Call for applications for "International Joint Degree Master's Programme in Limnology & Wetland Management (LWM)"

LWM is a well established international joint degree Masters’ programme, fully accredited in Austria, The Netherlands and Kenya. The programme structure/curriculum consists of three semesters of 4-months each, which are held in Austria (University of Natural Resources & Life Sciences, Vienna - BOKU), Kenya (Egerton University) and The Netherlands (IHE Delft), followed by a 7-months research period at one of the three partnering institutions, or your home country. LWM students enjoy the complementing expertise of three renowned universities and excellent networking perspectives at global level. All three study locations are world-famous tourist locations - Vienna (Austria), Nakuru/Egerton (Kenya) and Delft (The Netherlands) – hence, LWM students have the added benefit to study where others are going for sight-seeing! 

Austrian and Dutch fellowships for applicants from the global south available!

Deadline for submitting the application documents for academic admission is the 15th December 2019!
Application & Info:

The LWM Master's programme provides(*) fundamental understanding of the structure and functioning of freshwater ecosystems;(*) expert skills to assess the ecological status of freshwater ecosystems, to plan & carry-out monitoring programmes and to develop suitable conservation & restoration measures; (*) professional skills to apply methods and tools to reduce the degradation of freshwater ecosystems & its services and to develop sustainable management options.

Info Flyer: LWM_Flyer_2020.pdf

Biennial Symposium of the International Society for River Science

08th Sept. – 13th Sept.  2019, Vienna, Austria

Riverine landscapes (RL) are tightly coupled to human societies, their development, their demands and in turn human societies depend on the supply of these highly complex ecosystems. The massive changes, the complexity of these riverine landscapes and the fragmentation of the systems temporally as well as spatially and the multitude of interactions to be considered leads to a challenging task for river management, especially in the view of drivers of change.
The Institute of Hydrobiology and Aquatic Ecosystem Management at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU) hosts the Biennial Symposium of the International Society for River Science (ISRS) in cooperation with the International Association for Danube Research (IAD), the I.S. Rivers conference (Integrative sciences and sustainable development of rivers) and the International Conference on the Status and Future of the World‘s Large Rivers. The conference will be held from Sept. 08th to Sept. 13th 2019 under the theme “Riverine landscapes as coupled socio-ecological systems”. 

The coming symposium will emphasise research related to the use and protection of water resources with a focus on highly modified riverine landscapes. The event seeks to link research at different trophic, temporal and spatial scales and to build bridges between ecology, geomorphology, hydrology, biogeochemistry, social sciences, environmental engineering, technology and economics. The symposium therefore serves as a wide platform for the exchange of ideas and experiences between science and practice.

Target groups: universities, research institutions, administrative organisations, government agencies, engineering consultants, decision-makers, stakeholders, environmental organisations.

Expected number of participants: 300 – 350


Aims of the ISRS: The ISRS fosters and develops scholarship in all disciplines contributing to the knowledge and wise stewardship of rivers and streams as vital natural and managed ecosystems. ISRS is a global society without political, national, or other social or cultural affiliations. The society strives to maintain an international reputation as a highly reliable and independent source of information and advice on river science and related environmental issues. 

The society seeks to promote:

  • Wise stewardship of our natural resources and informed environmental policy, especially as each relates to streams and rivers
  • A strong role in the professional development of river scientists, including students and early-career members who wish to be involved in society activities as participants and leaders
  • Education and training, by encouraging the free exchange of ideas and factual material among teachers, students, and others
  • Communication among members, using the internet, scientific journals, and science conferences
  • For further information please visit


Managing and restoring aquatic ecological corridors for migratory fish species in the Danube River Basin

A three year Interreg-project focusing on migratory fish species in the Danube and its main tributaries. The IHG leads the project, which involves twelve partner institutions from eight countries in the Danube river basin, ranging from Austria to the delta in Romania. 

The Institute for Hydrobiology and Aquatic Ecosystem Management (IHG) started leading a three years Interreg-project taking place from 2018 to 2021. MEASURES (Managing and restoring aquatic ecological corridors for migratory fish species in the danube river basin) will pave the way for the establishment of ecological corridors through identifying key habitats and initiating protective measures along the Danube and its main tributaries. In total, twelve Institutions from eight Danube River Basin countries are taking part in the project.

