Public Presentation of the PhD thesis project

The topic of the doctoral thesis and supervisor(s) have to be approved by the study programme leader of the Vienna Doctoral School of Ecology and Evolution within 3-6 months after starting the PhD.

The approval is based on the submitted research proposal (Exposé) and the public presentation (FÖP). The procedure is the following: 

  • 6 weeks prior to the FÖP, the registration documents have to be submitted to the Doctoral School
  • The exposé is then reviewed by two members of the VDSEE PI-panel
  • At the FÖP, the PhD-candidate present their project in front of the Dircetor and Vice-Director of VDSEE, the supervisor(s), and the VDSEE-community.
  • Based on the reviews and the public presentation, the PhD-project gets approved by the study programme leader of the VDSEE.
  • Should a doctoral topic not be approved by the study programme leader, the doctoral candidate has the option of revoking their application, adapting the research project and reapplying for the approval of their doctoral thesis at the next public presentation.

The public presentation serves the following purposes:

  • According to the statutes of the University of Vienna, the public persentation has to be successfully passed for approval of the doctoral thesis project and supervisor(s).
  • The new doctoral candidate can present their research to a wider audience.
  • The public presentation offers all participants a platform for feedback, exchange and networking.


  • Friday 14 June 2024, SR 3.1 (UBB), 09:15-16:00
    Registration deadline on 03 May 2024
  • Friday 8 November 2024, SR 3.1 (UBB), 09:00 - 17:00
    Registration deadline on 27 September 2024

Registration via email:



 June 2024 Schedule

 Registration for presenters

In order to register for the public presentation, the following documents need to be submitted to

  • The research proposal (Exposé) as one pdf-file: Guidelines how to write the exposé are in the section below
  • The completed and signed form SL/D11"Registration of the topic of the doctoral thesis and the supervisors" and the signed form SL/W1 "Regulations relating to good scientific practice". A guideline how to fill in the SL/D11 form is provided in the VDSEE intranet.
  • If needed, also the forms SL/D12 and SL/W4: in case the PhD-candidate needs additional financial resources and/or applies for a presentation closed to the public. Please note: PhD-candidates with third-party funidng do not need to fill in the additional SL/W4 form.
  • Please name your files as follows: SL.D11_surname.pdf, SL.W1_surname.pdf, Expose_surname.pdf
  • Please note: The dissertation agreement is completed and handed in after passing the FÖP

 Guidelines for Exposé

Please use the template provided in the VDSEE intranet

1) Title Page

  • (Working) Title of your Dissertation Project
  • Your Name, student number and email address
  • Supervisor(s)
  • TAC members: two co-mentors beside your supervisor(s)
  • Funding


2) Main part: max.10 pages (excl. references)

  • Introduction
    Short background, outline of the state of research:What is your specific field of research? Where do you start from?
  • Aims/Main questions/Significance of your planned research:
    What do you want to answer with your thesis? Why is this important? Description of the topic of the doctoral thesis project including a clear research questions/aims.
  • Research methods:
    Which methods and experimental setups will be used; which infrastructure/collaboration partners do you need/have at hand
  • Time and work schedule:
    When do you plan to do what and achieve your goals. Please provide a Gantt chart.
  • Contingency Plan/Risk Analysis:
    Where do you see potential problems/risks in your work/research plan? Have you thought of solutions/alternatives?
  • Funding/Financial stability to conduct PhD studies:
    E.g. Salary and further description on funding such as coverage of consumables, etc
  • TAC Committee:
    Choice of supervisor(s) and co-mentor(s), etc.


3) Cited References

Notes on funding
  • Funding of the dissertation project must be secured in order to have it approved at the FÖP
  • This is important particularly resp. consumables and lab costs. Therefore, estimation of costs and coverage of those costs have to be described in the exposé. This might also be an issue in (third-party) funded projects in case only salary is covered.
  • The coverage of costs for consumables has to be approved by your Department Head/Faculty in advance (for registration to presentation this would include the submission of the additional SL/W4 form)
  • Self-funded students are welcome, but the aim should be to work on the dissertation as full-time as possible.


