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Dr. Nico Stelljes


Dr. Nico Stelljes

Doctor of Natural Sciences
Environmental Scientist (Diplom-Umweltwissenschaftler)

Coordinator Coastal and Marine Studies


Dr. Nico Stelljes is a Fellow at Ecologic Institute and coordinates its work in coastal and marine studies. His research interests include regional adaptation to climate change, integrated coastal zone management (ICZM), sustainability, transdisciplinarity, perceptions of climate change, and the dissemination of scientific knowledge. He works in German and in English.

Dr. Nico Stelljes is a member of the project team "Innovation in the provision of climate services" (INNOVA). The project is part of the ERA-NET consortium "European Research Area for Climate Services" (ERA4CS) and develops climate services for four case study regions in Europe. The case study in the Bay of Kiel is led by Dr. Nico Stelljes.

Dr. Nico Stelljes was involved in the Regional Adaptation Strategies for the German Baltic Sea Coast (RADOST) project team, which was coordinated by Ecologic Institute Berlin. RADOST was one of seven model regions in Germany that were supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) through the funding initiative KLIMZUG (Managing Climate Change in the Regions for the Future). Dr. Nico Stelljes was also member of the project "Reducing nutrient loadings from agricultural soils to the Baltic Sea via groundwater and streams" (Soils2Sea). Within the European Commission's Seventh Framework Programme for Research (FP7), he was part of a project on Bottom-Up Climate Adaptation Strategies for a Sustainable Europe (BASE). In the project RISC-KIT, he focused on the development and analysis of resilience-increasing strategies for coasts.

The transfer of knowledge and cooperation with different actors is an important field of activity for Dr. Nico Stelljes. In addition to his scientific work, he is active in organising and moderating workshops. He was part of the Programme Committee of the second Conference on Climate Adaptation (ECCA2015) and the third BONUS Symposium (2018). As part of the RISC-KIT project, he was significantly involved in the development of a website for risk communication on European coasts. Further information on his projects and publications can be found at researchgate.

Before joining Ecologic Institute, Dr. Nico Stelljes worked at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht, where he participated in various projects, such as Zukunft Küste – Coastal Futures. Within this project, he began writing his doctoral thesis, entitled "The Impact of Demography Change on Sustainability Aspects in a Coastal Region" [pdf, 4.9 MB, German]. He completed his doctoral degree at the Geographical Institute of the University of Hamburg (Germany) in 2012.

Dr. Nico Stelljes studied environmental science at Leuphana University Lüneburg in Germany with a focus on ecology and landscape planning. His thesis focused on sand replenishment as a coastal protection strategy on the island of Sylt.

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Selected projects by Dr. Nico Stelljes
Ostseeküste | © Ecologic Institut
The aim of the project is to provide technical support and assistance for the tasks of the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) in implementing the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) and the necessary cooperation on a regional, national and EU level. As a... Read more

© Nico Stelljes

To safeguard biodiversity and to address increasingly complex threats to marine ecosystems, EU Member States have designated networks of marine protected areas (MPAs). Whilst the MPAs cover about 12% of EU seas, almost 75% of those are part of the Natura 2000 network,... Read more

Management Effectiveness of Marine Natura 2000 Sites and other EU Marine Protected Areas



The UNITED project provides evidence by means of pilot demonstrators that the development of multi-use platforms or co-location of different activities in a marine and ocean space is a viable approach (economically, socially and environmentally) for European maritime... Read more

Multi-use Offshore Platforms Demonstrators for Boosting Cost-effective and Eco-friendly Production in Sustainable Marine Activities (UNITED)

The European Ocean Coalition (EU4Ocean) connects diverse organisations, projects and people that contribute to ocean literacy and the sustainable management of the ocean. Supported by the European Commission, this bottom-up inclusive initiative aims at uniting the... Read more

The EU4Ocean Coalition for Ocean Literacy

| Fotolia © Victoria
The research project INNOVA will consolidate key factors from adaptive management strategies from leading earlier and on-going European initiatives in Spain (Valencia), Germany (Bay of Kiel) and the Netherlands (Nijmegen) and France’ overseas territories in Guadeloupe... Read more
| ©tai111|
The aim of the project participants is to provide the German Federal Environment Agency (UBA) with scientific support in communicating the results of the IPCC Special Reports on "Climate Change and Land" (SRCCL) and "The Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate" ... Read more
Selected publications by Dr. Nico Stelljes
Scientific Review Paper
The study "Ocean as a Global Commons: International Governance and the Role of Germany" was developed by Ecologic Institute at the request of the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) as part of the Science Platform Sustainability 2030 ... Read more

Abhold, K., Hoffmann, H., McGlade, K., Krüger, I., Stelljes, N. (2019): Oceans as Global Commons. International Governance and the Role of Germany. Report to the Science Platform Sustainability 2030. Berlin: Ecologic Institute.

