Fluvial Ecosystem Ecology

We are a team of scientists dedicated to the research of running waters at ecosystem- to landscape-scale. Our focus rests on ecosystem functions in streams and rivers, eventually including lakes embedded in the flowing water continuum. Our work is centered around the elements C and N and comprises heterotroph as well as autotroph processes driven by bacteria, algae and higher organisms. Lotic environments are physically heterogenous and variable environments, our research is complicated by spatial complexities (e.g. the dendritic configuration of river networks) and temporal unpredictability (e.g. stochastic behavior of flow). That's still not challenging enough, so we add diversity of organisms and resources, i.e., hundreds of microbial species in biofilms and thousands of chemical compounds in dissolved organic matter, in order to understand functioning of what in our mind is more aptly called a “fluvial meta-ecosystem”. Our research happens in real river networks around the world as well as in laboratory-based microcosms. Streams and rivers are among the most threatened and charismatic ecosystems on Earth, we are confident that a better understanding of their biodiversity and functioning can contribute to increased appreciation, wiser use and urgently needed conservation in a changing world.


01-Feb-2021: We welcome our newest member, Sara Trojahn, who is joining us as a postdoc working on chimcal diversity of organic matter.

17-Dec-2020: There is a postdoc opportunity in meta-ecosystem modelling with INRAE, one of our partner institutions. The postdoc will be based in Lyon, France, but there will be numerous opportunities for collaboration with our group. Position description

24-Nov-2020: New paid M.Sc opportunity in collaboration with WWF in assessing the potential of streams and rivers as sites of carbon storage and sequestration. See the open positions page for more details.

We are currently looking for new members, including a postdoc in chemical ecology (update: filled) and one or more M.Sc. students. See the open positions page for more details.

Tania Sosa Jirón has joined the group as a Ph.D. student. Tania will be working on the effects of river network structure on the relatoinship between microbial diversity and resource diveristy and use.

Follow our group on Twitter!

We are participating in a new H2020 collaborative project: DRYvER, studying how climate change impacts on drying in rivers will impact, diversity, ecosystem function, & ecosystem services.

Welcome to Prof. Gabriel Singer

Our group has moved! We are presently relocating from IGB Berlin to the University of Innsbruck. Many group members remain at IGB, but in the future new group members will be located at UIBK.

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