Welcome to the Institute of Landscape Ecology!

Ilök Graduate Conference on Juli 19th, 2024

© H. Meyer

This year's Ilök Graduate Conference will once again take place in the summer semester, where graduates will present their theses. The program has now been finalized and can be found here. We can expect an exciting program of lectures and scientific posters with stimulating discussions.

We are looking forward to all the contributions and an informative and relaxed end of the semester!


Obituary for Prof. em. Dr. Karl-Friedrich Schreiber

Professor Karl-Friedrich Schreiber with his former students Prof. Dr. Gaby Broll (University of Osnabrück) and Dr. Peter Schwartze (Head of the Biostation in the district of Steinfurt) in 2012 during a visit to the management experiments he initiated in the 1980s in wet meadows in the Münsterland region
© N. Hölzel

The Institute of Landscape Ecology mourns the loss of one of its pioneers, Prof. em. Dr. Karl-Friedrich Schreiber, who passed away on May 27th, 2024 at the age of 97. Our thanks and sympathy also go to his family, with whom we feel connected in mourning.

Karl-Friedrich Schreiber was born on January 9th, 1926 in Deutsch-Krone/Pomerania which is in Poland today. He studied Agricultural Sciences at the University of Hohenheim from 1949. Already in his first semester, he was gripped by the enthusiasm with which the vegetation ecologist Heinz Ellenberg, who was teaching at Hohenheim at the time, described the development of the cultural landscape, which prompted him to focus his studies on plant cultivation with the subjects of botany and soil science. Also in Hohenheim, he completed his doctorate in 1961 on the subject of "Site-related variation of Arrhenatherum elatius meadows in south-west Germany" and then his habilitation in 1968, when a venia legendi for fruit growing and landscape ecology was awarded for the first time in Germany. In 1973, Karl-Friedrich Schreiber was appointed to the then newly established Chair of Landscape Ecology at the University of Münster, which he held until his retirement in 1991.

Karl-Friedrich Schreiber was always an enthusiastic university lecturer. With an emphasis on practical aspects, he was particularly committed to the increased integration of biological-ecological disciplines such as vegetation science, animal ecology and soil science into the study of landscape ecology, which at the time was still a sub-discipline of geography. Together with his colleague Prof. Friedrich-Karl Holtmeier, he paved the way for the Institute of Landscape Ecology, which was founded in 1994 and whose degree courses are still in high demand today. The success of this reorientation can be measured by the fact that many of his students are now or were employed in responsible positions in environmental authorities, planning offices and biostations as well as in universities and universities of applied sciences throughout Germany.

A highlight of his scientific work is undoubtedly the fallow experiments in Baden-Württemberg, which he initiated in 1975 and actively supported until a few years ago. A similar large-scale management experiment was established by him in the 1980s in wet meadows in Münsterland and continued until a few years ago by his student Dr. Peter Schwartze. The fact that these elaborate field experiments could be maintained and scientifically monitored over decades is primarily due to the tenacious persistence and persuasiveness of the initiator.

Karl-Friedrich Schreiber was a founding member of the Society for Ecology, which he served as President and Vice President for several years, as well as co-editor of various journals in German-speaking countries. He has also contributed significantly to the international reputation of landscape ecology in Münster, whether through close and long-standing cooperation with the Arid Ecosystems Research Center at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, as Vice President of the International Association for Landscape Ecology or as a member of the editorial board of the Journal Landscape Ecology.       

In Karl-Friedrich Schreiber, the Institute of Landscape Ecology has lost a colleague who remained committed, thoughtful and people-oriented into old age and whose wise decisions continue to have an impact today.

Norbert Hölzel

Jeannine-Böhmichen-Prize 2023 awarded

Ceremony with the laureate Hedda Lil Müller and Prof. Dr. Tillmann Buttschardt
© FB14

The Jeannine Böhmichen Prize was awarded during the Geo.Science.Day on 14 May 2024. The prize is awarded to a Bachelor's thesis that, among other things, presents complex issues from landscape ecology in a clear and concise manner, independently raises questions of high originality or topicality, presents multi-layered information in a clear and concise manner or demonstrates the creative scope of students. As a rule, only one prize is awarded per academic year.

