About Johanna Mestorf Academy

The Johanna Mestorf Academy (JMA) was founded as a central institution of Kiel UniversityIn December 2011. It is named after Johanna Mestorf (1828-1909), who conducted archaeological and ethnographic research in Kiel and was the first female museum director (1891) and professor (1899) in Germany/Prussia. The JMA promotes research and education pertaining to the field of ‘Societal, Environmental, Cultural Change’ (Kiel SECC), which is one of the four research foci at Kiel University.

At the core of both Johanna Mestorf Academy and Kiel SECC are the Cluster of Excellence ROOTS and the Collaborative Research Center (CRC) 1266 "Scales of Transformation - Human-Environmental Interaction in Prehistoric and Archaic Societies". Both research networks are partner to the  ‘Centre for Baltic and Scandinavian Archaeology’ (ZBSA) in Schleswig, which was involved in the founding of the JMA. This longstanding cooperation is regulated by an official cooperation agreement, which is reinforced by the JMA and reflected directly in the organisational structure.


Members of the JMA will carry out research within all disciplines related to aspects of Social-Environmental Change and Landscape Archaeology listed below:

Archaeoinformatics; Archaeozoology; Archaeobotany; Historical Geobotany; Plant Ecology; Ecosystem Research; Landscape Ecology; Geoinformation; Soil Science; Mineralogy; Microanalysis of Materials; Materials Science; Geophysics; Physical Geography; Isotope Research; Palaeoclimatology; Prehistoric Archaeology; Historic Archaeology; Classical Archaeology; Ancient History; Social and Economic History; Regional History; Economic Regional Research; Classical Philology; Social Psychology; Medicine; Human Biology; Molecular Biology; Psychology; Medieval and Modern Church History; European Ethnology; Environmental History; Environmental Archaeology; Environmental Anthropology; Multimedia Information Processing.

The aims of the JMA

  • to strengthen interdisciplinary research within the CAU and with national and international partners;
  • to develop joint projects;
  • to enhance cooperation between university and non-university research;
  • to focus on research and education competence;
  • to develop and further research orientated academic training for young researchers;
  • to support PhD students, including career advice;
  • to develop, setup and maintain research infrastructure and technical platforms;
  • to gather mutual information on research projects and results;
  • to promote knowledge transfer and public outreach.

CAU employs a sophisticated infrastructural scheme where resources and expertise supporting research are organised in platforms and governed by the research foci. The new JMA will therefore provide the governance for the further development of the infrastructures and the GS in a long-term perspective.

The Johanna Mestorf Academy was established at the plenary meeting of the Graduate School on December 1st, 2011, and installed as a central institution by the Senate of Kiel University on December 14th. The academic members of the Graduate School voted in favour of being first members of the JMA. They appointed the newly elected Executive Board of the Graduate School as the first Executive Board of the JMA. Furthermore, they appointed the first Directors of the JMA – Johannes Müller as speaker of the GS and Claus von Carnap-Bornheim as Director of the Foundation for State Museums of Schleswig-Holstein at Schloss Gottorf.


The Johanna-Mestorf-Academy joins expertise from a wide range of disciplines, as represented by 16 institutes from five CAU Faculties, the Schloss Gottorf Archaeological State Museum, and the Center of Baltic and Scnadinavian Archaeology (ZBSA).
Currently the staff of the JMA consists of 25 Principal Investigators, an additional 22 Investigators, 14 scientists and a substantial number of non-scientific members of the participating institutes, three Junior Professors, a Scientific Coordinator, and three postdoctoral fellows. The School’s organisational structure ensures cross-institutional and autonomous decisions while being fully embedded within the existing university structures.

Executive Commitee Members:

Function / Role Name
Speaker Prof. Dr. Johannes Müller
Speaker for SECC Prof. Dr. Lutz Käppel
Dean of the Faculty of Humanities Prof. Dr. Andreas Bihrer   
Dean of the Faculty of Natural Sciences Prof. Dr. Frank Kempken
Four representatives of the Cluster of Excellence ROOTS
  • Prof. Dr. Annette Haug
  • Prof. Dr. Lutz Käppel
  • Prof. Dr. Johannes Müller
  • N.N.
For the ROOTS Young Academy Dr. Mara Weinelt
Three representatives of the CRC 1266
  • Dr. Daniel Gross
  • Prof. Dr. Wiebke Kirleis
  • Dr. Jutta Kneisel


Advisory Board:

  • Prof. Dr. Reinhold Bichler, Institut für Alte Geschichte und Altorientalistik der Universität Innsbruck.
  • Dr. Simon Haberle, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University
  • Prof. Dr. Andreas Lang, Department of Geography, University of Liverpool
  • Prof. Dr. Pierre Monnet, Institut Français d’Histoire en Allemagne, Frankfurt/ Main
  • Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Hermann Parzinger, Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz
  • Prof. Dr. Stephen Shennan, Institute of Archaeology, University College of London
  • Prof. Dr. Helle Vandkilde, Department of Anthropology, Archaeology and Linguistics, University of Aarhus