Aquatic Ecology Teaching

PhD, Master-, Bachelor-, State Exams and internships

Welcome to the aquatic ecology research! We offer PhD, Master-, Bachelor-, and State Exam theses in a vibrant research group with a friendly atmosphere. If you are interested please contact us or the colleagues listed below. Also have a look at the german version of this page.

PhD

PhD

Effects of woody riparian buffer strips along rivers on biodiversity

Topic: River restoration, river ecology

Description: In cooperation with international partners from IRSTEA in France, the effects of woody riparian buffer strips on biodiversity will be investigated. This will include (i) a literature review, (ii) an analysis of the general reach-scale effects as well as some clearly novel aspects: (iii) an analysis of the effects of the spatial arrangement of woody buffers (e.g. fragmentation) at larger river network scales and (iv) the potential function of woody buffers as migration corridors. The analysis will be based on exising biological data and include GIS and remote sensing work to quantitativly and qualitatively describe the woody buffers as well as multivariate statistics. Funding will be through a scholarship, for which the PhD student will apply for, strongly supported by us.

Methods/Data: Literature review, fieldwork, statistics, GIS

Starting: 01.03.2017

Details

Contact: J.Kail

Master-, Bachelor-, State Exam theses

Master/Bachelor/Internship

Analysing species traits using data of different taxonomic resolution

Topic: River ecology

Description: Identifying the taxonomic level (species, genus, family) necessary to investigate the relationships between biological traits (e.g. feeding types, habitat and flow preferences) and environmental descriptors (e.g. substrate composition). Trait composition will be calculated using three taxalists to investigate if different taxonomic levels lead to comparable results or not.

Methods/Data: Statistics

Starting: Not specified

Details

Contact: C.Feld

Master/Bachelor/State Exam

Effects of fine sediment input on invertebrate communities in the Ruhr catchment

Topic: River ecology, river restoration

Description: The input of fine sediment is considered one of the main pressures affecting aquatic organisms and reason for water bodies failing good ecological status (besides diffuse pollution and hydromorphological alterations). The objective is to investigate the effect of fine sediment on macroinvertebrates in rivers of the Ruhr catchment and to identify indicator species.

Methods/Data: Fieldwork, labwork, statistics

Starting: Not specified

Details

Contact: A. Lorenz, A. Gieswein

Master/Bachelor/Internship

Relationhips between hydrological indices and river biota

Topic: River ecology, river assessment

Description: Quantifying differences in the flow regime of near-natural and degraded river reaches using a set of different hydrological indices. Investigating the effect of alterations of the flow regime on river biota in comparison to other environmental variables and pressures.

Methods/Data: Statistics

Starting: Not specified

Details

Contact: C. Feld

Master/Bachelor/State Exam

Comparing the effect of water temperature on benthic invertebrates in two nearby streams

Topic: River ecology, river restoration

Description: Taking multiple samples of benthic invertebrates in a restored section below a reservoir (Sorpesee) that alters the temperature regime and comparing growth rates to a nearby river reach unaffected by water temperature changes.

Methods/Data: Fieldwork

Starting: Not specified

Details

Contact: C. Feld

Master/Bachelor/State Exam

Literature review on the effect of herbicides on macrophytes and phytobenthos

Topic: River ecology, ecotoxicology

Description: Literature review on the inut and effect of herbicides on different freshwater organism groups. After compiling the literature, either as a meta-analysis (quantitative) or a classical narrative review.

Methods/Data: Literature review

Starting: Not specified

Details

Contact: C. Feld

Master/Bachelor/Internship

Colonization of a restored section of the river Ruhr by ground beetles

Topic: River restoration, river ecology

Description: Sampling ground beetles in a restored river reach as part of a long-term monitoring project. Possibility to extend the internship and to take additional samples on the river banks of up- and downstream sections to identify possible source populations and to investigate the re-colonization of the restored reach in a Bachelor or Master thesis.

Methods/Data: Labwork, fieldwork

Starting: Not specified

 

Contact: K. Januschke

Master/Bachelor/Internship

(Long-term) effects of restoration on habitat diversity in the Ruhr river

Topic: River restoration, river ecology

Description: Mapping habitats in a restored reach of the Ruhr river as part of a long-term monitoring project. Possibility to compare remote sensing data (aerial photographs) and field data in GIS. Possibility to compare the mapped habitats with long-term monitoring data (since 2008) to investigate the long-term development and effects of restoration on habitat diversity in a Bachelor or Master thesis. 

Methods/Data: Labwork, fieldwork

Starting: Not specified

 

Contact: K. Januschke

Master/Bachelor/State Exam

Developing conceptual frameworks on the cause-effect relationships of restoration and river biota

Topic: River restoration

Description: Compiling information on the effect of restoration on river biota (literature review, analyzing existing databases, fieldwork). Developing conceptual frameworks on the cause-effect relationships (i.e. how do restoration actions change habitat conditions and in turn biota). 

Methods/Data: Literature review, conceptual work

Starting: Not specified

Details

Contact: C. Feld, T. Korte

Master/Bachelor/State Exam

Morphodynamics of a restored sand-bed stream

Topic: River restoration

Description: Mapping the hydrological, morphological, and biological changes as part of a long-term monitoring. Investigating the long-term changes in the restored river reach of the sand-bed stream "Rotbach".

