MES4 - Individual Research Project: Groups & Topics

The MES4 Individual Research Project is an opportunity for students to work on a small project within a research group covering different aspects of Environmental Sciences.

You need to be proactive about securing a project. If you are interested in a particular research topic we recommend you contact the relevant researchers as early as possible and explore with them what your project might look like. The scope of the project needs to be appropriate for a 10 ECTS module and should include all the elements of research work, namely the review of relevant literature, the formulation of testable hypotheses, the application of analytical and statistical methods, planning and structuring of experiments and relevant work in the lab. At the end, you will summarise the results of all these components in a project report in the form of a small research publication.

The following list provides an overview of possible research groups and associated topics. Please note that this is by no means an exhaustive list. If you have other ideas or contacts, we would encourage you to pursue those as well.

Once you have a research project, please submit the project topic and the name of your supervisor on Moodle. 

For more ideas and potential contacts you could also check out what else is going on in the area of environmental sciences at the University of Vienna by browsing the webpages of the Environmental Research Network (ERN). The ERN is a platform for environmental research conducted across all disciplines at the University of Vienna.


Group Topics People
EDGE - Environmental Geosciences

The role of mineral surfaces in the preservation of RNA pesticides in soil

Richard Kimber

The role of mineral surfaces in the preservation of DNA

Richard Kimber

Cromium contaminated paddy soils   

Stephan Kraemer

Transport of organic contaminants, microplastics and tire wear in water and soils 

Thilo Hofmann

Thorsten Hüffer

Biotransformation of organic contaminants 

Michael Zumstein

Impact of nanoparticles on contaminant relocation and toxicity 

Frank von der Kammer

Bio-Oceanography and Marine Biology

Microbial Oceanography 

Fungal and Biogeochemical Oceanography 

Gerhard Herndl

Federico Baltar

Molecular Systems Biology

Systems Theory in Ecology and Biology 

Molecular plant-microbe interactions 

Structural and functional plant cell biology

Wolfram Weckwerth

Stefanie Wienkoop

Ingeborg Lang

Archaea Biology and Ecogenomics

Archaea Ecology and Evolution  

Genomic and proteomic studies of ammonia oxidizing thaumarchaeota 

Cultivation of novel lineages of archaea

Virus defense and CRISPS-mediated RNA degradation in Sulfolobus solfataricus

Christa Schleper


Peatland Carbon Cycling 

Turnover of greenhouse gases 

Wetland ecology and management

Stephan Glatzel

TER – Terrestrial Ecosystem Research

Microbial carbon use efficiency and nitrogen use efficiency 

Linkage between plant and microbial functioning and ecosystem processes 

Soil as a complex system

Plant-soil interactions

Andreas Richter

Wolfgang Wanek

Christina Kaiser

DOME – Division of Microbial Ecology

Sulfur cycle – evolution of sulfur microorganisms 

Nitrification, Comammox, and nitrite-oxidizing bacteria 

Molecular host-microbe crosstalk; Fine-scale microbial diversity and the individuality of the microbiom

Alexander Loy

Holger Daims

Jillian Petersen

ENGAGE – Geomorphological Systems and Risk Research

Landslide Research 

Natural hazards and Risks 

Soil erosion in agricultural catchment systems

Human impact on fluvial systems

Erosion and Sedimentdynamics, Biogeomorphology, Permarfrostdegradation in High Mountain Environments

(Eco-)geomorphic effects of large wood in river systems

Thomas Glade

Ronald Pöppl

Philipp Marr

Janek Walk

Atmospheric Transport Processes

Aerosol transport, greenhouse gas transport, heat transport, microplastic transport, and moisture transport 


Lagrangian Modeling

Andreas Stohl

Environmental Geophysics

Quantification of soil/rock architecture and predictions of hydrologic parameters 

Biogeochemical processes at fluid-rock interfaces in Earth’s near surface 

Discerning anthropogenic changes in hydrologic states

Architecture and functions of carbonate critical zones

Chi Zhang

Koellensperger Lab




Gunda Köllensperger

Urban Studies

Implementation of the UN Sustainability Goals in cities 

Human-environment-technology interactions in cities 

Kerstin Krellenberg

Bioactivity and Molecular Mechanisms


Doris Marko

Global Exposomics and Biomonitoring

Impact of food and ennvironment-related molecules on human health and disease from a global perspective 

Benedikt Warth

Environmental Psychology

Reciprocal relationship between humans and the environment 

Zero pollution of Persistent, Mobile substances 

LimnoPlast – Microplastics in Europe’s Freshwater Ecosystems

Preventing Plastic Pollution

Blue Communities in South East Asia

Sabine Pahl

Aerosol Physics and Environmental Physics

Airborne aerosol measurement; long range transport and process characterization; Microphysical and optical properties of mineral dust, black carbon and volcanic ash; effects of absorbing aerosols on radiation budget, clouds and atmospheric dynamics; aerosol effects on air transport system and emissions from air traffic 

Heterogenous nucleation processes; nanoparticle dynamics; condensation processes in aerosol systems; chemical characterization of nanoparticles 

Bernadett Weinzierl

Paul Winkler