Diploma in forest science, University Freiburg, Germany, 1977. Doctor rerum naturalium, University Freiburg, Germany, 1983. Doctor rerum naturalium habilitation, University Freiburg, Germany, 1994.
Assistant professor Institute Forest Zoology, Freiburg, 1979-1984. Research scientist Freiburg University, 1985-1990. Senior scientist Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Mainz and Freiburg, Germany, since 1990.
Professor University Freiburg, since 2001. Technology, science adviser United Nations-Electrical and Computer Engineering/Food and Agriculture Organization (of the United Nations)/Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit, since 1984. Co-convener IGBP-IGAC-BIBEX Steering Committee, since 1998.
Vice president German Society for Tropical Ecology, 1991-1994. Chairman IUFRO Group Forest Fire Research, Vienna, Austria, 1992-1995. Head Global Fire Monitoring Center.
Leader United Nations-Food and Agriculture Organization (of the United Nations)/Electrical and Computer Engineering/International Labor Organization Team of Specialists on Forest Fire, Geneva, since 1994. Member science council Siberian Center for Ecology, Krasnoyarsk, Russian Federation, since 1995. Member German IDNDR Committee, 1998-2000.
Member executive board German Committee Disaster Reduction, since 2000. Coordinator Wildland Fire Advisory Group, United Nations-ISDR Interagy. Task Force, since 2004, Commander German Navy Reserve, 1968-1972.
Member Association German Naval Officers.
Married Dorothea C. Knappe, April 10, 1982. 1 child, Katharina.