Tanja is an urban ecologist and a global expert on bats. Fascinated by the human dimensions of wildlife, she explores human-wildlife relationships and anthropogenic impacts in urban areas.
Tanja studied as a biologist at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany, and while there developed a fascination with bats. This led to her PhD (2015) at the University of Melbourne, Australia, where she studied urban wetlands in relation to bats and people. It was here she developed a passion for human dimensions research. She now approaches bat conservation with both the natural and social sciences in view, an indispensable point of view in human-dominated landscapes.
After her return to Germany she worked as a scientific officer for Nature and Wildlife research at the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) in Berlin, grappling with the tensions between differing perspectives on conservation and animal welfare. Now a postdoctoral researcher at the Technische Universität Berlin, she is involved in projects assessing the possibilities for multispecies cohabitation on an urbanizing planet. As part of this, she continues to explore how conflicting perspectives in conservation can be untangled. She is joined in this work by her colleague Lysanne Snijders of Wageningen University in the Netherlands. Together they publish a Medium series of essays entitled “Exploring Conservation Conflicts.”