Research "Community Ecology & Ecotoxicology"


Our research is concerned with multiple stressors in agricultural landscapes and has a focus on the effects of pesticides on terrestrial biodiversity and communities. We study the interactions between species on different spatial and temporal scales and try to understand patterns such as variation in species richness, productivity and food web structure and processes of community assembly.


Additionally to recognised stressors such as habitat destruction or disease we consider pesticides effects to explain observed biodiversity patterns and especially food web disruption gets our attention.

If you are interested in doing your Research Project Courses (RPC) and Master theses in our group, please have a look here: Theses opportunities 

 Current Research Projects

  • Experimental investigations into the main risks of insect populations (InsectExpo). (Carolina Honert) more info.
  • Diversity of insects in nature conservation areas (DINA). more info
  • Integrative analysis of the analysis of pesticides and landuse on biodiversity in Germany (INPEDIV). more info
  • Amphibian Ecology – The mosquito control biocide Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti) directly and indirectly affects amphibians and their role in terrestrial ecosystems. (Verena Gerstle) more info
  • Beta diversity patterns of ants in Borneo. more info

Current Studies

  • Fungicide residues of nocturnal flying insects using three sampling methodologies and their relation to bat diet. (Fabian Daza) Master thesis more info


    Former Research Projects 

    • The impact of pesticides on amphibians: Effects of environmentally relevant pesticide mixtures and formulations on German Anura. (Elena Adamsmore info
    • Development of mosquito control concepts in conformity with nature conservation (Stefanie Allgeier) more Info.
    • Insecticide effects on wild bee species and their ecosystem services (Philipp Uhl) more Info
    • Amphibians in the agricultural landscape - direct and indirect effects on population connectivity and viability. (Patrick Lenhardt) more Info
    • HERPESTI. Characterizing the risk of pesticide use on amphibian and reptile populations based on multiple, ecologically relevant responses (Dr. Manuel E. Ortiz Santaliestra) more Info
    • bap (biodiversity assessment of pesticides): Biodiversity protection in the regulation of environmental risks of pesticides. (Melanie Hahn) more Info
    • The influence of pesticides and fertiliser on the fauna and flora of a surrogate field margin. (Juliane Schmitz) more Info
    • Bats in the agricultural landscape – direct and indirect effects of pesticides and management practice. (Peter Stahlschmidt) more Info

