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Department of Ecology, University of Debrecen, Hungary (UD)

The University of Debrecen (UD), established in 2000, is the legal successor to the Reformed College of Debrecen, founded in 1538. With nearly 30 000 students and 1400 instructors, 15 faculties and 21 doctoral schools, UD is among the three largest universities and top research institutions in Hungary, producing c. 15% of the total research volume in the country. The Department of Ecology teaches basic and advanced courses in ecology and conservation biology. Research interests are in quantitative and conservation ecology, focusing on (i) quantitative methods to describe diversity patterns, (ii) long-term ecological processes and spatial heterogeneity in aquatic and forest ecosystems, and (iii) restoration and management of aquatic and terrestrial habitats to increase landscape biodiversity. The Department oversees long-term research at the Síkf?kút LTER Site and in the World Heritage Hortobágy National Park, contributes analytical and synthetic knowledge in biodiversity research at other UD departments and coordinates such research in several national parks. UD has participated in four FP6 or FP7 projects (MACMAN, EUMON, GEM-CON-BIO, SCALES).

Béla Tóthmérész

Béla Tóthmérész (PhD) is full Professor of Ecology, Head of the Department of Ecology and director of the Environmental Sciences Doctoral School at UD. He also serves as the current president of the Hungarian Ecological Society. Dr. Tóthmérész is a well-known expert in statistical ecology and biodiversity. He is the author of two books, 100+ scientific papers with 600+ citations, the developer of the NuCoSA and DivOrd analytical software widely used in quantitative ecology, and regularly reviews articles for high-profile international journals. His current research interests include statistical ecology and landscape ecology, especially habitat fragmentation, urbanisation, edge effects, diversity measuring and management techniques.


Szabolcs Lengyel

Szabolcs Lengyel (PhD), an Assistant Professor at UD since 2006, received his PhD in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology in 2001. His background is in waterbird ecology and behaviour. He currently studies the impact of habitat restoration and management on biodiversity of semi-natural landscape mosaics, and the theory and practice of biodiversity monitoring. Research collaborations are in plant-insect relationships, coevolution and aquatic ecology (impacts of river dams; alkali lakes; mayfly population ecology). He has developed and coordinated two EU LIFE-Nature conservation projects and has contributed to four EU FP6 and FP7 projects (MACMAN, EUMON, GEM-CON-BIO, SCALES).


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.

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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/