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Aquatic ecology, Universität Duisburg-Essen (UDE)

The workgroup Aquatic Ecology at the University of Duisburg/Essen (UDE) is part of the Water Science research cluster (covering water chemistry, hydraulic engineering, hydrology and ecology) at the UDE and employs around 25 scientists (full professor, post-docs, PhD students, scientists).

The group around Prof. Daniel Hering covers expertise including river assessment and restoration, ecotoxicology, climate change impacts on freshwater ecosystems and aquatic parasitology. It has played a key role in the Europe-wide development of WFD-compliant assessment systems for rivers, particularly in the projects AQEM and STAR, and in their national implementation. Recently, the group established a research focus on river restoration and its impacts on hydromorphology and biota.

Prof. D. Hering and his team have participated in several projects on biodiversity (e.g. RUBICODE, leading the workpackage on indicators) and on climate change impact (EURO-LIMPACS, co-leading the workpackage on climate-hydromorphology interactions and leading the workpackage on indicators).
The workgroup was coordinating the EU funded project WISER on WFD implementation.

Several national projects on river typology, restoration, and assessment systems for rivers with various BQEs are coordinated by team of Prof. D. Hering. Finally, the trait database www.freshwaterecology.info was developed together with BOKU.

Daniel Hering

Daniel Hering
Daniel Hering (Professor, PhD) is Professor at UDE and coordinator of several national and international projects on WFD implementation and river restoration. He has expertise in aquatic-land interactions, assessment systems, and river restoration. He was responsible for the development of the AQEM assessment system, which assesses the ecological status of rivers by their invertebrate fauna and for several national adaptations of the system.
As a member of the Executive Committee of EURO-LIMPACS he organized the development of a Europe-wide trait database for macroinvertebrates, diatoms and fish (www.freshwaterecology.info). Together with Dr. Christian Feld he has coordinated the EU-funded project WISER.
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Christian K. Feld

Christian K. Feld (PhD) has expertise in river assessment, multivariate statistics, hydromorphology, and the analysis of biodiversity patterns. He was coordinator of several national and INTERREG projects and workpackage leader in the FP6 Coordination Action RUBICODE. Together with Daniel Hering, he was coordinating the EU-funded project WISER.
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Sebastian Birk


Sebastian Birk (PhD)is environmental scientist and was mainly working on the intercalibration of assessment systems, the assessment and management of Heavily Modified Waterbodies and on aquatic macrophytes. Within BioFresh, he is mainly working in WP6 (multiple stressors), in particular on how multiple stressors affect the fauna and vegetation of ponds.
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Jörg Strackbein

Joerg Strackbein
Jörg Strackbein (scientist) has expertise in multiple IT fields. He is involved in several research projects of the working group and responsible for technical aspects of databases, websites, intranet management and also for publication of dissemination materials, graphics and layout aspects.
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April 2013 - News

The Issue 06 of the BioFresh Newsletter is out now.

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Annual BioFresh meeting - News

The 4th annual BioFresh meeting is just around the corner! The focus of this year’s meeting will be on the interface between science and policy and making freshwater biodiversity science more politically influential.

The fourth annual meeting of the BioFresh project will be held next week from April 15-19 in the trendy Germany city of Leipzig. The slogan of this year’s meeting is “BioFresh goes political”, which captures the focus of linking BioFresh science with policy and conservation outcomes. The meeting is a chance for members from our 19 partner organisations of the BioFresh team to get together and assess the progress of the previous 3 years and discuss plans for the final phase of the BioFresh project.

July 2012 - News

The Issue 05 of the BioFresh Newsletter is out now.

read more and download

December 2012 - News

New DAET maps available. The BioFresh contingency fund serves as additional support for non-partner organisations to adapt, complete and submit databases that are of interest for BioFresh.

NATURE paper - News

NATURE paper: Cryptic biodiversity loss linked to global climate change

Climate impacts on biodiversity are usually assessed at the morphospecies level with effects at the genetic level less well studied. Now research into the distribution and mitochondrial DNA variability of nine mountain-dwelling insect species shows that range contractions will be accompanied by severe loss of genetic diversity as the climate warms, implying that conventional assessments may underestimate losses.

Read more on the Nature website

Freshwater: the essence of life - News

Scientists and photographers joined their efforts to publish a large-format illustrated book in the CEMEX conservation book series on “Freshwater: The Essence of Life”.  The book was coordinated by Conservation International and involved scientists from all over the world, including many BioFresh partners.  They contributed to the different chapters drawing a picture of the amazing richness of freshwater ecosystems, and raising awareness on why Earth’s freshwater supplies and systems are in peril. These ecosystems have proved resilient throughout millennia, but in the last few decades, human activities have drastically modified and destroyed them to the point of alarm. The book was launched on December 6th in Cancun at the UNFCCC COP 16.

Freshwater: The essence of life. (2010).Russell A. Mittermeier, Tracy A. Farrell, Ian J. Harrison, Amy J. Upgren, Thomas M. Brooks.  Series editor: Cristina Goettsch Mittermeier

For more information visit the Conservation International website.

A short animation: What is BioFresh? - News

We’re delighted to present a short animation produced by Paul Jepson and colleagues at Oxford University which outlines BioFresh’s work in helping improve the protection and management of global freshwater ecosystems.

View animation

Water lives - News

“Water Lives…” is a new science communication animation designed to draw attention to the important (yet largely invisible) biodiversity which underpins and sustains our freshwater ecosystems. Produced by Rob St.John and Paul Jepson at the School of Geography and the Environment for BioFresh the animation brings artists and scientists together to collaborate and communicate the concept the idea that freshwater is more than an inert resource: instead a living, dynamic system inhabited by beautiful, important organisms largely unseen by the naked eye. “Water Lives…” invites viewers to engage with their freshwater environments, perhaps value them in new ways and engage with how they should be managed [...]

Read more and watch the film on the BioFresh blog

Protect the “Amazon of Europe” - News

Danube’s most valuable and best preserved floodplain system along its entire 2,850 kilometers length is threatened with destruction: the "Kopački Rit" in Croatia. A major project to regulate this unique region is currently in the final stage of decision. If the project becomes reality, the natural Danube will be transformed into a monotonous canal, with fatal consequences for its wildlife: The white-tailed eagle, the black stork and the Danube sturgeon would be in severe danger of extinction.

For more ínformation go to www.amazon-of-europe.com

Interessting blog - News

National Geographic’s Freshwater Initiative "Water Currents is part of the National Geographic Society’s freshwater initiative, a global effort to inspire and empower individuals and communities to conserve freshwater and preserve the extraordinary diversity of life that rivers, lakes, and wetlands sustain..." (from NG's website)

Read more on newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/blog/water-currents/