Michael Succow

Personal Information

21. April 1941 Born as a farmer's son in Lüdersdorf near Bad Freienwalde, Brandenburg, Germany
1960 - 1965 Studies at the University of Greifswald, major in biology
Familienstand Married since 1965; two daughters




1965 - 1969 Research assistant at the University of Greifswald’s Institute of Botany.
1969 Refusal to demonstrate support for Warsaw Pact invasion in Prague; therefore in July 1969 resignation from university.
7/1969 - 12/1973 Location explorer, later on head of department with the land improvement state holding company Bad Freienwalde.
1970 Dissertation on “The vegetation of the riverine fens in Northern Mecklenburg and their anthropogenic transformation”, graduation with “summa cum laude”.
1973 Expert assignment as soil scientist in Mongolia for several months.
1974 - 1990 Research fellow at the Department of Soil Science at the GDR’s Academy of Agricultural Science.
1981 Defence of habilitation thesis on “Landscape ecological characterization and typification of the GDR’s peatlands” at the Academy of Agricultural Science.
1984 Facultas docendi at the TU Dresden for Landscape Ecology and Landscape Planning.
1987 Appointment to a professor of the GDR’s Academy of Agricultural Science.
1987 - 1989 Repeated assignments in Ethiopia to develop land use projects on behalf of GDR consultancies.
15.1. – 15.5.1990 Deputy Minister for Nature Conservation, Ecology and Water Management of the GDR, following the urge of the civil rights movement; in charge of ressource protection and land use planning (result: the GDR’s national park programme is initiated, as well as approaches to ecological agriculture/land use).
6/1990 - 2/1991 Visiting professor for Applied Ecology at the TU Berlin.
1990/91 Project management for a national park programme in Georgia on behalf of WWF International.
3/1991 - 10/1992 Consultant of Matthias Platzeck, Minister for the Environment in Brandenburg, and director of the nascent office for major natural reserves with the government of Brandenburg.
10/1991 - 10/1992 Substitute at the University of Greifswald’s Chair of Ecology.
Oktober 1992 Appointment to the Chair in Geobotanics and Landscape Ecology and as Director of the University of Greifwald’s Institute of Botany and Botanical Garden. Acquisition of four endowed professorships and from 1996 development of the international and interdisciplinary study programme Landscape Ecology and Nature Conservation. Research on peatlands, landscape ecology and nature conservation in Germany and abroad. That means (from 1990) work in transition countries of the East, Mongolia and China to initiate large scale nature conservation projects: UNESCO World Natural Heritage regions in Kamtchatka, in the Lena Delta and in Karelia, UNESCO biosphere reserves in Kyrgistan, Kasachstan and Usbekistan, and national parks in Mongolia, Georgia, Russia and Belarus. Assistance to implement a national park programme in Aserbaidschan since the Michael Succow Foundation for the Conservation of Nature has been founded.
Juni 2006 The Institute of Botany and Botanical Garden is renamed to Institute of Botany and Landscape Ecology & Botanical Garden.
31.10.2006 Retirement, but continues to work for nature conservation within the Michael Succow Foundation. He continues to cooperate with “his” university and in particular with the department of biology. To this aim, a cooperation agreement between university and Michael Succow Foundation has been signed.




2015 Speedwell of the "Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt"
2015 Hans-Carl-von-Carlowitz-Sustainability-Award in the Category "national"
2015 Federal Cross of Merit
2012 Honorary Senatorship of the University for Sustainable Development in Eberswalde
2011 Tourism Prize Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania
2011 Honorary Member of the Botanical Association of Berlin and Brandenburg
2011 Honorary Member of the "International Mire Conservation Group"
2006 Honorary Member of the "Society for Ecological Restoration International"
2006 Rubenow Medal of the City of Greifswald
2005 C.A. Weber Medal of the German Association for Peatland Research (DGMT)
2005 Order of Merit of the State of Brandenburg, “Red Eagle Order”
2004 Honorary Professor of the Kyrgyz Agricultural University in Bischkek
2001 Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
2001 Golden Tree – Ecological Award of the Foundation for Ecology and Democracy e.V.
2000 URANIA Medal for special merits in scientific education
1997 Right Livelihood Award in Stockholm; the prize represented the financial basis for the Michael Succow Foundation for Nature Conservation
1992 Binding Prize for Nature and Ecology in Vaduz
1992 Bruno H. Schubert Prize in Frankfurt/Main
1991 Hans Klose Prize of the Foundation F.V.S. Hamburg
1991 German Cultural Prize 1990 for the national park project "Unteres Odertal" ("Lower Odra valley", German-Polish national park)
1990 Lina Hähnle Medal of the German Nature Conservation Association (NABU)