Hochschule für nachhaltige Entwicklung Eberswalde

Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Henryk Alff is a human geographer and “areanist” (Slavic and Central Asian Studies) by training. His research and teaching interests include societal change, mobility and border studies as well as spatial construction with a regional focus on Inner Asia, coastal West Africa and China. Henryk completed his doctoral studies at the University of Potsdam in 2010 with an ethnographic study on the role of transnational social networks of Mongolia’s Kazakhs in post-Soviet migration and integration processes. From 2011 to 2016 he held a postdoc research position within the competence network Crossroads Asia at the Centre for Development Studies (ZELF) of Freie Universität Berlin. His project at ZELF dealt with the transformation of bazaar trade across the former Sino-Soviet border, drawing attention in particular to actor-based strategies of adaptation to changing border regimes and transformed ideas of development. After an ira.urban research fellowship at the Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography (IfL) in Leipzig (April-December 2016) and a postdoc project at the Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT) in Bremen on interactions between Chinese distant water fisheries and local artisanal fisheries along the West African Atlantic, he joined HNE Eberswalde as a member oft he TRANSECT Junior Research Group. Henryk’s case study focuses on agricultural transformations and perspectives for bioeconomical developments in Kazakhstan.

Field Research






1 month on interactions between Chinese industrial fisheries and local artisanal fisheries in Senegal, Mauritania and Ghana (PADDLE)

1 month on climate change-induced mobilities/migration in mariculture/scallop farming along the Peruvian Pacific (Core Funding)

6 months on transformed mobility and exchange processes in crossborder trade between China and Central Asia (Almaty and Zharkent, Kazakhstan/Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan/Guangzhou, China)

12 months on the migration and integration processes of Kazakhs from Mongolia (Almaty and Astana, Kazakhstan/Bayan-Ulgiy, Mongolia)

2 months on the Georgian-Abkhaz reconciliation process (Georgia)


Association of Geographers at German-speaking Universities and Research Centres (VGDH)

American Association of Geographers (AAG)

Board Member of the Asian Borderlands Research Network (ABRN)

Member of the Working Group 'Land-Sea Interactions' of the COST Action 'Ocean Governance'

Central Eurasian Studies Society (CESS)

Central Eurasian Scholars and Media Initiative (CESMI)

Speaker of the Geographic Studies Group at the German Society for Eastern European Research (DGO)