Light Pollution and Ecophysiology

Research group of Franz Hölker
Bild: Manfrin et al. Front. Environ. Sci. 5:61

Conceptual figure depicting how artificial light at night (ALAN) increases the flux of aquatic insects into the riparian area through an increase in emergence under lamps and increased attraction of aquatic insects to light. The community of riparian ground-dwelling predators and scavengers is altered in the lit area and some night-active riparian spiders extend their activity into the day. Both likely are the result of the large increase in input of freshwater-derived prey. | Image: Manfrin et al. Front. Environ. Sci. 5:61, doi: 10.3389/fenvs.2017.00061

Artificial light at night is widespread and increasing at a rate of around 2-6% a year worldwide. Because it has been introduced in places, times and at intensities at which it does not naturally occur, artificial light has becoming a potential threat to biodiversity. Despite the ubiquity of artificial light, its effects on ecosystems, especially freshwaters, have not yet been extensively studied. Our research thus largely focuses on biological impacts of artificial light on a wide range of biological processes, from gene expression to land-water-interactions and ecosystem functions. At the moment we are running large-scale field experiments at two different ecosystems: we assess the impact of streetlights on grassland-ditch systems in the Dark Sky reserve Westhavelland (BfN/BMUB) and the impact of simulated skyglow at LakeLab in Lake Stechlin (SAW ILES). Another important research domain is getting a comprehensive quantitative understanding of the amount of light in the nocturnal (SAW ILES) and the diurnal (IGB-Frontiers, SAW CONNECT) environment in a combination of satellite and ground based measurements for monitoring of and with light (remote sensing). In addition, our aim is to directly transfer knowledge into society, e.g. in a combination of transdisciplinary communication and citizen science involvement (EU Horizon-2020 STARS4ALL, BfN/BMUB). 

Team

Franz Hölker

Programme Area Speaker
Research group
Light Pollution and Ecophysiology

Sarah Kiefer

Project Coordinator
Research group
Light Pollution and Ecophysiology

Sophia Kimmig

Project Coordinator
Research group
Light Pollution and Ecophysiology
Ecological Novelty

Tobias Degen

Postdoc
Research group
Light Pollution and Ecophysiology

Maja Grubisic

Postdoc
Research group
Light Pollution and Ecophysiology

Stefan Heller

Research Technician
Research group
Light Pollution and Ecophysiology

Hauke Dämpfling

Research Technician
Research group
Light Pollution and Ecophysiology
Landscape Ecohydrology
Ground Water-Surface Water Interactions

James Campbell

Doctoral Student
Research group
Light Pollution and Ecophysiology

Andreas Jechow

Guest Scientist
Research group
Light Pollution and Ecophysiology
Phytoplankton Ecology

Nele Russy

Student Assistant
Research group
Light Pollution and Ecophysiology

Sven Lemke

Student Assistant
Research group
Light Pollution and Ecophysiology

Isabell Leppin

Student (BA/MA)
Research group
Light Pollution and Ecophysiology
Molecular Ecology and Genomics

Sibylle Schroer

Scientific Coordinator Sustainability Research
Research group
Light Pollution and Ecophysiology
Alumni

Scientists

Students

  • Carsten Weißenborn (Master FU Berlin)
  • Nadine Weiß (Diplom FU Berlin)
  • Nina-Sophie Weiß (Master FU Berlin)
  • Judith Kühne (Master FU Berlin)
  • Simon Hansul (Master FU Berlin)
  • Olivia Weis (Master FU Berlin)
  • Mona Storms (Master FU Berlin)
  • Michele Bonazzi (Master Universität Trento)
  • Hannes Schäricke (Bachelor Hochschule Zittau/Görlitz)
  • Alina Filipp (Bachelor HU Berlin)
  • Anna Slopianka (Bachelor HU Berlin)
  • Pauline Staroske (Bachelor FU Berlin)
Selected publications

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