I am river ecologist with research interests mostly related to the modelling of spatial patterns and processes like species-habitat relationships (e.g. species distribution models, habitat suitability models) or dispersal of biota to aid conservation and management of rivers. In particular, I am interested in the development and application of free and open source (geospatial) software (FOSS) for the investigation of various aspects of riverine ecology.
Currently, I am postdoc at the Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB), Berlin working in the lab of Christian Wolter (River revitalisation) within the European Horizon 2020 project Fithydro (Fishfriendly Innovative Technologies For Hydropower). Within this research project I am mainly interested in the evaluation of the cumulative impacts of hydropower on fish populations and to develop corresponding assessment and modelling tools. In addition, I am guest researcher at the Research Group on Ecology of Inland Waters (GRECO), Institute of Aquatic Ecology at the University of Girona, Spain.
My previous postdoctoral research was at the IGB Berlin involved in the European BiodivERsA project FISHCON (Biodiversity scenarios for fragmented landscapes; freshwater connectivity and the future of fish diversity, 2012-2015) and at the University of Girona (lab of Emili García-Berthou) in the European BiodivERsA project ODYSSEUS (Between Scylla and Charybdis – managing connectivity for freshwater fish, 2017-2019). Within this European research I was studying the effects of how longitudinal connectivity and future global change jointly affect fish assemblages, with a particular focus on non-native fish invasions in the Mediterranean River Ebro. My core interest within previous projects was mainly related to species distribution and fish dispersal modelling at various spatial scales ranging from small sub catchments to large European river catchments (River Elbe, River Ebro).
In 2014, I received my doctoral degree at the Faculty of Life Sciences, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Germany. My PhD work focussed on modelling fish dispersal and assessing fish assemblages in catchments affected by multiple pressures. The research work was conducted within the European IWRM-NET project IMPACT (Developing an Integrated Model to Predict Abiotic Habitat Conditions and Biota of Rivers Application in Climate Change Research and Water Management, 2010-2014) at the Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB) in Berlin, Germany (C. Wolter). A main outcome of this project is the fish dispersal model FIDIMO, a spatially explicit model (based on the free and open source GRASS GIS) to predict and simulate fish movement in fragmented river networks under consideration of differently mobile individuals.
While I was working mainly with fish during the last years, I did my diploma thesis (2010) on aquatic macroinvertebrates and their habitat in an anthropogenically impacted river ecosystem. In particular, I investigated the effects of impounding on macroinvertebrates assemblages with special emphasis on the influence of changed hydromorphological conditions. I did my diploma studies (2003-2010) in Environmental Land- and Water Management at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU) in Vienna (Austria). During my studies, I was working as a student assistant at the Institute of Hydrobiology and Aquatic Ecosystem Management, Workgroup Benthic River Ecology (O. Moog), BOKU, Vienna for two years.