Stelljes, Nico: Using Active Public Participation in the Co-development of Coastal Protection Strategies for a Touristic Beach City. Timmendorfer Strand, Germany. in: Ng, K., Campos, I., Penha-Lopes, G. (Eds.). (2016). BASE adaptation inspiration book: 23 European cases... Read more

Stelljes, Nico: Using Active Public Participation in the Co-development of Coastal Protection Strategies for a Touristic Beach City. Timmendorfer Strand, Germany. in: Ng, K., Campos, I., & Penha-Lopes, G. (Eds.). (2016). BASE adaptation inspiration book: 23 European cases of climate change adaptation to inspire European decision-makers, practitioners and citizens. Lisbon: Faculty of Sciences, University of Lisbon, 122-125.

Stelljes, N., McGlade, K., Martinez, G., BONUS SOILS2SEA Deliverable 6.4. Results from stakeholder workshops on governance concepts. Ecologic Institute, Berlin, December 2017, ... Read more

Stelljes, N., McGlade, K., Martinez, G., BONUS SOILS2SEA Deliverable 6.4. Results from stakeholder workshops on governance concepts. Ecologic Institute, Berlin, December 2017,

What makes adaptation measures successful, and how can they be used as good examples? In his recent article "The view beyond the horizon – International examples of climate adaptation", Dr. Nico Stelljes aims to answer this question using different success factors for... Read more

Stelljes, Nico 2015: "Der Blick über den Tellerrand. Internationale Beispiele der Klimaanpassung.", in: Jörg Knieling and Bernhard Müller (eds.): Klimaanpassung in der Stadt- und Regionalentwicklung. Ansätze, Instrumente, Maßnahmen und Beispiele. [Klimawandel in Regionen zukunftsfähig gestalten Band 7]. München: oekom verlag, 121-141.

Diffuse Water Pollution from Agriculture (DWPA) and its governance has received increased attention as a policy concern across the globe. Mitigation of DWPA is a complex problem that requires a mix of policy instruments and a multi-agency, broad societal response. In... Read more

Morten Graversgaard, Hedelin B., Smith L., Gertz F., Højberg A.L., Langford J., Martinez G., Mostert E., Ptak E., Peterson H., Stelljes N., van den Brink C., and Refsgaard J.C., Opportunities and Barriers for Water Co-Governance—A Critical Analysis of Seven Cases of Diffuse Water Pollution from Agriculture in Europe, Australia and North America. Sustainability 2018.10, 1634.

Climate change is perceived as a problem by most stakeholders (policy makers, administrations and civil society) on the Baltic Sea Coast. However, they do not agree on how to deal with it. Nico Stelljes, Doris Knoblauch, Robin Körth and Grit Martinez sum up the findings... Read more

Stelljes, Nico; Doris Knoblauch; Grit Martinez and Robin Körth 2014: "Akteursanalyse und Befragungen in RADOST: Klimaanpassung aus Sicht von Akteuren an der Ostseeküste", in: Karin Beese et al. (eds.): Anpassung an regionale Klimafolgen kommunizieren. Konzepte, Herausforderungen und Perspektiven. [KLIMZUG-Reihe: Klimawandel in Regionen zukunftsfähig gestalten. München: oekom Verlag, 167-178.

The German Bundesländer Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern both lie on the Baltic Sea coast. However, they have a different history, as the former was part of the Federal Republic of Germany, while the latter belonged to the German Democratic Republic. This... Read more

Knoblauch, Doris and Stelljes, Nico 2014: "Regional perspectives concerning climate change and coastal adaptation. A comparison between Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Schleswig-Holstein", in: Grit Martinez; Hans-Joachim Meier and Peter Fröhle (eds.): Social Dimensions of Climate Change Adaptation in Coastal Regions – Findings from Transdisciplinary Research. Munich: oekom verlag, 45-60.