Institute of Geosystems and Bioindication


left to right: Alexandra Müller, Prof. Dr. Antje Schwalb, M.Sc. Felix Nieberding, Dr. Nicole Börner, M.Sc. Kim Krahn, M.Sc. Wengang Kang, Daniela Misch, Dr. Anja Schwarz, M.Sc. Andreas Laug, Dr. Sandra Böddeker, Dipl-Biol. Hilde Rupp, M.Sc. Paula Gabriela Echeverría Galindo, Dr. Katrin Naumann, Dr. Liseth Carolina Pérez, Michael Klopschar

The „IGeo“ represents an interface between basic and applied research. We are interested in natural climate variability as well as climate and human impact on aquatic ecosystems in both urban and remote, near-natural regions.

Our core areas in research and teaching are based on geoscientific, limnological, ecological and sediment-geological methods, GIS-based landscape reconstructions, and bioindication, the analysis and application of organisms as environmental and climate indicators. We use sediments as environmental archives for long-term monitoring of aquatic ecosystem dynamics.

We train our students in geo-ecosystem understanding so that they are well prepared to assess interdependencies and feedbacks within and outside the geo-ecosystem. Students are qualified for employments in the fields of landscape management, water quality assessment, conservation, (paleo-) climate research and able to develop concepts for environmental protection, especially under the aspects of future climate development and landuse, or to collaborate in international and interdisciplinary research programs.


»Core Research Areas

Main focus of research is the assessment of regional effects of global climate change and the analysis of the processes that formed our immediate environment. Research projects address, for example:

  • Mechanisms and processes of aquatic geo-ecosystems and regional environmental dynamics from the perspective of lakes
  • Anthropogenic impacts on lake ecosystems; eutrophication, re-oligotrophication, resilience
  • Modern, past and future ecology, limnology, hydrology, climatology, biogeography
  • Climate patterns and hydrologic extremes such as recurrent droughts and floods
  • Teleconnections and causes of climate change through data-model-comparisons
  • Infer quatitative climate and enviromental information from bioindicators
  • Development of new indicators (proxies)
  • Paleoenvironmental records from ancient lakes
  • Interaction between humans, landscape and climate
  • International research cooperations for sustainable use of ressources



  • Microscopic bioindicator analysis, especially ecology and taxonomy of diatoms and ostracodes
  • Micro- and macrophotography
  • Analysis of physical and chemical water and sediment parameters
  • GIS-based landscape reconstruction and visualization of organism distribution patterns
  • Stable isotope analysis (in cooperation with non-university research institutions)
  • Moleculargenetics (in cooperation with Institute for Zoology, Fakultät 2)



All projects are interdisciplinary collaborations with institutions and universities in Germany and several other countries. All projects, including student research assistants, are financed by third-party-funding (DFG, BMBF, DAAD, MWK).

  last changed 09.08.2018
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