Visit the public presentations! In doing so you can get an impression of what will be expected from you. Additionally, it is a great way to learn about current research projects at your Doctoral School.

The Center for Doctoral Studies regularly offers workshops on "Outline and Exposé writing" to be prepared for the FÖP.




Vorgeschriebene Formulare

Optionale Formulare

Past presentations

We are proud of our students and congratulate to their sucessful presentations! 


  • FÖP 2024

    15th March

    • Marina Monserrat: Exploring the effects of biological nitrification inhibitors in the soil microbial communities. Supervisors: Christa Schleper, Melina Kerou
    • Alice Frisinghelli: Mesoderm and Coelom formation in the arrow worm Spadella cephalopthera. Supervisor: Tim Wollesen
    • Cristian Barrera: The adhesion system of Spadella cephaloptera. Supervisor: Tim Wollesen
    • Konstantina Cheshmedzhieva: Bone and sediment paleogenetics for mapping Denisovan presence in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Supervisors: Katerina Douka, Martin Kuhlwilm
    • Thomas Beard: Providing (micro)context for Sediment DNA at Pleistocene Archaeological Sites. Supervisor: Mareike StahlschmidtMichelle Hämmerle: Social genomics in Late Antique and Early-Medieval societies. Supervisors: Martin Kuhlwilm, Pere Gelabert
    • Sonja Hoxha: Characterization of biogeochemical self-purification processes in the Vjosa River network with a focus on different spatial and temporal scales. Supervisors: Christian Griebler, Clemens Karwautz, Sajmir Beqiraj (University of Tirana, Albania)
    • Tobias Schernhammer: Bridging the gap between population genetics and historic landscape ecology for large branchiopods. Supervisor: Franz Essl
    • Cornelia Amon: Determinants of understory alpha diversity and interrelations between tree alpha diversity and carbon stock depending on stand structural characteristics in unmanaged forests of Austria. Supervisors: Franz Essl, Marcin Dyderski (Polish Academy of Science)
    • Elias Kapitany: Semi-natural grasslands in Europe: Regional conservation value, recent development trends and drivers. Supervisor: Stefan Dullinger
    • Iro Pierides: Data-driven dynamic tools for multi-omics integration and control. Supervisors: Wolfram Weckwerth, Steffen Waldherr
    • Liesa Geppner: Micro- and nanoplastic: Methodology for extraction and detection of plastic particles from human blood and mammalian tissue. Supervisors: Harald Wilfing, Maja Henjakovic (Danube Private University)
    • Xieting Wu: Mesofossil flowers from the Late Cretaceous flora of Southern Bohemia. Supervisors: Jürg Schönenberger, Maria von Balthazar
    • Anna-Sophie Hawranek: Floral development, floral diversity, and pollination biology in the genus Aquilegia. Supervisor: Jürg Schönenberger
    • Amin Ghane: The role of structural variation in adaptive radiation Persimmon trees in New Caledonia. Supervisor: Ovidiu Paun
    • Benjamin Lazarus: Investigating plant-pollinator interaction in Melastomataceae, the most morphologically diverse buzz-pollinated family. Supervisor: Agnes Dellinger
    • Anna-Chiara Barta: Phylogeny and Evolution of Peracardia (Crustacea). Supervisors: Luise Kruckenhauser, Martin Schwentner
    • Arne Bielke: Genomic Diversity, Ancestry and Inbreeding in New Zealand Feral Kaimanawa Horses. Supervisors: Elmira Mohandesan, Katrin Schäfer
    • Anna Pyttlik: Evolvability of inner and middle ears in birds and mammals. Supervisor: Philipp Mitteröcker
    • Guillem Coll Garcia: Bacterial Adaptation to High Salinity. Supervisors: Gerhard Herndl, Ramon Rosello-Mora (Superior Council of Scientific Research of Spain, University of Balearic Islands), Raffael Bosch (University of Balearic Islands)
  • FÖP 2023


