Research groups

Plankton Ecology Research Group

Head of the research group:

research fellow

Members of the research group:

András Abonyi, PhD

research fellow

Károly Pálffy, PhD

research fellow

Anett Endrédi, MSc

assistant research fellow

Ádám Fierpasz

Varsha Rani, M.Sc.

assistant research fellow

Vivien Kardos

institute engineer

Bernadett Szabó


Main profile:

Plankton play a central role in aquatic ecosystems, by representing the main primary producers (phytoplankton) and a key link of energy transfer to higher trophic levels (zooplankton). Our research group is motivated to understand how planktonic communities respond to environmental gradients, and how changes in community composition are linked to ecosystem functioning. By combining empirical and experimental research (micro-and mesocosm experiments), as well as taxonomic and functional approaches, we seek for a more mechanistic understanding on the consequences of planktonic community shifts as a response to multiple stressors under global change. Another focus of our group lies in the ecology and conservation of small aquatic habitats, such as ponds and pools. While these habitats maintain exceptionally high biodiversity and are excellent model systems to test basic ecological theories, their global decline highlights the need of their evidence-based conservation.

Selected publications

Cunillera-Montcusí, David; Beklioğlu, Meryem; Cañedo-Argüelles, Miguel; Jeppesen, Erik; Ptacnik, Robert; Amorim, Cihelio A.; Arnott, Shelley E.; Berger, Stella A.; Brucet, Sandra; Dugan, Hilary A.; Gerhard, Miriam; Horváth, Zsófia; Langenheder, Silke; Nejstgaard, Jens C.; Reinikainen, Marko; Striebel, Maren; Urrutia-Cordero, Pablo; Vad, Csaba F.; Zadereev, Egor; Matias, Miguel.: Freshwater salinisation: a research agenda for a saltier world TRENDS IN ECOLOGY & EVOLUTION. 37: 440-453

Varsha Rani; Tim Burton; Matthew Walsh; Sigurd Einum.: Evolutionary change in metabolic rate of Daphnia pulicaria following invasion by the predator Bythotrephes longimanus Ecology and Evolution, 12, e9003.

Vad, Csaba F.; Schneider, Claudia; Fischer, Robert; Kainz, Martin J; Ptacnik, Robert.: From adverse to beneficial – contrasting dietary effects of freshwater mixotrophs on zooplankton FRESHWATER BIOLOGY. 66: 2272-2282


AQUACOSM-Plus: Network of Leading Ecosystem Scale Experimental AQUAtic MesoCOSM Facilities Connecting Rivers, Lakes, Estuaries and Oceans in Europe and beyond

Lead researcher: Plankton Ecology Research Group
Planned duration: 2020-2024
Amount of support: 244.750 EUR

Changes in nutritional preferences due to the impact of climate change and their community- and ecosystem-level effects on the example of an invasive shrimp species

Lead researcher:
Planned duration: 2021-2025
Summary: Recent research suggests that ectothermic organisms with an omnivorous diet adapt by changing their food preference to accommodate their metabolic processes, which vary with the increasing temperature. Our research aims to understand how this change […]