Prof. Dr. Florian Altermatt

Associate Professor of Aquatic Ecology, University of Zurich and Eawag

I’m interested in linking community ecology processes, such as species-interactions and dispersal, with biodiversity and ecosystem functioning at larger, regional scales. Much of my interest is on metacommunity and meta-ecosystem dynamics in dendritic, river-like networks.

Besides my interest in conceptual community ecology, I’m also a keen naturalist. My pleasures are–as Vladimir Nabokov said once–the most intense known to man: writing and butterfly hunting (with the camera).

Dr. Roman Alther

Senior Research Assistant, University of Zurich and Eawag

As a research assistant in the Altermatt lab, my goal is to establish well-founded knowledge about the distribution and diversity of native and non-native amphipod species in Switzerland. I want to gain a deeper insight into processes forming biodiversity patterns over time and space. Dendritic aquatic systems represent a suitable study system wherein different ecological and evolutionary mechanics, such as dispersal, invasion and speciation, can be studied.

Eva Cereghetti

PhD student, Eawag

I am a PhD student with a keen interest in meta-ecosystem dynamics and the functional role of species. My work in the Altermatt Lab focuses on material and energy flows of leaf litter in headwater catchments, especially focusing on cross-system transfer of this dead organic material and its decomposition within terrestrial and aquatic environments. Additionally, I investigate spatial and temporal changes in amphipod communities and their contribution to the decomposition of leaves. My aim is to use long-term empirical data to demonstrate how these ecological processes consist of individual aspects with unique seasonal dynamics, yet ultimately all linked to each other.

Francesca Cerroti

MSc Student, University of Zurich

I’m a MSc student at the University of Zurich. I just finished my bachelor’s degree in biology and I will do my MSc at UZH/Eawag. I have always been very interested in the effects of environmental changes on organisms and the consequences that these alterations can have on the entire ecosystem and biodiversity. In my project, I will use amphipods in small tributaries to study ecological dynamics in the context of global changes, with a focus on meta-ecosystem dynamics.

Dr. Marjorie Couton

Postdoc, Eawag

My main research interests are linked to molecular ecology. I have always been interested in using DNA to get information on ecosystems at the individual level (species detection), at the population level (population genetics) or at the community level (diversity assessments). During my PhD, I used molecular tools such as metabarcoding to detect introduced species in ports and marinas and to evaluate their contribution to marine communities. Now, my goal is to assess the diversity and distribution of groundwater amphipods across Switzerland. I plan to apply metabarcoding techniques to environmental DNA from groundwater samples in order to characterize the amphipod diversity in these environments but also to assess groundwater biodiversity in a broader perspective.

Prof. Dr. Cene Fišer

Assistant Professor, University of Ljubljana

I am studying phenotype diversity and diversification within the subterranean amphipod genus Niphargus. A part of my research is dedicated to the on-going taxonomic revision of the genus, the other part to studying mechanisms underlying its evolutionary radiation.

Mara Knüsel

PhD student, Eawag

With a research background in ecology and zoology I am interested in the distribution of species, both spatially and temporally, and the underlying drivers. As a PhD student in the Altermatt lab, I investigate the occurrence of groundwater amphipods in Swiss drinking water wells. The objective of my research is to provide baseline data about the nationwide distribution and diversity of amphipod species in the groundwater. With this knowledge I aim to contribute to a deeper understanding of the biodiversity in aquatic hypogean ecosystems.

Andrin Krähenbühl

Research Assistant, Eawag

My interests are mainly focused on aquatic ecology and evolution. Seeing species communities as structured and highly interactive networks enables me to investigate a wide range of organisms often times finding similar underlying mechanisms shaping intra- and interspecific ecological and evolutionary patterns. As a scientific assistant at the Altermatt Lab my goal is to test and establish experimental laboratory facilities and standardized methods suitable for successfully keeping and hopefully also rearing various populations of amphipods. Besides my scientific interests I’m a passionate fisherman enjoying nature and fishing for amphipod feeding fish.

Angela Studer

MSc Student, University of Zurich

I am a Master student at University of Zurich/Eawag. During my basic studies in biology, I realized that biodiversity and the interrelationships between different organisms fascinates me. As a master student, I investigate the occurrence and diversity of amphipods in the catchment area of the river Töss. The aim of my thesis is to create a temporally and spatially highly resolved understanding of their distribution. The main focus will be on the groundwater amphipods. Also in my time off, I love to be in nature and marvelling at the tiny things in it.

Team alumni