Ulrich Donabaum

What did you study, when, where and most importantly: why?

I’m studying Biology since 2010 at the University of Vienna and specialized in Botanics. As my father and mother are also Biologists I grew up being taught about animals, plants and so on. Therefore I was interested in Biology since I was a kid. I love nature, being outdoors and I jobbed in a company for freshwater ecology since I was 15. So it was not a hard decision to study Biology!

What will your role be on board of the JDS3 ships?

I will be analysing the Phytoplankton on board by using a Microscope as well as measuring several other important parameters such as for example the secchi-depth. Together with Martin Dokulil we will study species diversity, abundances, biomass and chlorophyll-a concentrations.

Why is this important? What can we learn?

Phytoplankton in rivers is one of several variables indicating water quality. Species composition, abundance and biomass of assemblages are key determinants for the EC Water Framework Directive to estimate the ecological status of the river, in this case the Danube. In addition, information is provided about pollution and fundamental behaviour of algal species in rivers.

What is an important gain from JDS3 specifically for your country of origin?

For Austria as one of the upstream countries, knowledge about the river water quality is important not only for the country itself but also for the quality we provide to downstream countries.

What are you looking forward to regarding the JDS3?

I´m looking forward to this whole great expedition, to be part of a team of international experts, to be part of a big adventure, get to know lots of people and foreign countries and to see the beautiful landscape around the Danube river.