Prof. Dr. Tillmann Buttschardt gave the laudatory speech and presented the award certificate to Hedda Lil Müller. She received the award for her Bachelor's thesis on the topic: "Growth rate and microplastic uptake of fresh water ciliate Tetrahymena pyriformis at different microplastic concentrations".

We warmly congratulate the award winner!
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Ilök-presentations at the EGU 2024

© M. Gharun

Last week, numerous colleagues from the Institute of Landscape Ecology took part in the EGU 2024, the General Assembly of the European Geosciences Union, in Vienna. Among them were members of the working groups Biosphere-Atmosphere Interaction, Remote Sensing and Spatial Modelling, Rhizosphere Biogeochemistry as well as Ecohydrology and Biogeochemistry.

Our BSc Landscape Ecology student Elisa Jordan presented the results of her BSc thesis project that she completed with the Biosphere-Atmosphere Interaction research group. The title of Elisa´s project and talk was "Assessing extreme temperature volatilities across Germany between 1990 and 2022" and her presentation was marked as the highlight of a session on Land-Atmosphere Interactions and Climate Extremes.


ILÖK Colloquium

The two dates of the Ilök colloquium that were canceled in the winter semester will be rescheduled. You can find the new dates here. As always, the lectures will take place at 6 p.m. c.t. in the Geo1 lecture hall. They will be held in English with English slides.

On Tuesday, 07.05.24 Dr. Jörg Bendix from the University of Marburg will give a lecture on the topic "Machine learning in fog climatology, ecology and nowcasting –the ultimate approach?".

The second talk will take place on Monday, 13.05.24 Dr. Daniel Graeber from UFZ Magdeburg will speak about "Through The Stoichiometric Lens: Decoding Freshwater Ecosystem Responses to Anthropogenic Macronutrient Shifts".


Graduate Conference 2024


  • © ILÖK
  • © ILÖK

Our first ILÖK graduate conference was held on the 2nd of February. The conference featured a diverse range of topics, with 13 posters and 9 presentations by our master's students presenting their projects and theses. We would like to thank all participants, session chairs, and presenters for their contributions to the success of this conference. It was a lively event, fostering valuable presentations and discussions throughout. Congratulations at this point to the winners of the presentation and poster awards: Robin Maares and Fabian Karwinkel!

Save the date: our next ILÖK graduate conference will be on the 19th of July 2024.


Graduate Conference 2024

On February 2, 2024, the ILÖK Graduate Conference will take place. Graduates will present their research projects through presentations and scientific posters. We look forward to an insightful day and engaging discussions.

© Universitätsgesellschaft

wissen.kommuniziert award 2023

Julia Binder and Thomas Middelanis (ILÖK) and Dr. Severin Halder (Stadtlabor) receive award for outstanding communication achievements

On November 22, 2023, the University Society invites you to the award ceremony of the wissen.kommuniziert -Preis 2023 at 19:00 in the Studiobühne Münster at Domplatz 23, 48143 Münster. Dr. Severin Halder, Ms. Julia Binder and Mr. Thomas Middelanis will be honored for their extraordinary communication achievements during a ceremony. Admission begins at 18:30.

Registrations for participation in the award ceremony are possible until November 15, 2023 by email at anmeldung@universitaetsgesellschaft-muenster.de or by phone at 0251-83-22218.

The invitation card with the program can be found here: https://www.uni-muenster.de/imperia/md/content/foerderkreis/einladung-2023_wissen.kommuniziert.pdf

Study on interdisciplinary collaboration

© Jamille Viray

Interdisciplinary scientific collaboration is important for successful research and the establishment of young scientists. But sometimes it gets stuck - what is the reason?

