Tilman Musch

Research Program Coordinator (Sep 2022-Aug 2024)

Dr. habil.

Tilman Musch conducts research on human-environment relations in arid regions. His scientific itinerary has led him to research sites ranging from Inner Asia to the northern Sahel, and now to the Central Sahara. He received his doctorate at the Institut de Langues et Civilisations Orientales in France with a thesis on spatial concepts of (former) nomads in the Baikal region and Mongolia. At the University of Bayreuth, he conducted research on territoriality, land tenure, and pastoral mobility among nomadic groups in northern Niger. In 2021, he was awarded his habilitation at the University of Bayreuth for his research on concepts of space and time in the desert.

Tilman is currently coordinating the research initiative “An African History of Knowledge and Science Beyond Academic Conventions” at the MPIWG. This initiative directs special attention to projects that creatively and critically examine the ownership of knowledge and promote collaborative enterprises that activate new generative conceptions of the “archive.”

Under the umbrella of this initiative, Tilman will also conduct his own research on how humans, animals and plants interacted and interact with the arid and scarce spaces they inhabit, on how environmental knowledge emerged and emerges from these relationships and on how such knowledge can become science.


Selected Publications

Musch, Tilman (2021). “Exploring Environments through Water: An Ethno-Hydrography of the Tibesti Mountains (Central Sahara).” Ethnobiology Letters 12(1)1–11.

Musch, Tilman, and Dorothea Brückner (2020). “Clayton rings and ancient beekeeping. An ethno-zoological contribution.“ Journal of Global Archaeology 1–28.

Musch, Tilman (2019). “Der Nashornspur folgen, wo es kein Nashorn mehr gibt. Fährtenlesen in der Zeit, oder: Tubu Teda als Archäologen.“ Anthropos 114: 145–156.

Musch, Tilman and Mahama Abaliyi Sedike (2019). “Un mariage par rapt chez les Toubou Teda. Transgresser pour conserver la paix sociale.“ In The Multiplicity of Orders and Practises. A Tribute to Georg Klute, ed. Th. Hüsken, A. Solyga, Alexander, D. Badi. Topics in Interdisciplinary African Studies, 50: Köln: Rüdiger Köppe Verlag 363–384.

Musch, Tilman (2018). “Sorten der Kulturdattel (Phoenix dactylifera) im Kaouar-Tal (Niger).“ Mitteilungen der Deutschen Dendrologischen Gesellschaft 103: 186-194.

Musch, Tilman (2015). “Six days towards the polar star. Orientation among Tubu Teda.“ Journal des Africanistes  85: 282–310.