Program for the online lunch seminar 2021/22 - Aquatic ecosystem science and application at IHG/BOKU

Please allocate the following talks in your calender for

1st of Dec, 15th of Dec and 12th of January.

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Wednesday 1st of December 12:30 – 13:45


Impacts from climate change, hydropower and invasive species on freshwater ecosystems in Nordic waters


Prof. Anders Gravbrøt Finstad (Department of Natural History, NTNU – Norwegian University of Science and Technology)


Main current research interests are within the field of quantitative ecology, particularly freshwater ecology, with emphasis on the effect of direct and indirect drivers on species distributions, ecosystems and populations. Current particularly focus on ecological interactions, both between and within taxa, as well as cross ecosystem effects, and how these are modified by anthropogenic stressors, focusing on hydropower operations, climate change and invasive species. My research is conducted in the interface between several ecological sub-disciplines, particularly biogeography, spatial ecology, metabolic theory and population ecology. Actively engaged in the open-data community with involvement in the Norwegian node of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) as well as in GBIF international.

-> Presentation Dowbload (PDF)


Perrin et al (2021). Modelling temperature-driven changes in species associations across freshwater communities. Global Change Biology

Perrin et al (2021). Forecasting the future establishment of invasive alien freshwater fish species. Journal of Applied Ecology

Eloranta et al (2018). Hydropower impacts on reservoir fish populations are modified by environmental variation. Science of the total environment

Finstad et al (2016). From greening to browning: Catchment vegetation development and reduced S-deposition promote organic carbon load on decadal time scales in Nordic lakes. Scientific Reports 6.



Wednesday 15th of December 12:30 – 13:45


Restoration of fish migration corridors in Switzerland: possibilities and challenges

Wednesday 15th of December 12:30 – 13:45

Restoration of fish migration corridors in Switzerland: possibilities and challenges

Dr Armin Peter (Fish Consulting, Olten, Switzerland)

River fragmentation by dams and its effects on fishes is a worldwide problem. In Switzerland, there is great fragmentation of rivers by hydropower plants, which are responsible for about 1000 artificial barriers that affect the free migration of fishes; these will need to be remediated by 2030. Due to a new federal water protection legislation the Cantons in Switzerland have to rehabilitate fish migration at hydropower plants. In addition hydropeaking problems and bedload transport have also to be mitigated. I will present a recent study concerning upstream migration facilities. However, the main focus of the presentation will be on downstream migration problems and related research. Studies from a laboratory flume, but also field studies with extensive monitoring programs will be presented.

-> Presentation Dowbload (PDF)

Links related to this presentation:




Wednesday 12th of January 12:30 – 13:45


Application of eDNA in riverine ecosystem science and management

Prof. Dr. Florian Altermatt (University of Zurich and Eawag, Switzerland)

Current local to global threats to biodiversity and anthropogenic changes of the environment call for rapid and effective conservation and management of ecosystems and the services they provide. In this context, the use of environmental DNA to assess biodiversity and conduct biomonitoring has been established as a novel, potentially revolutionizing approach over the last decade, especially in aquatic ecosystems. Rapid initial success, broad applicability and advances in sequencing technologies have raised high expectations about its potential. However, as with any revolution, true success requires formal implementation and establishing and integration of routines. In this talk, I will exemplify opportunities as well as challenges for implementation of eDNA biomonitoring in riverine systems. I will give a specific focus on the application of eDNA to assess biodiversity and ecosystem processes. However, I will also discuss potential pitfalls and misunderstandings caused by different targets, inference, and possible conclusions when comparing traditional sampling approaches with eDNA. I postulate that the focus should be on the strengths of new approaches, and not their matching to existing techniques. Finally, I will exemplify a strategy and the necessary steps for successful establishment and application of eDNA freshwater sciences.

Papers/reports of interest:


For further questions and the coordinators of this lunch seminar;

Prof. Dr. Stefan Schmutz (IGH/BOKU) Email: stefan.schmutz(at)  and 
Cand. Agric Jo H. Halleraker (IGH/NTNU) Email: jo.h.halleraker(at)