    10th November

    • Filip Paul Boanca: Can microbes inform about vulnerability of spring waters — Assessment of microbial communities and water quality in Austrian springs. Supervisor: Christian Griebler
    • John Lester Pide: Intrinsic potential and activity of nitrate turnover examined for different hydrogeological aquifer settings. Supervisor: Christian Griebler
    • Caroline Ivesic: Austrian carnivorous plants-roles of different glands. Supervisor: Ingeborg Lan
    • Gilles Colling: Alien species Accumulation Across Scales (ASAAS). Supervisors: Franz Essl, Stefan Dullinger
    • Lisa Tedeschi: Ecology, spread and impacts of invasive alien mammals in Europe. Supervisors: Franz Essl, Carlo Rondinini (Sapienza University of Rome)
    • Stefan Plott: ESCRT-Proteins and TOR as regulators of protein turnover in barley grains. Supervisors: Verena Ibl, Wolfram Weckwerth
    • Elisa Montrucchio: The role of a GSK3 protein kinases in acclimation to drought and waterlogging. Supervisors: Claudia Jonak, Markus Teige
    • Hannes Kramml: Long-term implications of ancient polyploids: CAM as a key evolutionary innovation in Clusia spp. Supervisor: Wolfram Weckwerth
    • Walter Hofmann: Physiological and biotechnological characteristics of archaea for methane or bioplastics production. Supervisor: Simon Rittmann
    • Emily Pigott: Re-assessing faunal and possible hominin remains from the Middle to Upper Palaeolithic sites of Crimea and beyond, using more recent protocols for radiocarbon dating. Supervisor: Thomas Higham
    • Tina Palme: Laboratory feeding experiments of benthic foraminifera with a focus on their role in carbon and nitrogen fluxes. Supervisor: Petra Heinz
    • Isabella Leonhard: Survival of the smallest? The long-term impact of climate warming on the body size of non-commercial fishes in the Adriatic Sea. Supervisor: Martin Zuschin
    • 16th June 
    • Rym Nouioua: Birds, bats and related ecosystem services in a European land use context: linking conservation evidence, agricultural practices and socio-ecological perspectives. Supervisors: Bea Maas, Stefan Dullinger
    • Luigi Schillaci: Toxic or just a nuisance - How mosses cope with heavy metals. Supervisor: Ingeborg Lang
    • Christian Pruckner: Microbial key players in cold-water coral restoration. Supervisor: Elisabeth Haring
    • Daniel Mitic: Beyond single gene function: Neural circuit asymmetry as a complex trait. Supervisor: Thomas Hummel
    • Aigerim Rymbekova: Reconstructing the genetic history of Central Eurasia. Supervisor: Martin Kuhlwilm
    • Val Karavaeva: Rings of life and where to find them: Evolution of tetrapyrroles. Supervisor: Maria Filipa Baltazar de Lima de Sousa
    • Nicole Catherina Krause: Chromosome organization and segregation in multicellular longitudinally. Supervisor: Silvia Bulgheresi
    • Sebastian Valerio Aymerich: Dynamics of the Giant Ciliate Symbiosis: An Omics Study. Supervisor: Monika Bright
    • Francesca Beclin: The evolutionary history of an aberrant chromosome of the genus Aquilegia. Supervisor: Magnus Nordborg
    • Marilena Heitger: Shedding light on dark ocean’s detrital particles: origin, composition, and age. Supervisor: Gerhard Herndl
    • Dmytro Spriahailo: Diversity and metabolic activity of bacteria in the sea-surface microlayer. Supervisor: Gerhard Herndl
    • 10th March 
    • Pablo Aycart Lazo: Functional diversity and interactions of birds, bats and arthropods in tropical cacao agroforestry systems: linking biodiversity conservation and ecosystem service management. Supervisors: Bea Maas, Stefan Dullinger
    • Krystof Chytry: Topography and related microclimate in alpine landscapes and how they shape vegetation’s response to climate change. Supervisor: Stefan Dullinger
    • Johannes Hausharter: The role of micro-climate and micro-environment for population dynamics of alpine plants. Supervisor: Stefan Dullinger
    • Ekin Kaplan: Temporal Changes and underlying Drivers of the Richness and Composition of Europe’s Native and Non-Native Flora. Supervisors: Franz Essl, Stefan Dullinger
    • Jessica Carolina Gomes da Silva: Microbial biotransformations in biogeochemical cycles. Supervisor: Maria Filipa Baltazar de Lima de Sousa
    • Bushra Ijaz: Targets of Ca2+-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs) in regulatory stress response network. Supervisors: Andreas Bachmair, Markus Teige
    • Isha Joshi: Analysing the interrelation of the DNA damage and pathogen signaling pathways in plants. Supervisor: Peter Schlögelhofer
    • June Feliciano Ordonez: Neuronal cell type development in the chaetognath Spadella cephaloptera (Busch, 1851). Supervisor: Tim Wollesen
    • Savannah Schaufler: Sustainability Reset: Questions of Behavioral and Cultural Changes Revealed by COVID-19. Supervisors: Harald Wilfing, Tatiana Konrad
    • Paul Klostermann: A Bioarchaeological Study of Pubertal Timing in Human Remains. Supervisors: Sabine Eggers, Mary Lewis (University of Reading, England)
    • Manuel Staggl: Drivers of Elasmobranch Diversity in Deep Time. Supervisor: Jürgen Kriwet
    • Pratiksha Acharya: Influence of resource and consumer diversity on the quality and microbial processing of fine particulate organic matter during leaf breakdown in streams. Supervisors: Christian Griebler, Katrin Attermeyer
    • Stefano Mari: The importance of dietary omega 3 fatty acids for development of cognitive skills in wild fishes through the lens of Tingbergen’s four. Supervisors: Martin Kainz, Libor Zavorka



