Head of research group

Coordinator of MERLIN

Co-speaker Collaborative Research Centre (CRC) 1439 RESIST

Faculty of Biology
Aquatic Ecology
Universitätsstrasse 5
D-45141 Essen

Room S05T03B35
Phone: +
Fax: +

 Google Scholar



My first research activities addressed dispersal patterns of aquatic insects. My PhD thesis, graded in 1996 by the Philipps-University Marburg, dealt with food sources of ground beetles along alpine rivers and the impact of hydropower plants on competition patterns in riparian habitats. As a postdoc, I worked on the impact of wood debris on river morphology and assemblages.

Since 1997, I am employed by the University of Duisburg-Essen and its predecessors (since 2010 as a professor for Applied Hydrobiology). Ever since, the focus of my work was on assessment and restoration of streams, rivers and floodplains. Together with my colleagues, I developed the assessment systems Perlodes, which is based on benthic invertebrates, and is applied for assessing rivers in Germany. The projects on assessment and restoration were funded by the German Federal Environment Agency, the Working Group of Federal States on Water Problems, and – in particular – the European Union. Four EU-funded projects were and are coordinated by my group: AQEM (www.aqem.de), WISER (www.wiser.eu), MARS (www.mars-project.eu) and MERLIN (www.project-merlin.eu).

Currently, I am working on the effects of multiple stressors on rivers, restoration ecology, the classification of ecological preferences (www.freshwaterecology.info) and – increasingly – on urban rivers. I teach ecology, limnology and zoology for degree programmes in Aquatic Biology, Biology and Transnational Water Management (www.twm-master.com).