About the Seminar Series Environment & Biodiversity

In the seminar series “Environment & Biodiversity”, current research results from the fields of evolutionary biology, ecology, climate change effects, environment and biodiversity trends are presented. This seminar series is a public event and is suitable for both scientific staff and students, as well as for non-university guests. We cordially invite you to participate!


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Review: This was our program in the winter term 2023/24!

New dates for the summer semester 2024 are being planned and will be successively posted on this page soon.


Friday, October 6, 2023

GAQSTVORTRAG Environment & Biodiversity - Dr. Robert SCHABETSBERGER - PorträtDr. Robert Schabetsberger

Paris Lodron University of Salzburg

Department of Environment & Biodiversity

 

From myth to rationality – The mysterious spawning migrations of tropical eels in the Indo-Pacific

The search for the spawning areas of catadromous eels (Genus Anguilla) has a history that began with Aristotle’s hypothesis that eels develop spontaneously from mud and so far has culminated with the discoveries of the European (1922) and Japanese eel (1991) spawning areas. Eels live up to several decades in freshwater before they travel across the ocean on a journey that sometimes takes months and ends at their spawning areas. Habitat destruction, overfishing, pollution and introduced parasites have driven several species to the brink of extinction. Throughout the Indo-Pacific eels are considered mythical creatures supporting subsistence fisheries. These areas have recently entered the global eel trade heedless of the contribution of these migratory fishes to the livelihoods of vulnerable human societies. Little is known about the marine phase of their life cycle. We investigated the spawning migrations of tropical eels and the oceanographic conditions along their migration routes. Genetic studies have shown that the different species hybridize. We have brought together an international team of biologists and oceanographers from Europe, Africa, and Japan. Learning about the locations of the spawning areas of these species and gathering new information about their population structures and potential levels of hybridization will be valuable new information that can help guide future conservation efforts. 

Time: 2:00 PM

Place: Lecture Hall 414, NLW-Faculty, Hellbrunner Str. 34, 1st floor

 

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Gastvortrag Dr. Robert SCHABETSBERGER - Banner


Friday, October 20, 2023

GAQSTVORTRAG Environment & Biodiversity - Valentina TODISCO PhD. - PorträtValentina Todisco, PhD.

Paris Lodron University of Salzburg

Department of Environment & Biodiversity

 

So familiar, yet so unknown: Taxonomy and DNA barcoding of the Palearctic Papilio machaon species-group

Swallowtail butterflies of the Papilio machaon species group provide a diverse and ideal model system to study hybridization. Species limits and systematic relationships have been notoriously difficult to resolve in this group in part due to a plethora of ecological races, color morphs, and incomplete reproductive barriers, as well as abundant natural hybridization. Although the evolution of the North American species has been studied extensively, studies on the Old World species are lacking. In the Palearctic region, four species are currently recognized within the P. machaon species complex: P. machaon, P. saharae and P. hospiton. Their distributions vary, some are widespread while others are more localized. Some of the species hybridize while others do not. Current environmental changes are modifying species distributions and consequently their biotic interactions. Studies have shown that, under future climate scenarios, species distributions will shift and shrink considerably. This can alter the gene flow between species and even cause extinctions. An adequate understanding of the hybridization processes is of utmost importance in predicting the effects of rapid environmental changes to species survival. In order to shed light on the taxonomy and evolution within the P. machaon species group, the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) gene was sequenced for 386 P. machaon, 11 P. saharae and 28 P. hospiton. Initial results reveal a complex genetic pattern consistent with the response of the species-group to the last glacial periods. A taxonomic revision of the species-group is proposed.

Time: 2:00 PM

Place: Lecture Hall 421, NLW-Faculty, Hellbrunner Str. 34, 2nd floor

Host: Univ.-Prof. Jan Christian Habel

 

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GASTVORTRAG Environment & Biodiversity Valentina TODISCO PhD.


Friday, November 10, 2023

Seminar Series Environment & Biodiversity - Porträt Michal Goga PhD.Michal Goga, PhD.

Pavol Jozef Šafárik Universität in Kaschau (SK)

Institute of Biology and Ecology RNDr.

 

Application of lichen secondary metabolites in natural and medical sciences

Lichens represent a great source of bioactive compounds which are nature origin. Lichen secondary metabolites are mostly produced by fungal partner and there exists many reports about their biological and ecological potential. The process for isolation and identification of lichen substances is crutial, and right methods helps to get pure compounds. All process starts with collection of lichen material, TLC analysis of present compounds, column chromatography for collecting of fractions and NMR spectroscopy as well as HPLC analysis for identification of present compounds. The application of pure substances in natural and medicinal sciences is very requested and nowadays are lichen secondary metabolites still more in subject for scientists.

