Mechtild Rössler has a MA (1984) in cultural geography from Freiburg University (Germany) and a Ph.D. (1988) from the Faculty for Earth Sciences, University of Hamburg.
She did her PhD on the history of planning and geography 1933 to 1945 and joined the CNRS at the research centre of the Cité des science et de l’industrie, La Villette, Paris, prior to teaching at the University of California at Berkeley.
She works in UNESCO since 1991 (Division for Ecological Sciences, UNESCO World Heritage Centre) and is currently Chief the Europe and North America Section at the World Heritage Centre.
She specialized in nature/culture interactions, cultural landscape issues and theoretical concepts of heritage conservation.
She organized many international expert meetings on heritage conservation and continues to teach (Technical University of Cottbus, Germany) and to write, most recently on the history of World Heritage (e.g. Weltkulturerbe und Globalisierung. Vom Weltwunder zum »Erbe der Menschheit«. In: Iris Schroeder, Sabine Hoehler (Hg), Welt Räume Geschichte, Geographie und Globalisierung seit 1900. Campus: Frankfurt New York 2005, p. 235-257. or World Heritage: Linking Biological and Cultural Diversity. In: Hoffmann, Barbara (ed.) Art and Cultural Heritage Law for the Twenty-First Century: Policy and Practice. IBA publication, 2005).
She has published 7 books, more than 50 articles, and contributes to the editorial board of three international journals.