Alexander Prishchepov

Alexander Prishchepov

Associate Professor

My primary research interests lay in the field of Land System Science. I focus on monitoring with satellite remote sensing the dynamic of land cover and land use and human footprint. I perform the analysis of the causal drivers of land-use/ land-cover change, land potentials and consequences of such changes for the environment, including the impacts of armed conflicts on environment and land use. My primary geography expertise and solid fieldwork experience are in transition economies (e.g., Former Soviet Union countries, Russia, Ukraine, China) and developing countries, where I keep an established scientific network. However, I am also conducting comparative studies elsewhere too.  I do my best to uncover the complexity of the relationship between humans and the environment in order to find the solutions for sustainable development. I publish in leading in my field international peer-reviewed journals and research is covered by renowned outlets, such as Nature News, Science Magazine, Berlingske. You can watch some relevant webinars on my Youtube channel.

My mission is to conduct relevant research, teaching and ad-hoc practical works in order to address Sustainable Development Goals: SDG15 Life on Land,  SDG2 Zero Hunger, SDG4 Quality Education, SDG13 Climate Action, SDG15 Sustainable Cities and Communities, SDG1 No Poverty, SDG16 Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions. I serve as an associate editor for international peer-reviewed journals, Springer "Landscape Series", providing ad-hoc consultancy and relevant proposal reviews for organizations like the UNCCD, IPBES, WorldBank,  governments and national research foundations. I review articles for Nature Sustainability, Nature Food, Environmental Research Letters, Global Environmental Change,  Remote Sensing of Environment, GIScience and Remote Sensing, Land Use Policy, Land Degradation and Development. 

I am coordinating Global Land Programme's interdisciplinary Global Land Abandonment Working Group:,  with a scope collaboratively to understand emerging patterns, reasons, and implications of global farmland abandonment and rural-urban transitions.  

My teaching portfolio includes carefully crafted classes at the Bachelor and Master-level on an interdisciplinary use of satellite remote sensing, data classification methods, evaluation of global land-use transition processes. An example of such class- Remote Sensing for Land System Studies

My extracurricular activities include outdoor activities (I love the Danish coastal landscapes, but also travels in the frontiers) and diving into environmental history for better understanding the legacy of Russian, German and Danish explorers, such as Adam Johann von Krusenstern, Alexander von Humboldt, Vitus Bering.

If you feel my research and mission match your interests, please do not hesitate to contact me. 

NB! Please check my recent works and publications at 

Google Scholar 

Research Gate

 I am twitting from time to time


Youtube Channel

My professional experience:
2014 - present, Associate Professor at the University of Copenhagen
2014 -2016 Visiting Research Fellow (honorable fellowship), Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Central and Eastern Europe-IAMO, Land System Group, Halle (Saale), Germany.
2010 - 2014 Research associate/ 2012-senior scientist, Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies-IAMO, Land System Group, Halle (Saale), Germany.
2005 - 2010 Research Assistant, Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology, University of Wisconsin-Madison. 
2004 - 2005 Visiting fellow, volunteer public service program, Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Geography Department.
2001 - 2004 Engineer, Center for Ice and Hydrometeorological Information-"Sever", The Arctic and Antarctic State Research Institute (AARI), St. Petersburg, Russia.
2002 - 2003 General director assistant, project manager, NGO "North-Western International Cleaner Production and Environmental Management Centre" (under the patronage of UNDIDO), St. Petersburg, Russia.
2001 - 2003 Lecturer, research assistant, Russian State Hydrometeorological University, St. Petersburg, Russia.
1999 - 2003 Coordinator, NGO “St. Petersburg Association for Students and Young Geographers, EGEA-St. Petersburg”, St. Petersburg, Russia.

2005 - 2010 Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology, Ph.D. in Forestry, Minor in Geography. Ph.D. 
2004 - 2005 Graduate GIS Certificate Program, Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Department of Geography
1999, 2001 BSc, MSc, Russian State Hydrometeorological University, St. Petersburg, Russia, Meteorological department. Major: Atmospheric science.

Selected publications

  1. Published

    Multiple trajectories of grassland fragmentation, degradation, and recovery in Russia's steppes

    Prishchepov, Alexander V., Myachina, K. V., Kamp, J., Smelansky, I., Dubrovskaya, S., Ryakhov, R., Grudinin, D., Yakovlev, I. & Urazaliyev, R., 2021, In: Land Degradation and Development. 32, 11, p. 3220-3235 16 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  2. Published

    The impact of conflict-driven cropland abandonment on food insecurity in South Sudan revealed using satellite remote sensing

    Olsen, V. M., Fensholt, Rasmus, Olofsson, P., Bonifacio, R., Butsic, V., Druce, D., Ray, D. & Prishchepov, Alexander V., Dec 2021, In: Nature Food. 2, 12, p. 990-996 7 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  3. Published

    Revealing the intentions of farmers to recultivate abandoned farmland: A case study of the Buryat Republic in Russia

    Prishchepov, Alexander V., Ponkina, E. V., Sun, Z., Bavorova, M. & Yekimovskaja, O. A., 1 Aug 2021, In: Land Use Policy. 107, 14 p., 105513.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  4. Effects of institutional changes on land use: Agricultural land abandonment during the transition from state-command to market-driven economies in post-Soviet Eastern Europe

    Prishchepov, Alexander V., Radeloff, V. C., Baumann, M., Kuemmerle, T. & Müller, D., 2012, In: Environmental Research Letters. 7, 2, 024021.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  5. Published

    Drivers, constraints and trade-offs associated with recultivating abandoned cropland in Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan

    Meyfroidt, P., Schierhorn, F., Prishchepov, Alexander V., Müller, D. & Kuemmerle, T., 2016, In: Global Environmental Change. 37, p. 1-15 15 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  6. Determinants of agricultural land abandonment in post-Soviet European Russia

    Prishchepov, Alexander V., Mueller, D., Dubinin, M., Baumann, M. & Radeloff, V. C., Jan 2013, In: Land Use Policy. 30, 1, p. 873-884

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  7. Mapping abandoned agriculture with multi-temporal MODIS satellite data

    Alcantara, C., Kuemmerle, T., Prishchepov, Alexander V. & Radeloff, V. C., 2012, In: Remote Sensing of Environment. 124, p. 334-347 14 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  8. Published

    Long-term agricultural land-cover change and potential for cropland expansion in the former Virgin Lands area of Kazakhstan

    Kraemer, R., Prishchepov, Alexander V., Müller, D., Kuemmerle, T., Radeloff, V. C., Dara, A., Terekhov, A. & Frühauf, M., 2015, In: Environmental Research Letters. 10, p. 054012 18 p., 10.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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