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The IfL is a non-profit research institution in the legal form of a registered association. The purpose of the association is the promotion of science and research in the field of regional geography and the provision of geographical information on spatial structures and their development in the national/regional as well as in the European context and for the external representation of the Federal Republic of Germany. The institutional bodies of the association are the executive board, the general committee and the scientific advisory board.

The Institute is structured into three research departments, the scientific collections, which are combined to form a service department, and the administration division and director´s staff unit. The departments fulfil the permanent tasks of the Institute as laid down in the statutes. The research areas and research groups are linked as variable units to the medium-term research programme of the IfL.

As a member of the Leibniz Association, the Institute is funded by the Federal Republic of Germany and its states.

Board of directors


The overall management of the IfL is the responsibility of the director, who is the executive committee in the sense of § 26 BGB. The Executive Board represents the Institute externally, is responsible for all scientific matters of the Institute and assumes commercial, legal and administrative responsibility.

Member of the board

Prof Dr Sebastian Lentz

Board of Trustees


The Board of Trustees of the IfL consists of people from science, business, politics and public administration. The Board of Trustees performs supervisory and advisory functions towards the Executive Board. Its tasks include the examination and approval of the activity reports to be submitted by the Board of Directors and the appointment of heads of scientific departments and members of the Scientific Advisory Board.

Members of the General Committee

  • Free State of Saxony, Saxon State Ministry of Science, Culture and Tourism, Dresden, represented by Dr Tim Metje (Chairman)
  • Federal Republic of Germany, Federal Ministry of Housing, Urban Development and Building, Berlin, represented by Dr Oliver Weigel (Deputy Chairman)
  • University of Leipzig, represented by the Vice Rector for Campus Development, Professor Matthias Midell
  • Prof Dr Caroline Kramer, Karlsruhe
  • Prof Dr Peter Lindner, Frankfurt am Main
  • Prof em Dr Herbert Popp, Bayreuth

Scientific Advisory Board


The Scientific Advisory Board of the IfL consists of nine internationally renowned active scientists. It advises the Institute on scientific issues, evaluates the institute´s research and reports to the General Committees. The Scientific Advisory Board is also involved in appointment and similar selection procedures.

Members of the Scientific Advisory Board

  • Prof Dr Annika Mattissek (chairwomen)
    University of Freiburg, Institute of Environmental Social Sciences and Geography
  • Prof Dr Heike Jöns
    Loughborough University (UK), Department of Geography
  • Prof Dr Christoph Zielhofer (vice chairman)
    University of Leipzig, Department for Geography
  • Prof Dr Georg Glasze
    University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Institute for Geography
  • Prof Dr Corey M. Johnson
  • University of North Carolina at Greensboro (USA), Department of Geography
  • Dr Kadri Leetmaa
    University of Tartu (Estonia), Department of Geography
  • Prof Dr Antje Schlottmann
    Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, Department for Human Geography

Research departments

Regional Geography of Europe


The department investigates socio-spatial structures and processes in Europe with a spatial focus on Germany and Eastern Europe. It works at the intersection of application-oriented and theory-based basic research.


Prof Dr Thilo Lang (Head)

Dr Annedore Bergfeld

Anna Dunkl

Jonathan Gescher

Franziska Görmar

Dr Nadir Kinossian

Dr Tim Leibert

Danai Liodaki

Yue Mao

Anne Mehl

Egor Muleev

Mariya Petrova

Dr Lyubomir Pozharliev

Dr Lela Rekhviashvili

Christian Rost

Jeroen Royer

Dr Wladimir Sgibnev

Serhii Svynarets

Theory, Methodology and History of Geography


The department's task is to gain knowledge about current and historical developments in geography with a focus on regional geography. To this end, it follows the relevant international discussions as well as space-related debates in other disciplines and contributes new findings from its own research.


Prof Dr Haik Porada (Acting Head)

Dr Kristine Beurskens

Dr Bettina Bruns

Dirk Hänsgen

Alexander Querengässer

Dr Patrick Reitinger

Dr Ninja Steinbach-Hüther

Prof Dr Ute Wardenga

Dr Karin Wiest

Cartography and Visual Communication


The department explores the production and use of geospatial respresentations. It accompanies the teams of scientists in their search for suitable visualisations of research findings and develops new forms of presentation adapted to the current media, working methods and technical possibilities.


Dr Jana Moser (Head)


Silke Dutzmann

Birgit Hölzel

Anja Kurth

Romana Schwarz

Visual communication

Volker Bode

Mariam Gambashidze

Dr Sofia Gavrilova

Prof Dr Francis Harvey

Robert Köpke

Jakob Listabarth

Eric Losang

Dr Philipp Meyer

Enock Seth Nyamador

Mela Žuljević

Research infrastructures

Central Geographical Library / Archive for Geography


The department supports the Institute's research, conducts its own research and ensures the best possible accessibility of the scientific collections for users from the scientific community and the general public.


Dr Heinz Peter Brogiato (Head)

Dr Kimberly Coulter

Cornelia Göldner

Alexandra Reimann

Pauline Ritthaler

Dr Bruno Schelhaas

Frauke Scholz

Jeanette Thiele

Martin Toste

Katharina Walter

Dorothee Zickwolff

Central tasks and administration

Director´s Staff Unit


The director´s staff unit performs central permanent tasks in the areas of administration, research support and representation. It is responsible for public relations and external representation, documentation, reporting and publication, research management and research funding.


Prof Dr Sebastian Lentz (director)

Lena Dallywater

Dr Isabel Hilpert

Lisa-Marie Janns

Melanie Mienert

Cordula Wagner

Dr Peter Wittmann



The work at Ifl is supported by an efficient administrative department. Its most important tasks are the administration of finances and third-party funds, personnel management, purchasing, business travel management and the support of the IT infrastructure.


Beata Kirchner (Head)

Dirk Beckert

Franziska Delle

Marion Fischer

Sabrina Köhler

Jacqueline Korp

Peter Kraus

Lisa Kraut

Sven-Torsten Leonhardt

Dana Lessig

Jens Rohland

Gustav Weikum

Franziska Weyrich