Erica Mc Gale (Uni Lausanne) and Lena Neuenkamp from the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research Group deal with this topic in this article. They find that there is a need for more information on the barriers to collaboration. To investigate this, they have created a short questionnaire and sincerely ask for your participation. 

This will allow them to get to the bottom of collaboration hurdles in more detail in a follow-up study. It will take no more than 10 minutes and is done anonymously.

Here is the link to the questionnaire.

Thank you for your help!

PD Dr. Ute Hamer wurde zur Außerplamäßgen Professorin ernannt.

Am 13. Okotber erhielt sie nach ihrer Antrittsvorlesung zum Thema Bodenökologie und die Bewertung von Bodenqualität von Dekan Prof. Dr. Dr. Hölzel die Ernennungsurkunde.


Das ILÖK gratuliert sehr herzlich und wünscht ihr alles Gute. Seit diesem Wintersemester können die Studierenden im M.Sc. Landschaftsökologie nun auch ein neues Wahlmodul zum Thema Bodenökologie belegen.

Report on microplastic investigations in the Rieselfelder published in "Lokalzeit Münsterland"


The Lokalzeit Münsterland of the WDR reported on 17.7.23 about the microplastic investigations in the sewage fields of Münster ("Rieselfelder"). The team around Dr. Friederike Gabel (ILÖK) and Prof. Dr. Bodo Philipp (Institute for Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology) investigated the occurrence and distribution of microplastics in the bird paradise of the Rieselfelder. This revealed a very clear but heterogeneous contamination by microplastics. What effects this has on the animals living there still requires further research.

The report can be found here (German only).

Jeannine-Böhmichen-Prize 2022 awarded

Übergabe des Jeannine-Böhmichen Prize Ceremony with the laureate Isabelle Walgarth and Prof. Dr. Tillmann Buttschardt
© FB14

The Jeannine Böhmichen Prize for 2022 was awarded during the Geo.Science.Day on 15.06.2023. The prize is awarded to a Bachelor's thesis that, among other things, presents complex issues from landscape ecology in a clear and concise manner, independently raises questions of high originality or topicality, presents multi-layered information in a clear and concise manner or demonstrates the creative scope of students.

Prof. Dr. Tillmann Buttschardt gave the laudation and presented the award certificate to Isabelle Walgath. She received the award for her Bachelor's thesis with the topic: The effect size of watercourse margins of different widths on the ecological condition of an agriculturally influenced watercourse.

We warmly congratulate the award winner!

New research paper from the ILÖK in PNAS

Experimental setup on the rooftop of the Institute for Landscape Ecology
© M. Conrady

Wild plants can change when propagated agriculturally:
A new study examines the rapid domestication of wild plants that are agriculturally propagated for restoration purposes.

Link to the WWU press release

Original publication


ILÖK Researchers win Citizen Science Award 2022

© AFO -Andreas Wessendorf

Urban gardening in the village and health promotion in the city district - these are the winning projects of the WWU Foundation's Citizen Science Competition 2022. They were now presented at the event "Mitdenken - Mitmachen - Mitforschen. An evening for civic engagement in science and research". The winners can look forward to a grant of 7,500 euros each.
After the successful student project "Monitoring of modern agroforestry ecosystems" in 2020, the CS Prize once again goes to researchers from the Institute of Landscape Ecology.
The artists' village Schöppingen is the focus of the winning project "Transformations in Münsterland". The community garden, kitchen, workshop, library, gallery and exhibition hall are understood as places of learning and knowledge for the citizens. What contribution can the village make as a socio-ecologically oriented actor for sustainable regional development? To this end, artists exchange ideas with students of landscape ecology and sociology on the significance of urban gardens for community building. Prof. Dr. Matthias Grundmann from the Institute of Sociology, Dr. Cornelia Steinhäuser from the Institute of Landscape Ecology and Julia Haarmann from the Foundation Künstlerdorf Schöppingen are leading the project.