  • FÖP 2022


    11th November 

    • Christian Geier: Flower-insect interactions in the Eocene to Oligocene of central Europe. Supervisors: Fridgeir Grimsson
    • Jeannette Becker: Comparative analysis of respiratory health during the medieval period in Austria Supervisors: Sylvia Kirchengast
    • Oliver Link: The origin and evolution of striated muscle cells in Metazoa. Supervisor: Ulrich Technau
    • Teerna Saugata Khastgir: The drivers of the adaptive radiation of persimmons on New Caledonia, a biodiversity hotspot. Supervisor: Ovidiu Paun
    • Fariha Naz Apon: Functions of cell wall integrity sensors in plant stress responses. Supervisors: Peter Schlöglhofer, Marie-Theres Hauser
    • Yovita Astuti Djohan: Defense mechanism of Pisum sativum towards Didymella pinodes infection with and without heat. Supervisors: Stefanie Wienkoop, Andreas Bachmair
    • Florian Danzinger: A safe operating space for agricultural landscapes: integrating green infrastructure, ecological restoration and stakeholder involvement. Supervisor: Stefan Dullinger, Thomas Wrbka
    • Sadia Sabrina Alam: The role of post-translational modifications in plant resilience. Supervisor: Andreas Bachmair, Markus Teige
    • Maximilian Dreer: Biofilm formation and transformation of Ammonia Oxidizing Archaea. Supervisor: Christa Schleper


