The sixth "Biennial Symposium of International Society for River Science" (ISRS2019) was held in Vienna in mid-September 2019 - hosted by the Institute of Hydrobiology and Aquatic Ecosystem Management at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences. About 300 participants from more than 30 nations exchanged their latest research findings in the broad field of river science.

Emphasis was put on the presentation of research investigating heavily modified riverine landscapes as well as results on different trophic, temporal and spatial scales. Throughout the over 260 presentations in 33 sessions, bridges were built between ecology, geomorphology, hydrology, biogeochemistry, social sciences, environmental engineering, technology and economy. In view of the fact that climate change will lead to a change in water availability, the protection of rivers and lakes is an urgent concern. Inland waters cover only 0.8 percent of the earth's surface and yet they are habitats for ten percent of all species described (so far). Studies show that the species richness of freshwater organisms has declined by 83 percent since 1970. If sufficient drinking and process water of appropriate quality is to be available in the future, the biodiversity in water bodies must be preserved. At the same time, heavily altered waterbodies have been severely affected by their intensive use and conflict of interests. Restoring natural processes in rivers and freshwater ecosystems around the world is a major challenge for current and future generations.

Conference participants left Vienna enthusiastic about the content and organization of this event making it a full success.

The organizing team of Boku IHG would like to sincerely thank all participants, contributors and sponsors for making ISRS2019 possible.

Thomas Hein, Gabriele Weigelhofer, Pablo Rauch & Stefan Auer

For more information on the ISRS or upcoming conference, please visit

Short facts:

  • 300 participants from 30 countries
  • 33 sessions; 260 oral presentations, 50 poster presentations
  • 4 keynote lectures
  • 3 excursions to sites at the Danube river
  • 4 social events (2 movie screenings, welcome reception, conference dinner)
  • 2 special issues in „Frontiers in Environmental Science“ and „River Research and Applications“