M.Sc. Romy Wöllner (nèe Harzer)

Chair of Restoration Ecology

TUM School of Life Sciences
Technische Universität München
Emil-Ramann-Str. 6
85354 Freising

Phone: +49 8161 71 4141
Fax:      +49 8161 71 4143
E-Mail:  romy.woellner[at]tum.de

Curriculum vitae

since 04/2017  PhD student at the Chair of Restoration Ecology, Research Department Ecology and Ecosystem Management, Technical University of Munich (TUM), Freising, Germany
05/2016 – 03/2017 Research Assistant at the Chair of Restoration Ecology, Research Department Ecology and Ecosystem Management, Technical University of Munich (TUM), Freising, Germany
04/2015 – 08/2015  Student Assistant at the Chair of Aquatic Systems Biology
10/2014 – 02/2016 

Student Assistant at the Chair of Geoinformatics

04/2014-11/2014  Student Assistant at the Chair of Ecoclimatology
10/2013 – 04/2016 

MSc Environmental Planning and Engineering Ecology

Master thesis: Population analysis of an alpine floodplain specialist – Implications for the reintroduction of Chondrilla chondrilloides

08/2013-09/2013  Internship at the Institute of Freshwater Ecology, Jena, Germany
03/2012  Internship at the local environmental authority Rudolstadt, Germany
10/2010 – 09/2013  Bachelor of Science in Biogeosciences, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Germany

Academic high school diploma (Abitur), Gymnasium Fridericianum Rudolstadt, Germany

Doctoral thesis: Historic changes and restoration of (pre)alpine floodplains in Germany- challenges and potentials for biodiversity conservation.

Prof. Dr. Johannes Kollmann, Dr. Andreas Zehm (LfU)

Floodplains are one of the most diverse ecosystems in Europe. Nowadays, they are heavily modified by humans due to flood protection, energy production and land use. The substantial changes in flow and sediment dynamics over the last 200 years resulted in an enormous loss of characteristic habitats, especially in “wild” alpine river systems. Thus, many highly specialized pioneer species on gravel and sand bars are now threatened with extinction. Successful maintaining of Germany’s biodiversity depends to a huge amount on the effective conservation and restoration of the riverine landscapes and their communities.

The objective of the doctoral thesis is to support the effectiveness in species protection and habitat restoration. We will search for threshold values in habitat structures that ensure population (re)establishment and persistence of alpine river specialists. For this, the investigation of river history and analysis of recent landscape dynamics linked to population dynamics can lead to concrete minimum requirements for more aimed restoration measures allowing species conservation as well. The study area includes the alpine rivers in Upper Bavaria (e.g. Isar, Lech, Loisach) and also the Tagliamento river in Italy as reference system.

Research questions:

  • How are changes in floodplain landscape related to the decrease of the target species?
  • Which connections exist between the abundance of target species and habitat structure? Are there differences in historic and recent habitat requirements?
  • Could past restoration projects in Bavaria bring back habitats in required size and quality for the establishment of target species? If not, which positive effects could be reached through river restoration so far?

Research project: Conservation and reintroduction of riverine species- Case study in Upper Bavaria

October 2016 to September 2017

Within the biodiversity hotspot project “Alpine River Landscapes” of the BfN, a one-year study is carried out on behalf of the WWF to assess the potential for conservation and reintroduction of selected alpine floodplain specialists. The aim of the study is to recommend opportunities for river revitalization measures as well as for population augmentation and development of the floodplain species.

The study area includes the Hotspot regions 2 and 4. Among the floodplain species that are highly endangered in Bavaria, the study investigates Myricaria germanica, Typha minima, Calamagrostis pseudophragmites and the slave-ant Formica selysi.

We will try to answer the following research questions:

  • What are the historical and current distributions of the target species? Of which size, age structure and viability are the remaining populations?
  • Where are measures for protecting isolated populations necessary? Which measures can be recommended?
  • Where are reintroductions an appropriate measure and which conditions have to be observed (location of donator population, genetic diversity, etc.)?
  • Which techniques of cultivation, reintroduction and monitoring are proven in this cases?

The project is managed by a consortium consisting of Prof. Johannes Kollmann (project lead), M.Sc. Romy Harzer (project management), Prof. Michael Reich (Leibniz Universität Hannover, ant expert) and Prof. Norbert Müller (FH Erfurt, expert vegetation ecology).