    9th June 

    • Nina KRAUS: Hemodynamic influences on heart morphogenesis of the developing chick outflow tract. Supervisor: Brian METSCHER
    • Koto KON: Elucidating the role of transposable element activity in hydra regeneration. Supervisor: Oleg SIMAKOV
    • Constanze Hedwig SCHATTKE: Witnesses of Violence? Combining Bioarchaeology and Provenance to research violence in the acquisition contexts of human remains in the Department of Anthropology, Natural History Museum Vienna from 1857 – 1935. Supervisor: Sabine EGGERS (NHM Wien), Harald WILFING
    • Lukas DIRR: The Application of Citizen-Science and Crowd-Sourced Data in the Field of Aerobiology. Supervisor: Fridgeir GRIMSSON
    • Daniel MARTINOVIC SAAVEDRA: The role of enzyme promiscuity on organic phosphorus cycling in the ocean. Supervisor: Federico BALTAR
    • Giulia MANSO MARCHIORO: Functional diversity of coral fluorescent proteins in mesophotic reefs. Supervisor: Luise KRUCKENHAUSER
    • Andreas GATTRINGER: Plant migration in silico - Methods for simulating plant dynamics in a warming world. Supervisor: Stefan DULLINGER
    • Tom VORSTENBOSCH: Modelling the future of biological invasions in the sub-Antarctic under climate change. Supervisor: Stefan DULLINGER
    • Ana Isabel MARTINEZ RICHART: Landscape connectivity in forests. A multi-taxa case study on stepping stones between the Dürrenstein-Lassingtal Wilderness Area, and the Kalkalpen and Gesäuse National Parks, Austria. Supervisor: Franz ESSL, Jana PETERMANN (Univ. Salzburg)


    11th March

    • Ahmed M.M. HUSSEIN: Cognitive enhancement by targeting the dopaminergic system by DAT inhibitors on Spatial- dependent learning and memory in the Rats brain. Supervisors: Christian STUDENIK and Francisco MONJE QUIROGA
    • Lisa ROURESSOL: Genomic novelty underlying symbiotic organ evolution in bobtail squids. Supervisors: Oleg SIMAKOV and Margaret McFALL-NGAI
    • Carlos Antonio PÉREZ RÍZQUEZ: Underlying mechanism(s) of the symbioprotein ferritin on legume root nodule formation and drought stress. Supervisor: Stefanie WIENKOOP
    • Norbert HELM: Linking the micro with the macroscale in alpine plant ecology. Supervisor: Stefan DULLINGER
  • FÖP 2021


    10th December

    • Mildred Jessica JOHNSON: The life cycle and systematics of the boring ctenostome bryozoan families Immergentiidae and Spathiporidae Supervisor: Thomas Schwaha
    • Constantin KOPPER: Pantropical pollination syndromes and pollinator shifts in Melastomataceae Supervisor: Jürg Schönenberger
    • Thomas PRIBASNIG: Energy and carbon metabolism of Nitrososphaeria Supervisor: Christa Schleper
    • Barbara REISCHL: Physiological characteristics and biotechnological application potential of archaeal pure- and artificial co-cultures (closed to the public) Supervisor: Simon Rittmann
    • Marcel SEIFERT: Walk lt Like You Talk lt: Closing the Value-Action Gap in Climate Action with Experimental Evidence from a Climate Game and the Financial Advice Process Supervisor: Harald Wilfing
    • Tobias VIEHBÖCK: Compaction and organization of animal symbiont chromosomes Supervisor: Silvia Bulgheresi


