(Photo: Steiner Jonas)


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“Ecology requires us to look and look again at nature with the eyes of a child”

Ramon Margalef (1919–2004)

our Work


We study plankton communities in their natural environment, with the idea of not interfering with species interactions and dynamics. Our objectives are to study bottom-up (e.g. water physics and chemistry changes like climate warming and eutrophication) and top-down (natural enemies like parasites and grazers) controls of plankton community change. We want to understand interactions and mechanisms that regulate community composition and relative abundances of species, and predict community dynamics across scales of space and time, including the forecasting of cyanobacterial blooms.


We collect in situ readouts of simultaneous physical, chemical, and biological observations at high frequency and spatial resolutions, including morphological traits of individual organisms (size, shape, and pigments). We count and phenotypically characterise interacting plankton species by combining automated scanning flow-cytometry (organismal size range 1 um – 1 mm) with underwater high resolution imaging. Data are gathered over spring and summer in three Swiss lakes of different trophic state and across relevant temporal and spatial ecological gradients.

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