Time: 2:00 PM

Place: Lecture Hall 421, NLW-Faculty, Hellbrunner Str. 34,

2nd floor

Host: Dr. Daniel Remias

 

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Guest Lecture Michal GOGA PhD.


Friday, November 17, 2023

Portrait Univ.-Prof. Walter Hödl, University Vienna
Seminar Series Environment & BiodiversityUniv.-Prof. Walter Hödl

University of Vienna

Department of Evolutionary Biology

 

From simple field observations to model species – confessions of a taxon-oriented curiosity-driven field biologist

An unexpected rapid phonotactic approach of a male Allobates femoralis started my curiosity-driven research on the bioacoustics of this poison frog species. Due to its stereotypic phonotactic response to playbacks of conspecific (Hödl, 1982) and a large variety of synthetic (Hödl, 1987) calls I introduced A.femoralis as a “handy fellow” to the herpetological and bioacoustic community at various scientific meetings. Rapidly this “handy fellow” became the main focus of my international research team forming a cohesive group out of a diverse collection of individual scientists.Important inputs from Adolfo Amézquita (evolutionary aspects), Peter Narins (robotics and sensory physiology), Albertina Lima and Pedro Ivo Simões (biogeography) Eva and Max Ringler (population biology) as well as Andrius Paukonis (cognition) clearly show that taxon-centered research can be a self-accelerating process. The valuable integration of various aspects led to more fruitful insights than would have been possible with a pure hypothesis-based approach, which sometimes may narrow the angle of view on a given research question. In 45 years of trying to understand a living organism in the field I have gained increasing confidence in my scientific approach to let organisms rather than prefixed hypotheses lead me to the important questions. And last but not least: Taxon-centered field research is simply scientific fun!

Time: 2:00 PM

Place: Grüner Hörsaal, NLW-Faculty, Hellbrunner Str. 34,

ground floor

Host: Univ.-Prof. Jan Christian Habel

 

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Guest Lecture Univ.-Prof. Walter Hödl, University Vienna
Seminar Series Environment & Biodiversity

 


Friday, November 24, 2023

Lecturer Dr. Sophie VON MERTENDr. Sophie von Merten

Paris Lodron University of Salzburg

Department of Environment & Biodiversity

 

Big challenges for small mammals – How shrews and mice deal with global challenges

Wildlife is confronted with a rapidly changing world. Two of the most impacting drivers are climate change and urbanisation. While species can adjust to variable situations, the recent environmental changes confront them with new challenges due to their unprecedented speed. Currently, I am studying the influence of urbanisation on animal behaviour and physiology using small mammals as model system. With my collaboration partners in Portugal and Poland, I am looking at general differences between rural and urban populations and also focussing on the impact of specific drivers such as light and sound pollution. We found behavioural and physiological differences between rural and urban small mammals, analysed the influence of artificial illumination on the foraging strategies of shrews and studied the impact of traffic noise on stress levels and vocalisation in shrews. Apart from presenting these recent and ongoing projects, I will introduce previous projects which led me to my current research interests and give a short outlook on some ideas for my future work here in Salzburg.

 

Time: 2:00 PM

Place: Lecture Hall 435, NLW-Faculty, Hellbrunner Str. 34,

3rd floor

Host: Assoz.-Prof. Peter Steinbacher

 

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Guest lecture seminar series Environment & Biodiversity Dr. Sophie VON MERTEN

 


Friday, December 1, 2023

Prof. Frank E. Zachos

Natural History Museum Vienna | Mammal Collection 

University of the Free State Bloemfontein, South Africa – Department of Genetics

 

A (hopefully) fresh look at the species problem – What is it really about, and why does this matter?

The species problem – the vexing questions of what makes a species and whether there is a one-size-fits-all species concept (spoiler: there isn’t) – as well as the ensuing, seemingly endless taxonomic debates of whether X and Y are one or two species have been with us for decades, with no definitive answer in sight. In my talk, I will briefly introduce the problem, then discuss it based on an analysis of the twofold nature of taxonomy itself (grouping vs ranking) and highlight the importance of taxonomy and taxonomic decisions for other disciplines such as ecology, evolutionary biology and conservation. Species are the most important currency in many research questions, but a closer look unfortunately shows that the concept might not live up to the challenge. This has important ramifications for taxonomy and beyond, and it may be time to rethink our obsession with species and species numbers and instead find alternative ways of quantifying biodiversity. The aim of this talk is not to deliver you from the confusion about species, but rather to make you a little more precisely confused than you were before.

