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June 2022

Science communication at the EGF 2022
Our Remote Sensing PhD students Vistorina Amputu and Florian Männer present forage quality models using hyperspectral data and how accurately drone technology maps arid rangelands.


May 2022

Interview - why are deserts growing worldwide
A radio interview with Prof. Dr. Anja Linstädter on "Why desertification is increasing worldwide" was broadcast on Deutschlandfunk.
You can listen to it here → Link

April 2022

Second NamTip Student Seminar
In order for everyone to be up to date and to experience exciting first results, there was the second big event of NamTip Master and PhD students.

February 2022

Return to our long-term experiment
Now that the experiment with all its exciting facets has finally been set up after great efforts, we were able to return this year to collect data. The great strength of the experiment "TipEx" unfolds through the long-term monitoring of numerous ecosystem components. Due to the removable roof parts, we can repeatedly take and analyze images with the drone during the entire vegetation period.




January 2022

Learning and improving statistical knowledge
The year started off on a good note for the Namibian NamTip students as they participated in an intensive 2-weeks course on ecological statistics in R software. The training which took place in Windhoek was organized and facilitated by Dr. Mark Bilton, a Statistician by profession. It covered among others, an introduction to R; linear models: ANOVA, Regression, Post-hoc tests; Mapping species distributions, and Advanced graphics. In one of the students’ words, “The R course was really helpful in understanding not only how to use R software for data analysis but also the ecological statistics in general”. With the knowledge they acquired, the students are looking forward to exciting opportunities to present their research findings.

November 2021

Serious Gaming in Namibian Communities
To explore decision making in rangelands, local farmers were invited to play the serious game "NamSed".  Farmers from the communal areas Ombooronde and Ozongarongombe managed their imaginary rangelands and were confronted with challenging events on their game board.

October 2021

Dry season fieldwork
The current vegetation status in our study area: the woody layer is greening up, while the herbaceous layer is largely senescent.


One of our PhD students is looking at soil seed bank dynamics collecting soil seed bank samples that will be germinated in the greenhouse. Our near surface remote sensing PhD student is currently conducting dry season drone flights in the study area to obtain better Digital Terrain Models.
She has active support in this, because Ground truthing in observational plots along the transects after drone flights is essential.

The presence of living perennial grasses at our experimental site (TipEx) has to be recorded in both rainy and dry season to evaluate the recruitment.

September 2021

The big meeting
Like last year, all NamTip scientists and some stakeholders gathered online for our annual meeting on September 27-28. Here we presented and discussed our initial findings, developed plans for the coming year of data collection, analysis and publication, and structured our ideas for the second phase of the NamTip project.

July 2021

TipEx Intallation done!
The tipping point experiment (TipEx) is now fully installed. Installation includes fencing off plots from the grazing area, installing rain shelters for drought simulations, installing soil barriers around plots, and installing soil sensors for continuous soil data collection. Full treatment can begin with the first rains in the upcoming 2021/2022 growing season!


Data, data, and even more data
After the successful fieldwork hundreds of data sheets need to be digitized. Everyone is working diligently and we are curious what our analyzes will yield!
Data entry

May 2021

Exploring the commercial farms' land use history
Following up on the interview results from 2019 and the aerial image analysis we were able to interview the commercial farmers in greater detail. The interview results provide us with further information on land use change and rangeland degradation from their perspective.

Land use history 3

Successful completion of the main field campaign 2021
Against all odds our international field team was able to complete the ecological assessments on all sites. Several data sets were collected and further insights on rangeland degradation during our analyses are yet to come.
Bird view

March 2021

Revisiting the Tipping Point Experiment (TipEx)
Our experiment shall reveal the influence of biomass removal and drought on the herb layer. Before the second biomass clipping for the year 2021 on TipEx was conducted, data was collected.
Revisiting TipEx 

February 2021

The soil and vegetation team members from Namibia and Germany joined the remote sensing team and started their assessments. We started to take soil samples and plant trait samples, to do infiltration measurements, vegetation relevés and perennial grass assessments at the eight different sites consisting of four communal areas and four commercial farms.


January 2021

In need of a rubber boat
It is still the beginning of the growing season and this dryland system has already received close to half of the rainfall that it gets in an entire period. Skies that are predominantly blue during this time are constantly covered with clouds, river channels that didn’t flow for years are now filled with water blocking car tracks and the rangelands are flushed with green.



November 2020

Annual assembly of the NamTip scientists and stakeholders
Due to the ongoing limitations caused by the pandemic the assembly took place online. Our team presented the development and progress within the respective studies and discussed the way ahead.

October 2020

Introducing the TipEx sign
A sign explaining our Tipping Point Experiment was installed at the Hamakari Farm.

July 2020

The first NamTip publication is here!

May 2020

Trying to save some data
The Namibian ecologists returned to the field to collect some data in the context of a shortened protocol. Since ecological fieldwork depends on the vegetation period, most fieldwork ends when the dry season arrives.
Data saving May 2020

April 2020

NamTip species observations on iNaturalist
Plant species observations from our ecology team can now be found on the platform iNaturalist, which also supports the scientific data collection of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF).

March 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic stops fieldwork
Due to the local and global exceptional situation the team had to leave the Greater Waterberg area much earlier than planned. The Namibian team members returned home, while the German team members had to leave Namibia.
The first large ecological field campaign started
Our international team of natural scientists returned to the chosen sites to do their various vegetation assessments.
Ecological Fieldwork 2020

When the sand arrives
The local German journal "Südzeit" published an article about the project written by the team members Lisa-Maricia Schwarz, Florian Männer, Katrin Zimmer, Alexandra Sandhage-Hofmann and Anja Linstädter (Südzeit 84: "Sand - schwindende Schönheit").


October 2019

First field visit - Preparations, site selections and lots of sand
A big team of collaborators, social and natural scientists visited the Waterberg region. To enable our interdisciplinary study framework joint study sites needed to be selected.

The Tipping Point Experiment will be installed at the Hamakari Farm. Here will be a study area for the "healthy" site:



September 2019

Kickoff and Stakeholder workshop in Windhoek (16 - 17 September)
The NamTip team of stakeholders and scientists met in full numbers.
Stakeholder workshop

August 2019

An interview with PD Dr. Anja Linstädter on tipping points in ecosystems of Namibia was published in Süddeutsche Zeitung (a daily German newspaper).



July 2019

The news magazine of the University of Bonn ("Forsch") published an article about the NamTip project in its Summer 2019 issue:
NamTip Forsch Sommer 2019



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