, M, Craigie, ID, Hockings, M, Knights, K, Leverington, F, Cuadros, IC, Zamora, C, Woodley, S and Burgess ND (2015) Changes in protected area Management Effectiveness over time a global analysis. Biological Conservation, 191: 692-699. Link

Butchart, SHM, Clarke, M, Smith, B, Sykes, R, Scharlemann, JPW, Harfoot, M, Buchman, G, Angulo, A, Balmford, A, Bertzky, B, Brooks, TM, Carpenter, KE, Comeros-Raynals, M, Cornell, J, Ficetola, GF, Fishpool, LDC, Fuller, R, Geldmann, J, Harwell, H, Hilton-Taylor, C, Hoffmann, M, Joolia, A, Joppa, J, Kingston, N, May, I, Milam, A, Polidoro, B, Ralph, G, Richman, N, Rondinini, C, Segan, D, Skolnik, B, Spalding, M, Stuart, SN, Symes, A, Taylor, J, Visconti, P, Watson, J, Wood, L and Burgess, ND (2015) Shortfalls and solutions for meeting national and global protected area targets. Conservation Letters, 8, 329-337. Link

Coad, L, Leverington, F, Knights, K, Geldmann, J, Eassom, A, Kapos, V, Kingston, N, de Lima, M, Zamora,C, Cuardros, IC, Burgess, ND and Hockings, M (2015). Towards the assessment of protected area management effectiveness. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences: 20140281. Link

Craigie, ID, Barnes M, Geldmann, J and Woodley, S (2015) International funding agencies - potential leaders of impact evaluation in protected areas? Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences: 20140283. Link

Mascia, MB, Pailler, S, Thieme, ML, Rowe, A, Bottrill, MC, Danielsen, F, Geldmann, J, Naidoo, R, Pullin, AS and Burgess, ND (2014). Commonalities and Complementarities among Approaches to Conservation Monitoring and Evaluation. Biological Conservation, 169: 258-267. Link

Geldmann, J, Joppa, L, Burgess, ND (2014) Mapping change in human pressure globally on land and within protected areas. Conservation Biology, 28, 6: 1604-1616. Link

Coad, L, Leverington, F, Burgess, ND, Cuadros, IC, Geldmann, J, Marthews, T, Mee, J, Nolte, C, Stoll-Kleeman, S, Vansteelant, N, Zamora, C, Zimsky, M and Hockings, M (2013). Progress towards the CBD protected area management effectiveness targets. Parks19: 13-24. Link

Geldmann, J, Barnes, M, Coad, L, Craigie, ID, Hockings, M and Burgess, ND (2013). Effectiveness of terrestrial protected areas in reducing habitat loss and population declines. Biological Conservation 161, 230-238. [2nd most cited paper of 2013] Link

Other publications: 

Strandberg, B, Ejrnæs, R, Geldmann, J, Bruun, HH, Rahbek, C (2018) Status, trusler og bevarelse af vilde bier. Kaskelot, 220, 22-26.

Geldmann, J and González-Varo, JP. (2018) Conserving honey bees does not help wildlife. Geographical Magazine, 90, 11.

Bruun, HH, Ejrnæs, R, Rahbek, C, Svenning, J-C, Hansen, MDD, Strandberg, B, Geldmann, J (2017): Topforskere: Her er fakta i debatten om bier.

UNEP-WCMC and IUCN (2016) Protected Planet Report 2016. UNEP-WCMC and IUCN, Cambridge, UK[contributing author]

Global Environmental Facility Independent Evaluation Office (2015) Impact Evaluation of GEF Sup-port to Protected Areas and Protected Area Systems. Global Environment Facility. Washington DC, USA. [contributing author]

Geldmann, J, (2015) Citizen science – forskning for alle. Kaskelot, 208, 14-18.

Geldmann, J, (2014) Nyt verdenskort afslører trusler mod naturen. Aktuel Naturvidenskab4, 28-30.

Geldmann, J, Tøttrup, A., Hansen, N.S., and Rahbek, C. (2014) Borgerne med ud i felten – ny forskningsmetode. NATURvejleder, 23, 14-15.

Geldmann, J, M. Barnes, I. D. Craigie, L. Coad, and S. Woodley. (2014). Evaluation of the use of the Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool (METT) in protected areas supported by the GEF. IUCN, Gland Switzerland.

Juffe-Bignoli, D, Burgess, ND, Bingham, H, Belle, EMS, de Lima, MG, Deguignet, M, Bertzky, B., Milam, A.N., Martinez-Lopez, J., Lewis, E., Eassom, A., Wicander, S, Geldmann, J, van Soesbergen A, Arnell, AP, O’Connor, B, Park, S, Shi, YN, Danks, FS, MacSharry, B and Kingston, N (2014). Protected Planet Report 2014. UNEP-WCMC: Cambridge, UK. 

Geldmann, J, Barnes, M, Coad, L, Craigie, I, Hockings, M and Burgess, ND (2013). Effectiveness of terrestrial protected areas in reducing biodiversity and habitat loss. CEE, 10-007: 1-61.


Contact Details

Room 3.01 David Attenborough Building
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