Member of the

Freshwater Information Platform


Universitaet für Bodenkultur Wien - Institute of Hydrobiology and Aquatic Ecosystem Management

The Institute of Hydrobiology and Aquatic Ecosystem Management (IHG) at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU) is one of six institutes within the Department of Water, Atmosphere and Environment (WAU).

IHG is an interdisciplinary group of aquatic ecologists, landscape ecologists, river engineers and historians organised in four groups (Fish Ecology, Benhtic Ecology, Aquatic Ecosystem Modelling, Landscape Planning and Management). The staff includes six permanent scientists, 30 PhD candidates and post-docs, and three technical and administrative staff members. Research focuses on fish and benthic invertebrates, riverine habitat and landscape management.

IHG has played a key role in the Europe-wide development of WFD compliant assessment systems for rivers, particularly in the EU projects AQEM, STAR, FAME and EFI+ and is now involved in WISER dealing with the WFD implementation. IHG has experiences in assessing effects of global/climate change on freshwater ecosystems (Euro-limpacs, REFRESH) including effects of invasive species. IHG has developed competence in river management and restoration within eight EU LIFE-Nature projects. Research projects outside of Europe complement the experience in the area of bio-assessment (ASSESS-HKH) and aquaculture (BOMOSA).

Astrid Schmidt-Kloiber

Astrid Schmidt-Kloiber
Astrid Schmidt-Kloiber (PhD) is a river ecologist with expertise in database design, set-up and management of (web-based) databases. Her main task during the last years was the establishment of freshwaterecology.info, a Europe-wide trait database for macro invertebrates, fish, diatoms and macrophytes. She has a background on river benthic invertebrates and experiences in multivariate statistics. She is editor of the book series “Distribution and Ecological Preferences of European Freshwater Organisms” (together with Daniel Hering, UDE), published by Pensoft Publishers.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Andreas Melcher

Andy Melcher
Andreas Melcher (PhD) is a senior scientist for fish ecology and environmental data analyses and has more than 15 years experience in working and coordinating national and international research projects. He is also member of the BOKU CDR (centre for development research) working group. He has special expertise on assessment methods for the ecological status of running waters, aquatic ecosystem modelling and effects of climate change on freshwater fish. He gave many oral presentations and is author of several reports and peer-reviewed publications.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Stefan Schmutz

Stefan Schmutz
Stefan Schmutz (PhD) is professor for Aquatic Ecology and working group leader (fish) with experience in coordinating EU projects focusing on fish-based assessment methods (FAME, EFI+). He has published more than 50 scientific papers (30+ ISI publications). He has expertise in fish conservation, fish passes, climate change, river restoration and river management.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Wolfram Graf

Wolfram Graf
Wolfram Graf (PhD) is a biologist with expertise in taxonomy, biodiversity and ecology of benthic invertebrates (Plecoptera, Trichoptera). His main focus is on ecoregional distribution and biogeography, as well as on species traits and ecological preferences of invertebrates. He is one of Europe’s leading experts in aquatic entomology who described many hitherto unknown adult taxa and larvae and who co-authored the "Atlas of Central-European caddisfly larvae".
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

April 2013 - News

The Issue 06 of the BioFresh Newsletter is out now.

read more and download

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/