In our research team we are focussed on the interaction between biodiversity and trophic interactions in aquatic food webs. We work in both marine and freshwater systems with primarily an experimental approach. We work mostly with the “lower” trophic levels, from bacteria to krill, but with emphasis on ciliates, copepods and cladocerans. Major themes of our research include the role of metacommunities in regulating biodiversity and ecosystem stability in bothstanding and flowing aquatic communities, how species composition and diversity influences the efficiency of trophictransfers, and measuring species-specific grazing rates to understand how species-specific differences influencecommunity-level parameters. In addition to traditional microscopic methods, we are increasingly applying automatedcounting technologies, using flow cytometry and particle counters.
We are currently looking for students for a major new monitoring project in the Hohe Tauern National Park, where we will focus on how abiotic parameters determine the species composition in high alpine lakes.