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Dr. Bärbel Elija Bleher

Head of IFU Graduate Office & MICMoR
group: IFU Graduate Office
room: 239
phone: +49 8821 183 111
elija bleherSxl7∂kit edu

Dr. Bärbel Elija Bleher

Elija Bleher is head of IFU’s Graduate Office, the talent management and career support unit for all IFU’s doctoral and postdoctoral researchers. She is also coordinator of MICMoR, the Helmholtz funded Research School on ‘Mechanisms and Interactions of Climate Change in Mountain Regions’.


Her work responsibilities cover 1. management of IFU Graduate Office and MICMoR Research School, 2. strategical development of all talent management measures and quality assurance of the doctoral phase, 3. coordination and organization of qualification activities, such as scientific and professional skills training, networking events such as the IFU PhD Seminar, and career orientation events such as the IFU Career Days, 4. training and counselling of young researchers with regard to career development, funding, and grant application.


Elija strongly advocates personal and career development for young researchers. Her professional experience includes more than 9 years as professional in higher education and 8 years as trainer and coach. She contributes to a number of national working groups, such as the Helmholtz focus group ‘Career development & retention’, the UniWIND working group ‘Professionalization in doctoral education’ and the Helmholtz Coordinators Network.


Her academic background is biology and her PhD, awarded at RWTH Aachen, focused on "seed dispersal & frugivory: ecological consequences for tree populations & bird communities" with 2 years fieldwork in a South African Nature Reserve. As a postdoctoral researcher she was part of a BMBF funded joint project with many research groups working in rain forest of Eastern Africa. She investigated plant-animal-interactions, especially seed dispersal, and how these are influenced by forest fragmentation and human disturbance.


Selected Publications & Presentations (PDF)