    Former Studies

    • Sensitivity of macrophytes to the herbicide diquat dibromide grown singly and in mesocosms (Verena Sesin, Master thesis). more Info
    • Influence of organic matter on the toxicity of imidacloprid to the springtail Folsomia candida (Afolarin Ogungbemi, Master thesis). more Info
    • Environmental and Health costs Assessment of Pesticide use in Potato Farming in Nepal (Kripaa Dahal, Master thesis). more Info
    • Lethal and sublethal of dimethoate and λ-cyhalothrin on bumble bee workers in lab and semi-field design (Eva Eschenbach, Master thesis) more Info
    • The red mason bee Osmia bicornis under the influence of pesticide stress and food availability (Claudia Wollmann, Master thesis). more Info
    • Indirect effects of the mosquito control agent  Bacillus thuringiensis var. israelensis on bat activity in Southwest Germany: a case study (André Ehlert, Master thesis)
    • The impact of Bti-based mosquito control in seasonal wetlands on aquatic emergence and benthos (Anna Kästel, Master thesis)
    • The impact of regular Bacillus thuringiensis var. israelensis (Bti) treatments on newts (Amphibia: Caudata) in temporary flooded wetlands near Neustadt (Weinstraße) Stefanie Allgeier Master thesis
    • Effects of pesticides and fertilizer on different plant species in greenhouse tests. (Lisa Ressl, Diploma thesis) more Info
    • Effects of cultivation and greening of vineyards on ants in Palatinate (Tabea Gummer, Diploma thesis) more Info
    • Evaluation of acute glyphosate sensitivity of non-target wild plant species compared to crop species based on OECD Guideline 227 (Vegetative Vigour Test) (Julia Brack, Master thesis) more Info
    • Eutrophication potentiel of an OP flame retardand - tests with single celled algae (Sie Yung Law, Master thesis)
    • Effects of insecticides exposure on the behavior of ground beetles (Stefan-Bogdan Dehelean, Master thesis)
    • Vergleichende Untersuchung zur Fledermausaktivität oberhalb und unterhalb der Baumkronen im 
      Gebiet des Pfälzerwalds  (Arne Jach, Diploma thesis)
    • Reintroduction of the ‘Critically Endangered’ Delacour’s langur (Trachypithecus delacouri) in  Van Long Nature Reserve, Ninh Binh Province, Vietnam  (Sarah Elser, Diploma thesis)
    • Land snail communities in agricultural crops and their field margins  (Klaus Swarowsky, Master thesis)
    • Impacts of field margin relevant herbicide and fertilizer deposition on appearance, flower generation and reproduction of different non-target plants. (Karoline Schäfer, Diploma thesis) more Info
    • Impact of agrochemicals on spider diversity in field margins (Marcus Metz, Diploma thesis) more Info
    • Comparative study of bat activity above and below the canopy in the Palatinate Forest area (Arne Jach, Diploma thesis) more Info
    • Effekte von Herbiziden auf phytophage Insekten am Beispiel der Kohleule Mamestra brassicae (Martin Geisthardt, Diploma thesis) more Info
    • Snail diversity in field margins in the agricultural landscape. (Klaus Swarowsky, Diploma thesis) more Info
    • Bestimmung der Rückstandsdynamik von Chlorphyrifos-methyl und Fenoxycarb auf nachtaktive Arthropodengemeinschaften – Eine Freilandstudie im Obstbau mit dem Ziel einer Risikoabschätzung für Fledermäuse (Lea Roos, Diploma thesis)
    • Untersuchung zum Einfluss des Dünger-, Herbizid- und Insektizideintrags auf die Biodiversität von Feldsäumen am Beispiel von Zikaden (Auchenorrhyncha) (Timo Felix, Diploma thesis)
    • Mapping and extrapolating Beta diversity of ants in Borneo. (Tobias Reich, Diploma thesis) more Info
    • Ökotoxikologie von Amphibien: Effekte von Pflanzenschutzmitteln auf juvenile Grasfrösche (Rana temporaria) bei umweltrelevanter terrestrischer Exposition (Annika Alscher, Diploma thesis)
    • Development of a pollen feeding design for the ecotoxicological risk assessment of the honey bee. (Jörg Staffel, Diploma thesis)
    • A modelling approach for the movement of amphibians in the agricultural landscape and their exposure towards pesticides. (Patrick Lenhardt, Diploma thesis) more Info
    • Untersuchung zur Eignung von Feldsäumen verschiedener landwirtschaftlicher Kulturen als Entwicklungshabitat für Schmetterlingsraupen (Lepidoptera) unter Berücksichtigung der Auswirkungen von Agrarchemikalieneinträgen - eine quantitative Analyse - (Annalena Schotthöfer, Diploma thesis) more Info
    • Auswirkungen von Pflanzenschutzmitteln auf terrestrische Nicht-Ziel-Pflanzen Sensitivitätsvergleich von nah verwandten Kultur- und Wildpflanzenarten gegenüber einem Breitbandherbizid (Bianca Vielhauer, Diploma thesis) more Info
    • The diversity and abundance of nocturnal insects in the agricultural landscape with a focus on moths. (Melanie Hahn, Diploma thesis) more Info
    • The exposure of grasshoppers (Orthoptera: Saltatoria) towards the drift of pesticides. (Rebecca Pierstorf, Diploma thesis) more Info
    • The effects of pesticides drift on phytophagous insects with a focus on grasshoppers and butterflies – a literature review (Juliane Schmitz). more Info
    • Pesticide Riskassessement for non-target arthropods: a comparison of the sensitivity of Drosophila funebris and Drosophila melanogaster against Aphidius rhopalosiphi. (Stefan Kimmel)
    • Food ecology of the wood mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus) : de-husking behaviour and its impact on seed treatment risk assessment. (Bernd Guckenmus) more Info
    • Evaluating arthropods in bufferstrips in the agricultural landscape: Food availability for amphibians. (Brigitte Weber, Diploma thesis) more Info
    • Composition of the amphibian community in rain water retention ponds. (Silke Bischof, Diploma thesis)