Following activities and outcomes are planned:
A methodology for migratory fish habitat mapping will be developed and tested. A harmonized strategy (including prioritization) for the restoration of ecological corridors will be developed and will support implementation in future management plans. Two pilot actions are envisaged: (1) identify and map key habitats, (2) restocking of two native species to conserve their genetic pool (Acipenser ruthenusAcipenser gueldenstaedtii). A network for concerted restocking of targeted species will be established, as well as a manual for the operation of broodstock facilities. A MEASURES Information System will be created to facilitate access to information for experts, decision makers and the general public. Concrete input into the next drafts of policy- and management plans (e.g. river basin- and flood risk management plans) will secure the translation of project outcomes into sustainable management of relevant sites restoring ecological corridors.

The official Kick-Off event takes place from 1st to 2nd October at the BOKU.

Project co-funded by European Union funds (ERDF. IPA)

Download: Infofolder (PDF)

Non-Biting Midges (Chironomidae) Course at IHG

  • Sabine Schiffels in conversation with Dr. Berthold Janecek – non-biting midges specialist at the IHG of BOKU.

In September, participants from Austria, Italy, Germany and Switzerland took part in a special course at the Institute for Hydrobiology and Aquatic Ecosystem Management (IHG) of BOKU, where they immersed themselves in the species-rich insect family of Chironomidae (non-biting midges), 615 of which are represented in Austrian waters!

With Sabine Schiffels from Aachen as a lecturer, the determination of this taxonomically demanding family of two-winged midges was very successfully practiced in the three-day course and information on the occurrence, distribution, biology and ecological indicator function of non-biting midges was also provided.

The safe determination of animal species is the basis for the preparation of expert surveys in water protection and for the ecological assessment of water bodies. It is also essential for the research of biodiversity in Austrian’s rivers and streams.

The Institute of Hydrobiology and Aquatic Ecosystem Management (IHG), together with the Ministry of Sustainability and Tourism, therefore offers several-day annual determination courses on macrozoobenthos groups (aquatic invertebrates that are visible to the naked eye).

European Sturgeon Conference

In the frame of the Austrian EU Presidency, the European Sturgeon Conference, hosted by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism and the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR) took place in Vienna on the 9th and 10th of July. Its aim is to contribute to the protection of the sturgeon species in the Danube River basin as well as on a pan-European level. Three experts of the Institute for Hydrobiology and Aquatic Ecosystem Management of BOKU (Thomas FriedrichThomas Hein & Stefan Schmutz) shared their expertise on restoration of riverine habitat and sturgeon stocks in their keynotes. A visit to the hatchery station operated by BOKU took also place on the evening of the first day.

Cooperation agreement between Egerton University (Kenya), IHE-Delft (the Netherlands) and BOKU

On 27th of June, the Vice Rectors of the three partners Egerton University, IHE-Delft and BOKU ceremoniously signed the cooperation agreement which forms the foundation of the international Joint Degree Masterprogramme Limnology and Wetlandmanagement.

LWM - Limnology and Wetland Management has been the 1st Joint Degree MSc programme established at BOKU in October 2012 – and the 1st Joint Degree programme at the partner universities IHE Delft, Netherlands and Egerton University, Kenya as well. Still it is the one and only joint degree programme with an African university at BOKU!

LWM is a truly international programme attended by students from Africa, Asia, America and Europe – however, Austrian students are very much attracted as well! Up to now we have had six Austrian students attending the whole LWM programme in Austria, Kenya and The Netherlands, plus 21 BOKU students attending LWM modules in Kenya. Hence, LWM contributes to the implementation of the BOKU internationalisation strategy – via the international joint degree set-up, “internationalisation at home”, student & teacher mobility and international networking. Remarkable is the average study duration of 20 months, which may be BOKU-wide the shortest for a Master’s programme. We are proud to announce that LWM generated 49 graduates so far and we are confident that with this cooperation many more will follow.

Lunz Courses 2018

Max Zauner produced a short film about the courses in Lunz 2018.


Faunistic-systematic research for the Austrian Limnofauna - the latest version and third edition of the FAA is available since 1 December 2017!

First published in 1995 under the aegis of Otto Moog, and reprinted in an updated version in 2002 and 2003, the FAA has now been released in a new edition 2017 with Anne Hartmann as co-publisher.
The FAUNA AQUATICA AUSTRIACA - short FAA - contains the inventory of the currently known macroinvertebrate species of the Austrian rivers and streams and provides a data collection of ecological information on these aquatic organisms.
The faunistic research achievements of 64 taxonomists have made the 3rd edition of the species catalog possible and resulted in the listing of a total of 3287 macroinvertebrate and 650 ciliate species.
The FAA standardizes the ecological classifications for macroinvertebrates and thus forms the basic prerequisite for comparability of test results and quality assurance measures within the framework of the national quality control of running waters.
The FAA was commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management and is regularly updated.