21.05.2014 | Rostock

Workshop “Basic science for education and environmental management” in the frames of the German-Russian research project “Ulrich-Schiewer-Laboratory for Experimental Aquatic Ecology” (USELab)

The workshop “Basic science for education and environmental management” was organized by the team of the German-Russian research project “Ulrich-Schiewer-Laboratory for Experimental Aquatic Ecology” (USELab) on May 21, 2014, at the University of Rostock (Germany) in the frames of the EU-Russia Year of Science.

More than 30 participants of the workshop represented the partner institutions of the USELab project in Germany (Institute for Biosciences, University of Rostock, Leibnitz-Institute for Baltic Sea Research in Warnemünde) and Russia (Institute of Cytology of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg), as well as guest scientists, students and environmental managers interested in the results of this cooperation.

The USELab project is one of the few successfully running German-Russian research laboratories supported by the IB/BMBF. In the frames of the project, basic research is carried out in Aquatic Ecology, Environmental Science and Education.

The USELab members were the first to

  1. reveal chaos in a plankton community in a long-term mesocosm experiment,
  2. discover the excitingly high microbial diversity in the brackish-water of the Baltic Sea and
  3. propose a new scientific concept which underpins substantial biodiversity paradigm shifts.

At the workshop, the recent achievements of the following investigations were presented and discussed: biodiversity and eutrophication of the Baltic Sea; theoretical research and experimental studies of ecological and physiological adaptations of model aquatic species to stressful environment; long-term studies of aquatic communities in the laboratory experiment with mesocosms, distant-learning module for biodiversity investigations of the natural communities in the Baltic Sea.

Special attention was paid to the development and application of novel methods of molecular and cell biology in ecological studies, e.g. investigations of ion channels and stress proteins in unicellular organisms and use of the unique method of secondary ion mass-spectrometry at nano-scale (Nano-SIMS). Thorough analysis and fruitful discussions of those newest achievements allowed highlighting the most challenging research areas.

The latter will be addressed by the USELab-project team in the future studies aimed at strengthening cooperation for the facilitated application of new basic findings in the investigations of aquatic ecosystems, using the innovative teaching technologies for the improvement of the Environmental Science education at the universities and the advanced professional training for the environmental monitoring, water quality assessment and management.


Sergey Skarlato
Institute of Cytology, Russian Academy of Sciences
Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation

Hendrik Schubert
Institute for Biosciences
University of Rostock, Germany

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