 

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Guest Lecture Frank E. ZACHOS - Banner

Time: 2:00 PM

Ort: Grüner Hörsaal, NLW-Faculty, Hellbrunner Str. 34, ground floor

Host: Univ.-Prof. Jan Christian Habel


Seminar Series Environment & Biodiversity - Dr. Leopold Slotta-BachmayerFriday, December 15, 2023

Dr. Leopold Slotta-Bachmayer

Paris Lodron University Salzburg

Department Environment & Biodiversity

 

Species detection dogs – a new old method

The use of detection dogs for nature and species conservation has become increasingly popular in recent decades. Since dogs can be conditioned to almost any odour, the potential for using detection dogs is almost inexhaustible. With the support of species detection dogs, data can be collected that would otherwise only be accessible to a limited extent or not at all. For example, detection dogs can be used successfully for species identification when monitoring a wide variety of wild animal and plant species or for tracking down animals and plants for research projects. The method of detecting animal species using scats, for example, is a non-invasive approach in which you can obtain data that can be evaluated in a variety of ways without disturbing, attracting or seeing the animal. Dogs are much better at detecting scats than humans because they search for them olfactorly and not visually. But detection dogs do not find scats only solutions, they also search for live or dead animals, nests, pheromones and much more. This talk gives an insight into working with species detection dogs and uses practical examples to show the advantages and disadvantages of this method.

 

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Guest Lecture Dr. Leopold Slotta-Bachmayr

Time: 2:00 PM

Place: Lecture Hall 435, Hellbrunner Str. 34, 3rd floor

Host: Univ.-Prof. Ulrike Berninger


Seminar Series Environment & Biodiversity - Univ.-Prof. Jussi GrießingerFriday, January 12, 2024

Univ.-Prof. Jussi Grießinger

Paris Lodron Universität Salzburg

Fachbereich Umwelt und Biodiversität

 

Ecoclimate research at the Roof of the World: How interdisciplinary approaches can help to disentangle global change impacts on different geospheres

High Asia’s natural environment, also known as the Third Pole, has been characterized by profound environmental changes over the last three decades. The well-known massive changes in its (melting) cryosphere can be directly interlinked to a significant increase in winter temperatures and reduced snowfall. Due to the scarcity of available climate station data, it still remains unclear how the underlying warming trend can be classified in a longer and higher spatio-temporal context – which calls for highly resolved climate proxy data to reliably quantify it. Largely neglected by the public at large, however, are the dramatic changes to the biosphere, which is undergoing a rather fast and unprecedented change. For example, site conditions for woody plants change in a very short time, but they are rarely able to react quickly through adaption. A drastic decline in suitable habitats and a lack of resilience (time) is therefore expected. However, the changes in the hydrosphere and biosphere also affect the livelihoods of the people living in these regions. The lecture will give an overview of the scientific challenges of climate research in High Asia, but also provide insights into the complex causal chains between nature and humans through different case studies.

 

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Guest Lecture Environment & Biodiversity - Univ. Prof. Jussi Grießinger

Time: 2:00 PM

Place: Lecture Hall 421, NLW-Faculty, Hellbrunner Str. 34, 2. floor

Host: Univ.-Prof. Ulrike Berninger


Guest Lecture Seminar Series Environment & Biodiversity
Prof. Dr. Christine B. SchmittFriday, January 19, 2024

Prof. Dr. Christine B. Schmitt

University of Passau

Department of Geography

 

African biodiversity hotspots in an era of global change

The African continent boasts a number of biodiversity hotspots, including the Eastern Afromontane and the Coastal Forests of Eastern Africa biodiversity hotspots. Both of these harbor forests, which play multiple roles with regards to global climate change, e.g., they can help to mitigate climate change through carbon storage and sequestration, they may boost climate change through carbon emissions and lastly, they are affected by a changing climate in terms of forest structure and diversity. Eastern Africa, in particular, is predicted to experience a rise in temperatures and changes in precipitation patterns that are difficult to model. At the same time, infrastructure development and a growing population exert pressure on the remaining forests and other natural ecosystems. In this presentation, I will first discuss the carbon storage potential of the African tropical montane forests. Next, I will show some recent findings on the effects of climate change on African montane and alpine species diversity. Finally, I will use case studies from Kenya and Ethiopia to highlight some of the challenges related to conserving diverse forest ecosystems on the ground.