Methods/Data: Fieldwork

Starting: Not specified

Details

Contact: C. Feld, T. Korte

Master/Bachelor/State Exam

Comparing basic ecosystem functions in a restored and a non-restored section of a lowland stream

Topic: River restoration

Description: Mapping the input, retention, and decomposition of leafs (as an important process and function of stream ecosystems) in a restored and non-restored section of a sand-bed lowland stream, and investigating its effect on benthic invertebrates and water chemistry.

Methods/Data: Fieldwork, literature review

Starting: Not specified

Details

Contact: C. Feld, T. Korte

Master/State Exam

Comparing dragonfly communities of restored and non-restored river reaches

Topic: River restoration, river ecology

Description: Study on the suitability of dragonflies as indictors for the effects of river restoration. Field sampling and comparison of the dragonfly communities of restored and non-restored river reaches in different river types.

Methods/Data: Fieldwork, labwork, statistics

Starting: Fieldwork in early summer April/May

Details

Contact: A. Lorenz

Master/Bachelor

Ponds in urban parks in the city of Essen

Topic: Lake ecology, urban ecology

Description: Screening of small water bodies (urban park ponds), alternatively in respect to physico-chemistry, riparian vegetation, plankton and/or macroinvertebrates.

Methods/Data: Fieldwork, labwork

Starting: May 2017

 

Contact: K. Januschke

Master/Bachelor/State Exam

Floodplain factsheets

Topic: Floodplain assessment

Description: Developing factsheets for different types of river floodplains in respect to floodplain biota (related to floodplain habitats).

Methods/Data: Literature review

Starting: Not specified

 

Contact: H. Jachertz

Master/Bachelor

Response of the zebra mussel to Cu2+ exposure

Topic: Parasitology, ecotoxicology

Description: The response of the zebra mussel to metal exposure depends on a number of factors: environmental chemistry, bioaccumulation, and subcellular partitioning. The research aims to investigate the response of the zebra mussel, in terms of clearance rate, taking into account these factors.

Methods/Data: Labwork

Starting: 2017

Details

Contact: T.T. Yen Le

Master/Bachelor

Accumulation of metals in fish-parasite systems

Topic: Parasitology, ecotoxicology

Description: Parasites have been shown to have higher ability to accumulate metals than the fish host. The research aims at investigating the partitioning of metals in the system of chub and the acanthocephalan by determining metal concentrations in the fish host and parasite during exposure and depuration.

Methods/Data: Labwork

Starting: 2016

Details

Contact: T.T. Yen Le

Master/Bachelor/State Exam

Various theses on aquatic parasites

Topic: Parasitology

Description: We offer different theses with a focus on aquatic parasites. In the field and lab, the following topics can be investigated:

  • Comparing accumulation of heavy metals in host-parasite systems
  • Eel parasites (genus Anguillicoloides)
  • Effect of temperature on parasite infection
  • Ecology and life-cycles of parasites

Methods/Data: Fieldwork, labwork, statistics

Starting: Not specified

Details

Contact: D. Grabner

Internships

Internships are also offered as exploratory work or preliminary studies for different Master,- Bachelor- or State Exam theses (please see the respective theses above).

Internship

Updating a ground-beetle database

Topic: River ecology

Description: Dissection and labeling of ground beetles, and updating an existing database on ground-beetles (Excel). Introduction to the determination of ground beetles on species level.

Methods/Data: Computer work, labwork

Starting: April 2017

 

Contact: K. Januschke

Internship

Determination of riparian arthropods for analysing effects of river restoration

Topic: River ecology, river restoration

Description: Determination of ground beetles from samples of three restored and a degraded reach of the Ruhr river. Comparision of the ground beetle communities to detect restoration effects.

Methods/Data: Labwork, statistics

Starting: April 2017

 

Contact: K. Januschke

Internship

Identifying candidate study sites for an analysis on woody buffer ecosystem services

Topic: River restoration, river ecology

Description: The objective is to select sampling sites from an existing database that are suited best to investigate the effect of woody buffers on biology/biodiversity and abiotic habitat conditions (physico-chemistry, habitat diversity) which are linked to ecosystem functions that provide essential ecosystem services. Suited as a pre-study for a master thesis on woody buffer effects.

Methods/Data: Statistics, GIS

Starting: Not specified

Details

Contact: C. Feld, J. Kail

Internship

Literature review on the effect of woody buffers on biodiversity and ecosystem services

Topic: River ecology, river restoration

Description: Woody buffers potentially have many beneficical effects on biodiversity and ecosystem services of rivers besides the well-known and well-studied reduction of nutrient and fine sediment input from agricultural areas. The objective is to compile existing literature and to further develop an existing conceptual model on the effects of woody buffers (Feld et al., 2011).

Methods/Data: Literature review

Starting: Not specified

Details

Contact: C. Feld, J. Kail

Internship

Bioaccumulation of Pd2+ in the zebra mussel

Topic: Parasitology, ecotoxicology

Description: The emission of platinum group elements like Pd has become an increasing concern. The research aims to investigate the accumulation of Pd in the zebra mussel, one species that has widely been used in different biomonitoring programmes.

Methods/Data: Labwork

Starting: December 2016

Details

Contact: T.T. Yen Le