Science Lunch - Seminar series on aquatic ecosystem science and application

The Institute of Hydrobiology and Aquatic Ecosystem Management (IHG) is organizing a 6-part seminar series in the field of aquatic ecosystem science and application.

The seminar series will be organized as a “Virtual Science Lunch" (12:00 – 13.00 on Zoom) where researchers and practitioners share their findings from current projects around the world. Each session will include a presentation of about 30 minutes followed by a discussion between the presenters and the audience.

We cordially invite everyone who is interested in aquatic ecosystems to join and participate. Our presenters are looking forward to discussing their topics with you!


Topic 1: Life in the Antarctic between stresses and opportunities

Speaker: Prof. Dr. Julian Gutt

Alfred Wegener Institute

Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (Bremerhaven, Germany)


Date:     21.04.2021         

Time:    12.00 – 13.00                     


The Antarctic presents a unique ecosystem with highly specialised and adapted organisms. Scientific expeditions are carried out frequently to conduct research projects and learn more about this fascinating region. In addition, as everywhere else across the globe, anthropogenic stresses become evident and need to be assessed and monitored.

The team of Prof. Gutt, consisting of international experts, summarised the conducted research on impacts of environmental change on biological processes in the Antarctic over the past ten years. He is presenting the key findings and is giving an overview of the Antarctic ecosystem. A system that is especially vulnerable to change and already shows alterations in ecosystem functions.


Zoom Link:


Further information on the topic: 

Topic 2: Microplastics - Stressors on caddisflies & Plasticrusts in the Mediterranean Sea

Speaker:             Sonja Ehlers, MSc.

University of Koblenz-Landau (Germany),

German Federal Institute of Hydrology (BfG) (Koblenz, Germany)


Date:     28.04.2021

Time:    12.00 – 13.00


The effects of microplastics on aquatic ecosystems are complex, an ongoing topic of research and a major challenge for the future. While plastic is very useful for human society and appreciated for its versatile utilization, it becomes a threat to riverine and marine systems. Mismanaged waste disposal leads to microplastic (particles < 5mm) being transported into rivers and oceans where it causes various stresses on aquatic organisms.

In this presentation the focus is on caddisflies and their use of microplastics for building cases, as well as so-called Plasticrusts which occur when sea waves smash plastic debris against rocks.                                                                                                                                            


Zoom Link:


Further information on the topic: 


Topic 3: The integration of land use and climate change risks in the Programmes of Measures of River Basin Plans – assessing the influence of the Water Framework Directive in a southern Member State

Speaker:             Teresa Fidélis, PhD

Assistant Professor at the Department of Environment and Planning;

Senior Researcher at the Centre of Governance, Competitiveness and Public Policies; University of Aveiro, UA (Portugal)


Date:     05.05.2021

Time:    12.00 – 13.00


In the face of the challenges that climate change poses for water resources, the role of land use management becomes increasingly important. How well are these issues integrated into the River Basin Management Plans and the related Programmes of Measures, that were formulated since the Water Framework Directive entered into force? The Portuguese perspective highlights a lacking focus on integrative approaches that could account for the complex challenges of the future.


Zoom Link:


Further information on the topic: 

Topic 4: Rivers 2.0 – Transforming rivers into digital landscapes using UAS

Speaker:             Dipl.-Ing. Christian Haas

I Am Hydro GmbH (St. Georgen, Germany)


Date:     12.05.2021

Time:    12.00 – 13.00


Drones are more than just toys and modern technologies allow for high accuracy and resolution measurements in aquatic environments as well. The ‘I Am Hydro’ company works on projects where drones provide a flexible solution in monitoring restoration measures and sufficient data for modelling e.g. flood risks. The presentation will provide the daily work with drones and an outlook what is possible with the available technologies.

Zoom Link:


Further information on the topic:


Topic 5: Method development for evaluating cultural ecosystem services of rehabilitated rivers


  • Renate Becsi, Dipl.-Ing. 
  • Daniel Hayes, Dr. MSc.
  • Susanne Muhar, Assoc. Prof.

Institute of Hydrobiology and Aquatic Ecosystem Management

Department Water-Atmosphere-Environment, BOKU –

University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (Vienna, Austria)


Date:     26.05.2021

Time:    12.00 – 13.00


River restoration projects can not only improve the ecological functionality of river stretches but may also increase the area’s potential to provide cultural ecosystem services. Adequate criteria and methods are needed in order to evaluate these cultural ecosystem services along revitalized river stretches. Susanne Muhar and her working group present a methodology to do so based on data from ecological monitoring.


Zoom Link:


Further information on the topic: 

Topic 6: Dam removal. A viable option to regenerate European rivers

Speaker:             Herman Wanningen

World fish migration foundation (Groningen, Netherlands)


Date:     09.06.2021

Time:    12.00 – 13.00


Humans have modified nature for hundreds of years to fit their needs – navigation, irrigation and of course and most present – hydropower. The World Fish Migration Foundation, based in the Netherlands, wants to save migratory fish in rivers. Researchers have found only 33 % of the worlds longer rivers remain free flowing and so nearly 80% of the fishdecrease in fish populations. The presentation will cover the goals of the foundation and share interesting findings from past dam removal projects.                                                                                                                                                                                      

Zoom Link:


Further information on the topic: 




Kristof Reuther - kristof.reuther(at)

Julia Sandberger - julia.sandberger(at)

Lisa Schmalfuß - lisa.schmalfuss(at)


Institute of Hydrobiology and Aquatic Ecosystem Management (IHG)

University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU)

Gregor-Mendel-Straße 33 / DG

1180 Vienna, Austria