Thomas Klenke


University of Oldenburg

Centre for Environment and Sustainability Research (COAST)

P.O. Box 2503, 26122 Oldenburg, Germany

Education & career

Thomas studied geology and geochemistry at the University of Münster (Germany) where he was awarded a doctoral degree in 1988. He joined the Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the Marine Environment (ICBM) of the Univ. Oldenburg as a PostDoc where he became researcher and lecturer later. From 2010 until 2022, he was managing co-ordinator of the interfaculty Centre for Environment and Sustainability Research (COAST) of the Univ. of Oldenburg. He retired in autumn 2022.

Thomas´ research interests are on marine and coastal management, transdisciplinary action for sustainable development as well as international approaches to interdisciplinary higher education incl. development cooperation. This work is related to more than 20 national and international projects Thomas was involved in as lead beneficiary or partner. The regional focus is on northern European Sea basins, the Carribean and the the eastern coasts of Sub-Sahara Africa.

He was visiting lecturer for coastal and marine management at universities in St Petersburg, Russia, Stavanger, Norway, Cádiz, Spain, Nantes, France and Faro, Portugal.

From 1998 to 2002, Thomas was Chairman of the Working Group Integrated Coastal Zone Management - European Geophysical Society. He was member of the Coordination Team of the Marine Spatial Management Research Network from 2012 to 2022.

Current teaching activities

Prior to retirement 

Double Degree Master´s Programme Water and Coastal Management (Univ. of Oldenburg, Germany, and Univ. of Groningen, the Netherlands)

  • Coastal Zone Management and Marine Spatial Planning (lecture, seminar, practical course)
  • MSP Road Show (international excursion)
  • Europeanising Coastal Regions (seminar)
  • European Virtual Seminar on Sustainable Development (online-seminar)

 Shaping the MSP higher education landscape

  • Harmonisation and interinstitutional collaboration in MSP
  • Involvement of practitioners in higher education
  • Modern didactics - concepts and tools
  • Game-based higher education
Research activities

Topics of my particular interest

Mindsets and decision making of marine spatial planners

Social-ecological frameworks for MSP practices

Promoting maritime multi-uses including blue bio-economy via MSP



Completed recently:

EU-Interreg VB NorthSea Region - NorthSEE

EU-ERASMUS+ Strategic Partnership on Marine Spatial Planning (SP-MSP)

EU-ERASMUS+ Strategic Partnership Knowledge Flows

EU-ERASMUS Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence - Europeanisation of coastal regions - EuCoRe

Selected publications (up to 5)

JAY, S., KLENKE, Th., AHLHORN, F. & RITCHIE, H. (2012): Early European Experience in Marine Spatial Planning: Planning the German Exclusive Economic Zone. - European Planning Studies, 20(12): 2013-2031

 JAY, S., KLENKE, Th. & JANßEN, H. (2016): Consensus and variance in the ecosystem approach to marine spatial planning: German perspectives and multi-actor implications. - Land Use Policy, 54: 129-138;

VOGEL, C., RIPKEN, M. & KLENKE, Th. (2018): Linking Marine Ecosystem Services to the North Sea’s Energy Fields in Transnational Marine Spatial Planning. - Environments, 2018 5(6): 67-80;

RIPKEN, M., KEIJSER, X., KLENKE, Th. & MAYER, I. (2018): The ‘Living Q’ – An Interactive Method for Actor Engagement in Transnational Marine Spatial Planning. - Environments, 2018 5(6): 87-97;

CUADRADO QUESADA, G., KLENKE, Th. & MEJIA ORTIZ, L.M. (2018): Regulatory Challenges in Realizing Integrated Coastal Management—Lessons from Germany, Costa Rica, Mexico and South Africa. - Sustainability, 2018, 10(10), 3772; doi:10.3390/su10103772


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