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IECB

Institute of Ecology and Conservation Biology of the Wien University
Austria
http://www.univie.ac.at/pph/iecb_research_e.htm
Research Organisation
The main aim of the foundation of the IECB (Institute of Ecology and Conservation Biology) was to promote ecology at the University of Vienna. The name of the institute signals its focus on biological aspects in ecology as well as on conservation issues. The scientific fields range from molecular to ecosystem and landscape research.

The research concentrates on the different levels from aut-ecology to system-ecology, from a molecular level to a landscape-orientated approach. It ranges from an understanding of:

  • the interactions of organisms with their physical environment (the adaptive nature of organisms by the study of “ecophysiology” both at the individual and population level),
  • the nature of biotic interactions,
  • to the more holistic aspects of functioning of ecosystems – the recycling of matter and the flow of energy, the stability and resilience of ecosystems towards perturbations, both in context of landscape structure and within a global context .

    Founded on its basic research, the IECB addresses a series of applied aspects, mainly stress physiology, the flux of matter and the management of ecosystems and landscapes.In accordance with a broader definition of ecology, a further focus in teaching and research includes “human ecology”, mainly with respect to sustainability research. The special strength of the IECB is its vertical structure and its competence to address ecological aspects from the subcellular level to the level of landscape ecology.The Institute has a clear and unique profile compared with other Austrian research and university institutions based on its orientation on basic research, “biological” ecology and conservation directed at applied aspects of high social significance - e.g. bio-indication, stress physiology and restoration and management of ecosystem and landscapes -.This broad array of science and teaching has been very stimulating. Nonetheless true integration and cooperation can still be improved. The institute certainly has an enormous potential for ecological sciences and practice. The new chairs for microbial ecology and population ecology will fill gaps in the overall structure. As the institute covers the whole spectrum, from the cell up to the landscape, and is skilled in basic science as well as in practical application, it is already close to the demands of modern science policy- a centre of excellence. The institute already has the strength and format to be considered one of the new science centres of the University of Vienna (e.g. Vienna Eco-Centre).

    The cooperation of ecologically oriented working groups within the fields of microbiology, botany and zoology under one roof provides us with the unique opportunity to synergetically combine our knowledge and our efforts in order to design the complex research concepts that can meet the demands of modern ecology.

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