BSc and MSc theses in the team “Functional Aquatic Ecotoxicology”

Interested in pesticide-induced effects in autotrophic food webs in streams? The team “Functional Aquatic Ecotoxicology” offers theses dealing with pesticide impacts on biofilm-grazer systems.

Stream ecosystem containing biofilms (photo by

Autotrophic biofilms, mainly consisting of algae and bacteria, are an essential energy and nutrient source in aquatic ecosystems. These biofilms are consumed by so-called grazers (e.g., mayfly and caddisfly larvae), which in turn function as key links in associated food webs, for instance by serving as prey for other animals.

When pesticides enter aquatic ecosystems, they can affect both biofilms and grazers by waterborne exposure. Moreover, pesticide-induced shifts in the biofilm’s community composition may influence its quality as food source for grazers. Thus, indirect effects on the grazer’s physiological fitness and functional performance could be expected.

The offered BSc and MSc theses aim at assessing different aspects related to pesticide impacts on biofilm-grazer systems. We are a young and motivated team offering you an opportunity to gain experience in experimental planning and laboratory work, as well as to acquire analytical skills. You are invited to contribute your own ideas and research questions. If you are interested in the project and would like to receive more information, feel free to contact us:

Marco Konschak ( & Jochen Zubrod (