    10th June 

    • Eva BREYER: OCEANIDES – "Oceanic fungal ecology and biogeochemistry". Supervisors: Federico Baltar Gonzáles and Gerhard J. Herndl
    • Leo CAPARI: Anatomy of challenge driven R&I: The cases of energy transition and demographic change        Supervisor: Harald Wilfing
    • Iris FISCHER: Ecological status of aquatic habitats in Vienna: critical comparison of classical monitoring and molecular genetic methods to assess species distribution and composition of the dragonfly fauna. Supervisor: Elisabeth Haring
    • Lena FRAGNER: Eco-metabolomics From Moderate to Tropical Climate - Molecular Insights to Colonization Strategies of Ecological Niches. Supervisors: Wolfram Weckwerth and Stefanie Wienkoop
    • Wan LI: The potential role of natural product Nordbergerin for immunomodulation in macrophages. Supervisor: Wolfram Weckwerth
    • Sanjay NARAYANASWAMY: Assessing senescence in the regenerative and long lived Nematostella vectensis. Supervisor: Ulrich Technau
    • Victoria OBERREITER: Mineralogical Preservation of the Human Biome from the Depth of Time. Supervisors:  Ron Pinhasi and Thomas Rattei
    • Hayk PALABIKYAN: Presentation closed to the public. Supervisor: Simon Rittmann
    • ŠIMKOVÁ Petra: Morphological variation and covariation in human postcanine dentition. Supervisor: Gerhard Weber
    • Randy TEAL: Floral resources and the movement of key pollinators along the biological corridor, COBIGA, in the fragmented tropical lowlands of Costa Rica. Supervisor: Jürg Schönenberger
    • Brina ZAGORC: Sex-specific variations in the health status of subadult Central European skeletal populations during Antiquity and Early Medieval times. Supervisor: Ron Pinhasi


    25th March

    • Arnaud BEGAT: Mesozoic elasmobranch fish (sharks, skates, and rays) ecology and diversity patterns before extinction events. Supervisor: Jürgen Kriwet
    • Anna-Maria GSCHWANDNER: Remoteness and size as determinants of Lake Ecosystem stability (RemoLake). Supervisor: Robert Ptacnik
    • Angus S. HILTS: The Oxygen Gambit: How life risked the reactivity of oxygen for energetic gain. Supervisor: Filipa Sousa
    • Jiahang LI: Development of Systematic Mathematic Matlab-based Software for the Analysis of Environmental, Clinical and Translational Large-scale OMICS Datasets. Supervisor: Wolfram Weckwerth
    • Alena KIZENKO: Genomic and evolutionary stability behind animal regeneration. Supervisor: Oleg Simakov
    • Anastasiia PADALKO: Metabolic traits prediction and validation in Archaea. Supervisors: Filipa Sousa and Oleg Simakov
    • Susanne REIER: Genetic variation of small cyprinids in the karst area. Supervisor: Luise Kruckenhauser
    • Teresa Maria WINTER: Ecology of Zoothamnium assemblages on experimental shallow water wood falls. Supervisor: Monika Bright
    • Benjamin WÖLFL: Footprints of Polygenic Adaptation. Supervisor: Joachim Hermisson
  • FÖP 2020
    11th December 
    • Silvia BASANTA: Evolution of the cell-cell communication network at the fetal-maternal interface. Supervisor: Mihaela Pavlicev
    • Julian BIBERMAIR: Evolution of Phylactolaemate bryozoans. Supervisor: Thomas Schwaha
    • Sebastian H. DECKER:  Life cycle and systematics of boring bryozoans. Supervisor: Thomas Schwaha
    • Clara GROOT CREGO: Disentangling the evolutionary drivers of an adaptive radiation in Tillandsia. Supervisor: Ovidiu Paun
    • Christina HEDDERICH: The Sources of variation fuelling adaptive radiation after long- distance dispersal in New Caledonian persimmon (Diospyros). Supervisor: Ovidiu Paun
    • Paul KNABL: BMP signaling in the cnidarian germ line. Supervisor: Grigory Genikhovich
    • Karen KÖLZER: Authenticity of urban honey: Specific challenges for palynology and how diversification of methods can overcome them. Supervisor: Martina Weber
    • Raphael MÜLLER: Mechanisms of Peat Formation in Different Wetland Ecosystems. Supervisor: Stephan Glatzel
    • Alice RETTER: Groundwater microbial biodiversity along an alpine river catchment and its link to hydro-meteorological extremes. Supervisor: Christian Griebler
    • Maryam Alsadat ZEKRI: Water’s gateway to heaven 3D imaging and modeling of transient stomatal responses in plant leaves under dynamic environments. Supervisor: Ingeborg Lang