My research group focuses on empirical and experimental studies to understand the effects of individual and multiple environmental factors on plankton dynamics (with a focus on phytoplankton) and their trophic interactions in complex natural aquatic communities. In the context of climatic changes and increasing anthropogenic stress, we study the effects of browning and eutrophication of lakes, artificial light at night, changes in winter ice cover and connectivity on pelagic food webs in lakes, and interactions such as chytrid-phytoplankton interactions, mixotrophy (i.e., bacterivory of mixotrophic flagellates and ciliates), and micro- mesozooplankton grazing. The IGB LakeLab serves as a research platform for large-scale experiments to investigate the effect of multiple and individual environmental factors on aquatic food webs and to understand mechanisms, as well as a test platform for calibration of instruments and alignment of in-situ sensors and remote sensing devices. My laboratory is equipped with semi-automated plankton analysis instruments (FlowCam, ImageStream) and AI-based fully automated plankton analysis software is under further development.
Gary Gottschall (Freiwilliges Ökologisches Jahr/Ecological Service, 2020-2021)
Katharina Görden (Master Student, 2015)
Cleo Stratmann (Master Student, Assistant, 2015-2016)