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Stefan Kröpelin is a geologist and climate researcher at the University of Cologne who specializes in studying the eastern Sahara desert and its climatic history.[5][6][7][8][9] In 2017, he was awarded with the Communicator Award of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft for the excellent communication of his research both in Germany and international [10] .

Stefan Kröpelin
Forschergestalten- Stefan Kröpelin.jpg
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Cologne


The journal Nature described Kröpelin as "one of the most devoted Sahara explorers of our time."[11] According to Siddiq Abd Algadir, president of the Sudanese Geologists' Union in Khartoum and a fellow student with Kröpelin in the 1980s, "Much of what we now know about the geology, the environments and even the people in some of the most remote parts of the Sahara, we really owe to [Stefan Kröpelin] and the expeditions he has led."[11]

Contrary to other evidence that the Sahara suddenly changed from a wet to dry climate 5,000 years ago, Kröpelin's core samples at Lake Yoa suggests the transition took longer, some 3,000 years from 5,600 to 2,700 BC.[11][12][13]

Kröpelin was instrumental in fighting to have the Lakes of Ounianga in Chad listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2012.[5][14] He was actively lobbying to have the Ennedi Plateau added as well that has been inscribed as Africa's 6th mixed Natural and Cultural World Heritage property in July 2016.[15]


  1. ^ Stefan Kröpelin: Civilization’s Mysterious Desert Cradle: Rediscovering the Deep Sahara, Long Now Foundation
  2. ^ Kuper, R; Kröpelin, S (2006). "Climate-controlled Holocene occupation in the Sahara: Motor of Africa's evolution". Science. 313 (5788): 803–7. doi:10.1126/science.1130989. PMID 16857900.
  3. ^ Kröpelin, S; Verschuren, D; Lézine, A. M.; Eggermont, H; Cocquyt, C; Francus, P; Cazet, J. P.; Fagot, M; Rumes, B; Russell, J. M.; Darius, F; Conley, D. J.; Schuster, M; von Suchodoletz, H; Engstrom, D. R. (2008). "Climate-driven ecosystem succession in the Sahara: The past 6000 years". Science. 320 (5877): 765–8. doi:10.1126/science.1154913. PMID 18467583.
  4. ^ Guo, Zhengtang; Petit-Maire, Nicole; Kröpelin, Stefan (2000). "Holocene non-orbital climatic events in present-day arid areas of northern Africa and China". Global and Planetary Change. 26 (1–3): 97–103. CiteSeerX doi:10.1016/S0921-8181(00)00037-0.
  5. ^ a b Johann Grolle (May 21, 2013). "Miracle in the Sahara: Oasis Sediments Archive Dramatic History". Der Spiegel. Retrieved June 4, 2014.
  6. ^ Perkins, S.; Schiermeier, Q. (2014). "Climate simulation doubles Sahara's age". Nature. doi:10.1038/nature.2014.15954.
  7. ^ Schiermeier, Q. (2015). "Exposing Sahara science in the shadow of terrorism". Nature. doi:10.1038/nature.2015.16903.
  8. ^ Pachur, H. J.; Kröpelin, S (1987). "Wadi Howar: Paleoclimatic Evidence from an Extinct River System in the Southeastern Sahara". Science. 237 (4812): 298–300. doi:10.1126/science.237.4812.298. PMID 17772057.
  9. ^ Stefan Kröpelin's publications indexed by the Scopus bibliographic database. (subscription required)
  10. ^ Stefan Kröpelin Wins 2017 Communicator Award [1]
  11. ^ a b c Schiermeier, Q. (2012). "Science in the Sahara: Man of the desert". Nature. 488 (7411): 272–274. doi:10.1038/488272a. PMID 22895317.
  12. ^ Gautam Naik (May 30, 2014). "How Will Climate Change Affect the Sahara?". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved June 4, 2014.
  13. ^ Kenneth Chang (May 9, 2008). "Shift From Savannah to Sahara Was Gradual, Research Suggests". New York Times. Retrieved June 4, 2014.
  14. ^ Sheldon Chad (May–June 2014). "Last Lakes of the Green Sahara". Saudi Aramco World. Archived from the original on 2014-12-16.
  15. ^ "The Ennedi Massif: Natural and cultural landscape - Chad's second World Heritage site". Retrieved July 25, 2016.