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Latest Projects

Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2023-04-12 - 2025-12-31

Amphibians (amphibians) are among the most threatened animal groups in the world. The reasons are many and include habitat destruction and degradation, fungal diseases, and land use changes. Despite the challenges, agricultural areas as well as cities have become important habitats for some amphibian species. One example is the endangered green toad. A typical pioneer species of steppes and wild river floodplains, it is now repeatedly seen in cultivated landscapes and urban areas, while its original habitats are almost non-existent. We have three main goals for our project: 1) The Austria-wide recording of Green Toad occurrences using a specially adapted Citizen Science App with which calls can also be recorded. 2) The analysis of factors (natural environmental factors, land use and pollutants) that influence the occurrence of the green toad. 3) A large Citizen Science initiative in which, with the help of participating citizens, up to 300 new green toad spawning ponds will be created and the emerging pioneer animal community will be evaluated. Our project will give us a deep insight into the ecology of the green toad that will help us effectively protect this endangered species. Through the creation of spawning waters, this project will also set in motion practical measures that will most likely have a lasting positive impact on the existing aquatic pioneer animal communities.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2017-03-01 - 2018-12-31

The von Bertalanffy equation was developed in the 1940s and has since been the almost universal biologically motivated model to describe the ontogenetic growth of different species; it is characterized by the metabolic exponents a = 2/3, b = 1. West et al. (1997, 2001) suggested another pair of metabolic exponents (a = 2/3, b = 1) and provided biological reasoning for this choice. This project proposes biological reasoning for yet two other exponent pairs based on the ideas of Bertalanffy and West about metabolism and on a model of Parks (1982) about the dependency of growth on food intake.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2022-10-01 - 2025-05-31

Austria is home to around 700 species of wild bees. This group of insects is one of the most efficient pollinators and is thus indispensable for the functionality of terrestrial ecosystems. Due to their differentiated habitat requirements, they are also ideally suited as indicator organisms for nature conservation. Various studies have shown a strong decline of wild bees in recent decades. Little is known about their status and development in Austria. However, knowledge about this is a central prerequisite for the effective protection of wild bees. Therefore, the objectives of the project are (1) the documentation of the status quo of wild bees on the basis of selected sites in the Austrian cultural and natural landscape (arable land, grassland, protected areas), (2) the connection of the wild bee indicator to the planned Austrian monitoring program based on BINATS and ÖBM and (3) the introduction of a bumble bee monitoring as a Citizen Science project. The planned project will be the basis for a well-founded assessment of the population situation of wild bee species in Austria.

Supervised Theses and Dissertations