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

Dr. rer. nat. Denise Heike Böhnke

  • Bereich 4 - Natürliche und gebaute Umwelt


    KIT - Karlsruher Institut für Technologie
    Campus Nord


    Hermann-von-Helmholtz-Platz 1, Geb. 141
    76344 Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen

Scientific Officer KIT Urban Research

since 2021
Thessaloniki im Abendrot Denise Böhnke

Since 2021, a cross-departmental coordination office for urban research has been in place at KIT. This is intended both for the networking of scientists at KIT among themselves and externally.

The aim is, among other things, to make the diverse research topics on urban research at KIT more visible as a whole, to network them better among each other, and thus also to open up new research fields. The aim is to support interdisciplinary research between the different urban topics and institutes as well as transdisciplinary research with and into practice.

Are you, as a city, municipality, association or company, looking for a suitable contact person in the field of urban research at KIT? I will be happy to support you in your search, just contact me!

I am very happy about this new challenge to be able to make my personal contribution in the context of such an exciting, complex and highly topical topic mosaic as urban research.

Knowledge Transfer

Due to the high dynamics and increasing relevance of urban research in all disciplines, it is necessary as a speaker to constantly exchange and transfer within research and from KIT to the public.

Urban research events
2022 Nov Re-Building Europe -Towards a future shaping ecosystem. @ Imperial College, London. Event page.
2022 Nov Parliamentary Evening - The Climate Resilient City. Research in dialogue with politics. @ Bundestag, Berlin. Event page.
2022 Oct DIN/DKE Innovation Conference 2022: City of the Future - How can the green and digital transformation succeed? @ DIN, Berlin. Event page.
2022 July 8th Mainau Sustainability Dialogue: Our water in times of climate change - Adaptation strategies for urban and rural areas. Virtual. Event page.
2022 May Transfer conference of the BMBF funding measure "Resource Efficient Urban Neighborhoods for the Future (RES:Z)". @ Dechema-Haus, Frankfurt am Main. Event page.
2022 Nov Impulse lecture "Climate-friendly city" at the closed meeting of the city of Herbolzheim. @ EnBW Rheinhausen, Rheinhausen.
2022 Jun Impulse lecture "Implementation of scientific findings in urban planning actions" at the 6th Impulse Conference on Climate-Adapted Urban and Regional Development of the Academy for Nature and Environmental Protection Baden-Württemberg. Flyer (pdf).
2021 Dec Lecture "The microclimate in Thessaloniki, July 2021". @ Goethe-Institut, Thessaloniki.
2021 Mar Lecture "Karlsruhe sweats: Heat summer in the city center and how research can help" for the pilot "And what do you do?". Project.
2019 Oct Poster presentations "Adaptation to Climate Change" and Expert Cafe at the network meeting "Climate Change Adaptation in Municipalities" of municipalities and counties in Rhineland-Palatinate. @ Hohenstaufensaal, Annweiler. Flyer.


My research

In the future, the consequences of climate change will present us with challenges that individuals can hardly assess today in terms of their extent and significance for their lives, but also for our society. Whether we are talking about individual resources such as water or the entire urban ecosystem, one first has to understand current conditions and underlying interrelationships and (ecological) dependencies, the changes which have already occurred and consequences which can be expected from future changes. Based on this, we can elaborate how to adapt to expected changes and their consequences to minimize negative impacts locally.

This can only be achieved if science and municipalities work even more closely together, hand in hand and goal-oriented. Politics and municipalities set the local course for the necessary action, while science provides forecasts of the expected changes and - in cooperation with practitioners - possible solutions. For some years now, I have therefore been interested in the interface between science and municipal practice and the integration of research knowledge into everyday planning and public.

