Finished projects


Implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive and providing a system for assessing ecological quality in European streams with benthic macroinvertebrates

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The AQUATAG project is the first to quantify recreation along freshwaters in Germany at large spatial scales to assess its effect on the ecological status of these ecosystems.

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AquaWis was an environmental education project for biology teachers and students. The main goal of the project was to give pupils insights into basic ecological relationships.


The project developed scientifically-based, but applicable tools for the detection and evaluation of affected river reaches in the Hindu Kush-Himalayan Region

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BioFresh was an EU-funded international project that aims to build a global information platform for scientists and ecosystem managers.

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How bioinvasions and parasites modulate climate change impact on benthic communities

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Provide a proposal for a renewed monitoring system of the Baltic Sea marine environment.

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Cryptic species coexistence

Drivers of cryptic species coexistence in stream ecosystems – a case study using gammarid amphipods from Sicily

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DESSIN  demonstrated and promoted innovative solutions for water scarcity and water quality / the implementation of the Water Framework directive (WFD) and showed the value of those solutions for the water sector and society by also demonstrating a methodology for the valuation of ecosystem services (ESS) as catalyser for innovation.

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Emscher at Dortmund-Deusen

Scientific monitoring and evaluation of the development of ecological improvement.

Supported by the Emscher Genossenschaft /Lippeverband, in cooperation with the Institute for Hydraulic Engineering and Water Management.

Endocrine disruption and parasites

Recently evidence evolved that environmental compounds can interfere with the endocrine systems of wildlife and humans. Surface waters are suggested to be the main sink for these so called endocrine disruptors.

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The joint Irish-German project aims to develop an evidence-based and interactive decision support tool for managing Ireland’s freshwater ecosystem services.

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The project has addressed the impact of climate change on lakes, rivers and wetlands in Europe, through the pathways temperature increase, impact on hydromorphology, eutrophication, acidification, the release of toxic substances, and invasive species.

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Gravel pit lakes

The project aims to assess freshwater biodiversity in gravel pit lakes.

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Developing an Integrated Model to Predict Abiotic Habitat Conditions and Biota of Rivers Application in Climate Change Research and Water Management.

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Quality and management of intermittent rivers and associated groudwaters in the Mediterranenan Basis

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The project was analyzing a large scale land use and availability in the Ruhr area with a focus on Emscher Landschaftspark

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Develop an integrative framework of coupled models for predicting the immediate and long-term consequences of land-use and climate change

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Low water, groundwater recharge and drought

The aim is a literature-based inventory of the current situation with regard to dry periods in Germany

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Multivariate analyses of the impacts of water quality deterioration and further stressors on freshwater organism (MAESTRO)

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MARS was a research project to support European policies, such as the Water Framework Directive, and the Blueprint to Safeguard Europe’s Water Resources. It had two target groups: "water managers" assessing and restoring rivers and lakes; and policy makers drafting and implementing policies related to water

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Micropollutants and biosensors

Ecotoxicological Effects of Micropollutants on Macroinvertebrates by using the Biosensor-System LimCo®

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Developing knowledge rules for different scenarios in four case-study catchments to derive management recommendations how to optimize the overall effect of woody riparian buffers.

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Novel approaches to assess toxicity of platinum-group elements in aquatic environments

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PGE -Platinum Group Elements

The project investigated the effects of emissions caused by the use of automotive catalytic converters, which increasingly introduce the catalytically active platinum group elements (PGE) platinum, palladium and rhodium into the environment.


The project has targeted the development of guidance and tools to improve the success of river restoration measures and to make river restoration and mitigation measures more cost-effective and to supporte the 2nd and future River Basin Management Plans (RMBPs) for the WFD

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The project was the follow-up project of EURO-LIMPACS, which was evaluating a series of specific adaptive measures that might be taken to minimise adverse consequences of climate change on freshwater quantity, quality and biodiversity

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Reintroduction of macrozoobenthos in rivers

In this project, funded by LANUV NRW, an attempt was made for the first time to resettle entire macrozoobenthos communities from one water system to another biotically impoverished water system.

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Throughout Europe there are new challenges in river management. Climate change, grand-scale water pollution, water supply problems or sea intrusion are problematic developments.


Rationalising Biodiversity Conservation in Dynamic Ecosystems
Biodiversity provides many services from which humans benefit, such as the provision of food, fibre and fuel, regulation of air and water quality, flood protection, pollination, control of pests, recreation and ecotourism.

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The joint research project was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part of the "Risk Management of Pollutants and Pathogens in the Water Cycle" initiative (RISKWA) and has developed a comprehensive risk-management concept for drinking water supply and a possible use of the Ruhr as bathing water

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Spatial and temporal aspects of river restoration

On the basis of repeated sampling of 25 renatured river sections, this project explored essential questions concerning the renaturation of running waters.

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Framework method for calibrating different biological survey results against ecological quality classifications to be developed for the Water Framework Directive

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Toxicity to zebra mussels

Combining uptake and subcellular partitioning/toxicokinetics and toxicodynamics in modelling Cu2+ toxicity to zebra mussels, taking into account water chemistry

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Tracking down trace substances

Research on the operating behaviour and resource consumption of the activated carbon stage of the Dülmen wastewater treatment plant with special consideration of the achievable effects on the upstream water body

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Underfloor pump storage

Development of a realization concept for the use of  coal mining facilities as underground pumped storage plants

Water body diagnosis Baden-W├╝rttemberg

Development of diagnostic tools to identify causal stressors using macrozoobenthos in line with the stream assessment according to the WFD

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WISER was supporing the implementation of the Water Framework Directive (WFD) by developing tools for the integrated assessment of the ecological status of European surface waters

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