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Research Unit

Water Resources and Environment

Programme 2024

Helen Jarvie    

Biogeochemical cycling of nutrients along the land-river continuum: implications for eutrophication risk, resilience and recovery

Tuesday, 7 May 2024, 3 p.m.

Seminar Room 1, Brückstr. 3a, Magdeburg    

Nutrients (nitrogen, N, and phosphorus, P) from agriculture and domestic wastewater, are a major cause of eutrophication and water-quality impairment. Nutrient biogeochemical cycling processes along the land-river continuum can play an important role in regulating downstream nutrient transport, mediating nutrient supplies to receiving waters. Nutrient cycling processes are often quantified from relatively short-term, localized process measurements, which can be challenging to extrapolate in space and time. Hydrochemical monitoring, combining ambient tracers, stoichiometry and water body metabolism, offer opportunities to explore the cumulative effects of nutrient sources and biogeochemical cycling processes on downstream nutrient transmission. Using hydrochemical case studies from Canada, the U.S. and the U.K., this presentation will explore nutrient retention and release along the land-river continuum, and the implications for nutrient legacies, nutrient source apportionment, and eutrophication risk, resilience and recovery. Consequently, to protect river biota, a shift to more sustainable agricultural practices like reducing pesticide application is urgently required.

Bodo Philipp

Microbial interaction with synthetic chemicals: adaptation to the Anthropocene?

Monday, 11 March 2024, 3 p.m.
Seminar Room 1, Brückstr. 3a, Magdeburg    

Our industrial society is constantly disposing synthetic materials and chemical compounds, which have no natural equivalents, to the environment. Plastic and pharmaceuticals are prominent examples for this kind of pollution. Microorganisms in our environment are inevitably confronted with these xenobiotic compounds. In this seminar, two examples of how microorganisms interact with synthetic compounds will be addressed. First, it will be presented how photoautotrophic microalgae and heterotrophic bacteria form biofilm communities on plastic surfaces in freshwater settings and how this could be used for ecotoxicological studies. To this end, metabolic interactions of microalgae and bacteria will be illustrated by a specific example. Second, we will address the microbial degradation of synthetic organic compounds in wastewater. Here, a microbiome study of an activated carbon filter for the removal of micropollutants and the evolution of a metabolic pathway for the degradation of a synthetic pharmaceutical compound will be presented. In conclusion, these two examples will be merged to give a perspective for the microbial degradation of plastic materials including their additives.

Lina Stein

Research gaps and research needs - Mining the scientific literature reveals global biases in hydro-hazard research

Monday, 26 February 2024, 3 p.m.
room E01 A, Theodor-Lieser-Straße 4, Halle

Dr Lina Stein is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Potsdam in the Analysis of Hydrologic Systems group. Her research focus is knowledge synthesis in hydrology, where she uses text-as-data methods to extract hydro-hazards knowledge. She was awarded her PhD from the University of Bristol, UK, in 2021 for her thesis on flood generating processes. She has a background in environmental science and hydrology from her degrees at the University of Freiburg, DE.

Jana Isanta-Navarro

Changing life in lakes - human impacts on trophic interactions

Monday, 19 February 2024, 3 p.m.
Brückstraße 3a, 39114 Magdeburg, Seminar Room

The Anthropocene is characterized by rapidly changing environments. Human activities have caused or intensified stress on ecological communities and the species within them. Stressors, influencing survival and reproduction, result in altered selective pressures on organisms. Adaptive responses to altered selection pressure can range from physiological phenotypic plasticity to changes in the microbiome, and evolutionary adaptation. These responses can in turn feedback on ecological processes at the population and community level with consequences for the entire ecosystem functioning. Adaptive responses to stress can prevent or promote abrupt transitions between alternative stable states of ecosystems. Understanding the complexity of interacting ecological and evolutionary processes ecological communities use to deal with their changing world is highly needed if we want to predict, plan for, and manage societal effects of climate change.
Join me here in exploring how ecosystem change can lead to evolutionary change in plankton communities of lake ecosystems.    

Ann-Marie Waldvogel

Long-term ecological research project REES - Using genomics to measure freshwater eco-evolutionary processes in the field

Monday, 22 January 2024, 3 p.m.
Brückstraße 3a, 39114 Magdeburg, Seminar Room

How do freshwater ecosystems react to changing environmental conditions and to what extent can
these changes be captured in the dynamics of eco-evolutionary processes? The project REES ('Rhine
Eco-Evolutionary System') aims at the long-term assessment of eco-evolutionary interactions in the
Rhine as a limnic habitat under consideration of diverse associated water bodies. The study area
includes the main flow channel of the Rhine (km 845, North Rhine-Westphalia), as well as Rhine
oxbows, Rhine water-fed gravel pit lakes in ecological succession and the surrounding floodplain
(Rees, district of Kleve). The extensive system of standing and flowing freshwater bodies covered in
the REES study site allows the investigation of dynamic variations in biodiversity composition at all
levels, from species diversity of communities to genomic diversity at the molecular level of individuals
and populations. Along a selected trophic cascade, representative species will be long-term observed
and analysed ecologically and especially also (population-)genomically. The incorporation of
ecological genomics is the core aspect of this LTER-D (German network of the Long-Term Ecological
Research) project, which is intended to capture the feedback of evolutionary changes on the
ecological system. Population genomic approaches can be used to infer both evolutionary and
ecological processes from genomic data. To cope with the dimension of this project, REES is
designed as an interdisciplinary collaboration project and currently counts four project partners with
corresponding subordinate projects.


7 May 2024
Helen Jarvie (University of Waterloo/ Canada)

11 March 2024
Bodo Philipp (University Münster)

26 February 2024
Lina Stein (University Potsdam)

19 February 2024
Jana Isanta-Navarro  (University of Copenhagen)

22 January 2024
Ann-Marie Waldvogel (University Cologne)


27 November 2023 - UFZ-Magdeburg
Christian Shürings (University Duisburg-Essen)

16 November 2023 - UFZ-Magdeburg
Emanuel Wyler (Max Delbrück Center, Berlin)

13 November 2023 - UFZ-Magdeburg
Thad Scott  (Center for Reservoir and Aquatic Systems Research, Baylor University)

16 October 2023 - UFZ-Magdeburg
Dominik Martin-Creuzburg  (BTU Cottbus)

5 October 2023 - UFZ-Magdeburg
Jorrit Mesman (Uppsala University, Sweden)

18 September 2023 - UFZ-Magdeburg
Carsten Simon (Department of Analytical Chemistry, UFZ-Leipzig)

19 June 2023 - UFZ-Magdeburg
Matthias Schmidt (Department of Isotope Biogeochemistry UFZ)

30 May 2023 - UFZ-Magdeburg
Norbert Jardin (Ruhrverband Essen)

17 April 2023 - UFZ-Magdeburg
Alexander Wacker (University of Greifswald, Zoological Institute and Museum, Dept. Animal Ecology)

20 March 2023 - UFZ-Magdeburg
Michael Hügler (TZW Karlsruhe: DVGW-Technologiezentrum Wasser)

6 March 2023 - UFZ-Magdeburg
Matthias Mauder (TU Dresden, Lehrstuhl für Meteorologie)

20 February 2023 - UFZ-Magdeburg
Alo Laas, Krista Alikas & Kersti Kangro (Estonian University of Life Sciences, Tartu, Estonia)

10 January 2023 - UFZ-Magdeburg
Peter Frenzel & Thomas Kasper (Uni Jena)