Water is Life

The mission of the Department of Limnology and Bio-Oceanography is to gain and communicate scientific knowledge on the ecology of pelagic and benthic life in inland waters and marine ecosystems ranging from mountain streams to saline lakes and from coastal seas to the deep ocean including hydrothermal vents. The main goal is to understand the biodiversity and ecosystem functions, and the interactions of these with the physical and chemical environment. We combine concepts and theory from ecology, physiology and biogeochemistry with cutting-edge technology to achieve this endeavor. Organisms we study include viruses, microbes and metazoans and their interactions from the population to the ecosystem level. The Department of Limnology and Bio-Oceanography also facilitates and supports education in Biology and Environmental Science at the University of Vienna and at an international level.

News & Events


Tinkara Tinta received a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research Fellowship and will start working in the Microbial Oceanography group on the project...


The caddisfly subfamily Drusinae is restricted to high-gradient, turbulent running waters in hard-substrate channels. Their heads are frequently...


NanoSIMS and tissue autoradiography reveal symbiont carbon fixation and organic carbon transfer to giant ciliate host

Department Structure

The Department of Limnology and Bio-Oceanography unites six different research labs. Their research focuses on the following fields: Fish Ecology, Benthic Communities & Bioindication, Phycology, Stream Biogeochemistry, Biological Oceanography and Marine Benthic Ecology. The department also participates in two Key Research Areas of the Faculty of Life Sciences - Microbial Ecology and Ecosystems and Symbioses.

Benthic Communities & Bioindication

We explore ecosystem structure and functioning in streams and floodplain waters...



Around 50% of atmospheric oxygen originates from algae.


Fish Ecology

We study fish ecology in rivers by undertaking experiments in the laboratory and in the field.


Stream Biogeochemistry

Streams connect the land to the oceans. Our research concerns the biogeochemical transformations that take place along this journey…


Groundwater Ecology

Groundwater ecosystems are dark, extremely low in energy but contain an unexpectedly high diversity of living forms showing characteristic adaptive features.


Microbial Oceanography

We focus on deciphering the metabolic activity of Bacteria and Archaea thriving in the open ocean …


Marine Benthic Ecology

Chemosynthesis thrives in a variety of marine benthic ecosystems at all depths of the oceans.