 

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Guest Lecture Prof. Dr. Christine B. Schmitt
Seminar Series Environment & Biodiversity

Time: 2:00 PM

Place: Lecture Hall 421, NLW-Faculty, Hellbrunner Str. 34, 2. floor

Host: Univ.-Prof. Jan Christian Habel


Special Date: Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Dr. Ming-Qiang Wang
Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
Department of Forest Nature Conservation

 

Speaker 1

Dr. Ming-Qiang Wang

Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu, China

Humboldt fellow at the Department of Forest Nature Conservation at the Georg-August-University Göttingen

 

Plant-herbivore interactions in a subtropical forest of China: diversity, coexistence and dynamics

Herbivores is a key assemblage in forest and play important role in ecosystem functions. Our previous studies suggested the closely relationship between herbivores and plants, herbivore communities were significantly determined by multiple tree diversity indices, traits- and phylogeny- mediated processes. Currently, we are working on the spatio-temporal dynamics of herbivores along with tree diversity gradient in BEF-China field experiment.

 

Jing-Ting Chen
Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

 

Speaker 2

Jing-Ting Chen (phd student)

Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China

Guest researcher at the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

 

Web of diversity: Spiders and their prey

Spiders are a diverse and widely distributed group and are important predators in various ecosystems. According to the enemy hypothesis, a heterogeneous plant community promotes diverse food resources and habitats, thereby enhancing predator diversity. Based on the BEF-China experiment platform, we analyzed how tree diversity affects spider diversity and the relationship between spiders and their prey using multiple diversity indices.

 

Yannan Chen
Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

 

Speaker 3

Yannan Chen (phd student)

Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China

 

Tree species richness indirectly affects soil microarthropods trophic ecology via litter functional diversity and canopy cover: evidence from stable isotope analysis (15N, 13C)

In terrestrial ecosystems, 80%–90% of the carbon fixed by plants enters the belowground system via litter and roots, thereby fueling the belowground food web. We used evidence from stable isotopes to analyze the trophic ecology of soil oribatid mites in a large‐scale forest biodiversity experiment in subtropical China. We found that tree species richness affected soil oribatid mite trophic ecology indirectly via litter functional diversity and canopy cover.

 

Time: 1:00-3:00 PM

Place: Lecture Hall 434 NLW-Faculty, Hellbrunner Str. 34, 3rd floor

Host: Assoz. Prof. Dr. Jana Petermann and Mareike Tabea Mittag, BSc. MSc.


Friday, January 26. Januar, 2024

 Doctoral Seminar (Ecology and Evolution 796.300)

 Masterthesis Seminar (230.340)

 

>> DOWNLOAD Lectures <<

 

Time: 9:00 AM – 4:45 PM 

Place: Room C-006, NLW-Faculty, Hellbrunner Str. 34, 3rd floor

Hosts: Univ.-Prof. Ulrike Berninger, Assoz. Prof. Dr. Jana Petermann


Friday, January 26, 2024

*as part of the Doctoral Seminar Ecology & Evolution/Masterthesis Seminar

Guest Lecture Vazrick Nazari, PhD.
Seminar Series Environment & BiodiversityVazrick Nazari, PhD.

University of Padova

Department of Biology

 

Biocultural diversity in an industrialized nation: The case for Italy

In this lecture I review the state of Biocultural Diversity studies in present-day Italy and the contexts in which the relationship between biological and cultural patterns of diversity have been formally explored, with the aim to determine whether or not any direct causal relationships or common drivers could be inferred. To date, no significant attempts have been made to quantitatively measure biocultural diversity in Italy as a whole. Italy shows a high number of mutual interactions, but the common drivers and patterns between biological and cultural diversity have not yet been unveiled. This could be either a problem of quantification due perhaps to an inherent incommensurability between the two dimensions, or different causative patterns that drive biological and cultural diversity.

 

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Guest Lecture Vazrick Nazari, PhD.
Seminar Series Environment & Biodiversity

 

Time: 1:30-2:30 PM

Place: Room C-006, NLW-Faculty, Hellbrunner Str. 34, 3., 3rd floor

Host: Univ.-Prof. Jan Christian Habel, Valentina Todisco (PhD.)


Special Date: Thursday, February 1, 2024

Porträt Guest Lecture Seminar Series Environment & Biodiversity Alexander JustAlexander Just

European Commission

Directorate General of Environment (DG ENV)D.3 Nature conservation (Natura 2000)

 

Developments in/of/despite Natura 2000 sites

Natura 2000 sites are the backbone of the European biodiversity policy based on the Habitats and the Birds Directive – the largest coordinated network of protected areas in the world: About 27,000 Natura 2000 sites, covering 18.6% of the EU’s land area and 9% of its marine territory represent the natural heritage of Europe.But how does the protection of Natura 2000 sites work in practice? Is it still possible to develop projects? What does an “appropriate assessment” mean? These and other questions will be discussed in this seminar by showing some practical examples.

 

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Banner Guest Lecture Seminar Series Environment & Biodiversity Alexander Just

 

Time: 11 AM

Place: Room 421, NLW-Faculty, Hellbrunner Str. 34, 2nd floor

Host: Univ.-Prof. Stefan Dötterl


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