My research interests are very interdisciplinary in order to cover the human-urban-climate change interface as broadly and interconnectedly as possible. Find some examples below:

  • Climate adaptation: adaptation strategies, measures and their implementation in planning processes.
  • Urban climatology and biometeorology: measurement and assessment of urban heat and microclimatic effects
  • Urban ecosystem services: Inventory and assessment, ways for consideration in planning or policy decisions
  • Assessment of quality of life in public spaces
  • Urban ecology and urban green

Applied research projects

until 2021

NaMaRes: Resource Management in Neighborhoods in the Context of Sustainable Urban Development (2019-2021), KIT-AGW

  • Joint project with four partners from KIT (AGW, IIP, FIWI, CMM), the city of Karlsruhe, Smart Geomatics GmbH and the planning office sippel.buff; funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research
  • Aims: Web tool development for the physical description and evaluation of urban neighborhoods with regard to the resources water, land, material flows, open and green spaces, ecosystem services), taking into account actors, options for action and conflicting goals.

KomKlim: Implementation of municipal climate adaptation in urban land use planning in the pilot project of the development of the Spinelli Barracks / Grünzug Nordost site in Mannheim, Germany (2017 – 2018), KIT-IfR

  • Cooperation project between the KIT Institutes of Regional Science and of Applied Geosciences and the planning administration of the city of Mannheim, sponsored by the State Institute for the Environment Baden-Württemberg (LUBW)
  • Aims: Integration of scientists into an ongoing urban land use planning process as climate experts / adaptation managers; development of a climate adaptation concept for the new 20ha urban district (heat/heavy rain/ventilation) taking into account the legal regulations; incorporation of the measures into the planning; investigation of the possibilities and obstacles.

FoRK: Technical, economic, social and political consequences due to the decommissioning of a nuclear power plant at regional and local level (2016), KIT-IfGG

  • Cooperation project between the KIT Institutes of Geography and Geoecology (IfGG) and for Technology and Management in Construction (TMB) and four four nuclear power plant sites in SW Germany sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
  • Aim: Develop a model for future decommissioning that allows forecasting of the potential economic and societal impacts on the population and industry.

Investigation of the ecology of ticks as vectors of diseases in relation to habitat, land use, host animals and climate (2012 - 2016), KIT-IfGG

Academic career, research grants and qualifications 

July 2021   Networking grant of the KHYS-ConYS (KIT) program; 1-month stay at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki; inner-city temperature measurement campaign in July 2021
July 2016   Doctorate (Dr. rer. nat.), subject of the dissertation: „Habitat ecology and microclimatic influences on the distribution of Ixodes ricinus ticks in Baden-Württemberg” External Link
2014 – 2015   Full scholarship of the Graduate School for Climate and Environment (GRACE)
2012 – 2013   KIT Mentoring Program (X-Ment External Link)
2012 – 2016   Further education in the field of project management and scientific writing, financed by Karlsruhe House of Young Scientists (KHYS)
2012 – 2016   Advanced 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, Practical Course, Seminar

University partnership KATHES - Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTh) and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).
PhD Workshop "Linking Scientists in Urban Research" together with Andreas Schenk (IPF) and an impulse talk by Joachim Fallmann from city of Heidelberg, July 2022

Supervised theses (since 2019).

Marina Klaus (2022): Systematization and value assessment of diverse ecosystem services of urban green spaces. Master thesis.

Ronja Becker (2022): Contribution of settlement areas to insect food diversity. Master thesis.

Alice Krehl (2022): Further development of ecosystem performance indicators for decision support in urban neighborhood development. Master thesis.

Carolin Reichert (2022): Implementing sustainable urban development in land-use plans - historical development and current and future challenges. Master's thesis.

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

Mandler, Rebekka (2020): Construction of an urban climatological model for the analysis of cold air flows and the urban heat island using the example of the inner city east in Karlsruhe. Master thesis.

Geiger, Yannis (2019): Modeling urban climatic impacts of development measures at the KIT South Campus on adjacent urban areas. Master thesis.

Bach, Jessica (2019): Heat stress and effects of environmental parameters of Lidellplatz in Karlsruhe city center on human bioclimate. Master's thesis.

Krehl, Alice (2019): Inventory of ecosystem services in the inner city east in Karlsruhe. Bachelor thesis.

City squares

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

Publications and Presentations

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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Forest microclimate – a rarely measured habitat
Boehnke, D.
2018, November. Universidade Federal do Paraná (2018), Curitiba, Brazil, November 2, 2018

Publications until 2017 (tick research)


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