Reinhold Leinfelder studied geology and palaeontology at LMU Munich (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität) and completed his PhD at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz in 1985, working on palaeogeography, palaeoecology, and sediment dynamics of the Jurassic Period in Portugal. He has been a professor at universities in Stuttgart and Munich (LMU). Leinfelder is presently based in Berlin (Humboldt Universität, Jan. 2006-March 2012, Freie Universität since April 2012), where he teaches and researches historical geology, sedimentary geology, invertebrate palaeontology, exobiology, and science communication with two special foci: one on the evolution, ecology, threats, and protection of coral reefs and oceans, the other on science communication and the interaction of culture and nature. Leinfelder’s second institutional associations include natural history collections and museums. He has been director, then general director of the Bavarian Natural History State Collections, and from 2005 to 2010, he refurbished collections, research networks, exhibitions, and education at the renowned Museum für Naturkunde Berlin as the institution's general director. Leinfelder is a corresponding member of the Bavarian Academy of Science and a member of the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU) His current research interest focuses on the concept of the Anthropocene, which combines natural, social, cultural sciences, and the humanities to study the present state and future development of the Earth.
Leinfelder is currently an affiliated Carson Professor at the RCC; he is assisting with the conceptualization and planning of the joint RCC-Deutsches Museum exhibition, tenatively titled “Anthropocene—Nature and Technology in the Age of Humans,” and scheduled to open in fall 2014.
RCC Research Project: Technology, Nature and Culture in the Anthropocene: Learning from the Future (pdf, 21 KB)
- Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung für Deutschland, ''Von der Umweltforschung zur Unsweltforschung (From Environmental Research to Research for Our World),'' 12 October 2011, 36-37.
- The "Museum für Naturkunde Berlin:" Evolution in Action; New Concepts and New Exhibitions; Proceedings 3er Encuentro Internacional en Museografía, Mérida, 24, 25, and 27 (September 2007): 190-203.
- Edited with F. Damaschun, S. Hackethal, H. Landsberg. Klasse, Ordnung, Art: 200 Jahre Museum für Naturkunde. Rangsdorf: Basilisken-Presse, 2010.
- "Die wunderbare Natur."In Wunderforschung – Ein Experiment von Kindern, Wissenschaftlern und Künstlern, edited by K. Bödeker and C. Hammer, 54-62, Berlin: Nicolai-Verlag, 2010.
- WBGU (Schellnhuber, H.J., Messner, D., Leggewie, C., Leinfelder, R., Nakicenovic, N., Rahmstorf, S., Schlacke, S., Schmid, J. & Schubert, R.). World in Transition: A Social Contract for Sustainability,Flagship Report, German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU). Berlin, 2011.
- "Biologische und kulturelle Evolution: Missverständnisse und Chancen." In Darwin und kein Ende? Kontroversen zu Evolution und Schöpfung, edited by H. Bayrhuber, A. Faber, and R. Leinfelder. Seelze: Friedrich-Verlag, 2011.