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Tim Horstkotte

Post-doc working on social-ecological systems and multiple-use landscapes in boreal and arctic areas. Particular focus on reindeer husbandry in Fennoscandia and its interactions with other forms of land use.


My research revolves around the interactions between nature and people, i.e. social-ecological systems. This framework emphasizes that people shape their natural environment according to their needs and desires, as well as the dynamics of the natural environment affect the behaviour of people. Therefore, I strive at integrating both natural science and social science approaches in my research.

In particular, I am focusing on reindeer husbandry in Fennoscandia, and the interactions that couple this indigenous livelihood to its natural and social environment.


My current research is part of the co-Nordic program “ReiGN – Reindeer husbandry in a Globalizing North” (

In this project, I am investigating how reindeer habitat selection depends on snow cover characteristics and other types of environmental variables. My main goal is to understand how reindeer move and behave during different winters, especially as climate scenarios predict that winters will become more difficult for reindeer and reindeer herders.

Further, I am exploring what kind of tipping points (ecological, economic, social, cultural ...) might exist for reindeer husbandry, and into what state the livelihood might change, once these tipping points are crossed. This includes participatory research in collaboration with reindeer herders.

In particular, I am focusing on supplementary feeding as a practice that is increasingly becoming a necessity in the Swedish reindeer husbandry area, but has many unforeseen complexities to consider.


I collaborate with researchers mainly from within Sweden, but importantly also from Norway and Finland. In my participatory work, I am working with several herding districts in Sweden, but also with herders from Finland and Norway.


2002 – 2008: MSc in Biology at Kiel University, Germany

2008 – 2013: PhD in Ecology at Umeå University, Sweden.

2013 – 2016: Post-doc at Turku University, Finland, in NCoE TUNDRA (

2016 – 2018: Post-doc at Uemå University, Sweden, in NCoE ReiGN (


I have been supervising several bachelor- and master students at Umeå University and Turku University in Finland.

Selected publications

Horstkotte, T., Utsi, T. Aa., Larsson-Blind, Å., Burgess, P., Johansen, B., Käyhkö, J., Oksanen, L., Forbes, B. C. 2017: Human-animal agency in reindeer management: Sami herders’ perspectives on Fennoscandian tree line dynamics under climate change. Ecosphere.

Käyhkö, J. & Horstkotte, T. (eds) 2017: Reindeer Husbandry under Climate Change in the tundra region of Northern Fennoscandia. Publications from the Department of Geography and Geology, University of Turku. Available in English, Northern Sámi, Swedish, Finnish.

Uboni, A., Horstkotte, T., Kaarlejärvi, E., Sévêque, A., Stammler, F., Olofsson, J. Forbes, B.C. & Moen, J. 2016: Long-term population dynamics of Eurasian reindeer: trends, synchrony, and the role of large-scale climate. PLoS one 11(6), e0158359.

Keskitalo, E.C.H., Horstkotte, T., Kivinen, S., Forbes, B.C. & Käyhkö, J. 2016: Goodness-of-fit"? Challenges in combining ecological and administrative-political scales for understanding local resource use. Ambio, 45: 742-752.

Horstkotte, T., Lind, T. & Moen, J. 2015: Quantifying the implications of different land users’ priorities in the management of boreal multiple-use forests. Environmental Management (1-14).

Horstkotte, T., Sandström, C. & Moen, J.: Exploring the multiple use of boreal landscapes: the importance of social-ecological diversity for mobility and flexibility. Human Ecology, 42: 671-682.

Horstkotte, T., Roturier, S. 2013: Does forest stand structure impact the dynamics of snow on winter grazing grounds of reindeer (Rangifer t. tarandus)? Forest Ecology and Management 291: 162–171.

Horstkotte, T., Moen, J., Lämås, T., Helle, T. 2011: The Legacy of Logging—Estimating Arboreal Lichen Occurrence in a Boreal Multiple-Use Landscape on a Two Century Scale. PLoS ONE 6: e28779. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0028779.