Chair Jörn GEßNER


Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries



1983 – 1990: Studies in biology at University of Hamburg

1990: Master’s thesis on sturgeon behaviour in aquaculture at Malaspina College, Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada

2008: Promotion Doctorum rerum agriculturarum, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin

My research mainly focuses on the restoration of sturgeon populations in Northern Germany. From a management standpoint the activities in the adjacent seas and neighboring states are a logical component of the work when working with migratory species.

Restoration related fields such as physiology, behavior, rearing, habitat utilization, fisheries, and river restoration, are the key areas of the research contributing to management approaches. Recently, the sociological component of the restoration work both in theory and in practice comes into focus more intensively, since from a management perspective the active involvement of interest groups into restoration activities (from management to practical activities) and the potential benefits need a more focused approach in the range of both European and Baltic sturgeon.


Work Experience

1991 - 1995       Production management at a commercial fish production at a sturgeon farm near Leipzig, Germany

1994 - present  Co-founder and chairman of the "Society to Save the Sturgeon (Gesellschaft zur Rettung des Störs (A. sturio) e.V.)", for coordination  of sturgeon restoration in German waters

1996 -2012       Project manager for the "Conservation and enhancement of Common sturgeon in Germany" funded by Federal Agency for Nature Conservation

1997 - 2017       Chair of the Helsinki Commission “Habitat”-Project group on Baltic sturgeon protection and enhancement,

2003 –2019      Co-founder and Board member of the World Sturgeon Conservation Society  e.V. (WSCS)

2009 – present Senior Scientist  Leibniz-Institute for Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries 

2010 – 2012     FAO Consultant “Development of a Turkish National Action Plan”

2013 – 2017     Red List Authority IUCN Sturgeon Specialist Group

2019- present  Chair of the Helsinki Commission Network of Experts on sturgeon restoration.

2019- present  Vice President World Sturgeon Conservation Society