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.

Contact us directly if you are interested in participating in our Research Project Courses (RPC) and Master theses in our group.

Former Studies

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

  • Sensitivity of macrophytes to the herbicide diquat dibromide grown singly and in mesocosms (Verena Sesin, Master thesis). 

  • Influence of organic matter on the toxicity of imidacloprid to the springtail Folsomia candida (Afolarin Ogungbemi, Master thesis). 

  • Environmental and Health costs Assessment of Pesticide use in Potato Farming in Nepal (Kripaa Dahal, Master thesis). 

  • Lethal and sublethal of dimethoate and λ-cyhalothrin on bumble bee workers in lab and semi-field design (Eva Eschenbach, Master thesis) 

  • The red mason bee Osmia bicornis under the influence of pesticide stress and food availability (Claudia Wollmann, Master thesis). 

  • 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) 

  • Effects of cultivation and greening of vineyards on ants in Palatinate (Tabea Gummer, Diploma thesis)

  • 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) 

  • 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) 

  • Impact of agrochemicals on spider diversity in field margins (Marcus Metz, Diploma thesis) 

  • Comparative study of bat activity above and below the canopy in the Palatinate Forest area (Arne Jach, Diploma thesis) 

  • Effekte von Herbiziden auf phytophage Insekten am Beispiel der Kohleule Mamestra brassicae (Martin Geisthardt, Diploma thesis) 

  • Snail diversity in field margins in the agricultural landscape. (Klaus Swarowsky, Diploma thesis)

  • 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) 

  • 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) 

  • 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) 

  • Auswirkungen von Pflanzenschutzmitteln auf terrestrische Nicht-Ziel-Pflanzen Sensitivitätsvergleich von nah verwandten Kultur- und Wildpflanzenarten gegenüber einem Breitbandherbizid (Bianca Vielhauer, Diploma thesis) 

  • The diversity and abundance of nocturnal insects in the agricultural landscape with a focus on moths. (Melanie Hahn, Diploma thesis)

  • The exposure of grasshoppers (Orthoptera: Saltatoria) towards the drift of pesticides. (Rebecca Pierstorf, Diploma thesis) 

  • The effects of pesticides drift on phytophagous insects with a focus on grasshoppers and butterflies – a literature review (Juliane Schmitz). 

  • 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) 

  • Evaluating arthropods in bufferstrips in the agricultural landscape: Food availability for amphibians. (Brigitte Weber, Diploma thesis) 

  • Composition of the amphibian community in rain water retention ponds. (Silke Bischof, Diploma thesis)

Current Projects

Community Ecology & Ecotoxicology

Current Studies

Community Ecology & Ecotoxicology

Former Projects

Community Ecology & Ecotoxicology