New honorary professorship deals with aquatic research and protection

With the award of a new honorary professorship in the field Aquatic biogeochemistry to Dr. Michael Hupfer, teaching and research on water issues at the Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg (BTU) will be more broadly based

The questions of water protection under the conditions of climate change and changing land use, which are the focus of this research, are part of the profile line Global Change and Transformation Processes at the BTU.

In close cooperation between the BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg and the Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries in Berlin (IGB), Dr. Michael Hupfer is researching the impact of urbanization, mining and climate change on water ecosystems. The use of long-term series and the application of modern analytical methods should make it possible to better reconstruct the condition of lakes, also with the help of records stored in the sediment. The basis of this research approach is paleolimnology, a science that reconstructs environmental conditions by examining physical, chemical-mineralogical, and biological properties in sediments of various ages. Such properties can be linked to the recent evolution of a water body. "Paleolimnology offers a wide range of methods," says Dr. Michael Hupfer. "For example, DNA from organisms present in the sediment or organic biomarkers can be used to find out which species were once present in the lake."

Dr. Michael Hupfer received the certificate for the honorary professorship during an Academic Ceremony on July 13, 2022 by the President of BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg Prof. Dr. Gesine Grande in the Audimax at the central campus. In his lecture "Waters in Transition: How is Global Warming Changing the State of our Lakes?" it became clear that forecasts and the development of adaptation strategies require a transdisciplinary approach. Deepening the cooperation between the working groups of the BTU and the IGB offer good opportunities for this. " I am looking forward to participating in the education of future professionals who will face the great forthcoming challenges of protecting our freshwaters," said Dr. Michael Hupfer during the award ceremony.

About the scientist

Dr. Michael Hupfer is a research group leader at the IGB. The institute is a leading international research center for aquatic ecology and inland fisheries. The institute's work combines basic with precautionary research as a basis for sustainable management of inland waters. Michael Hupfer has teaching experience in various universities and has contributed in responsible positions as speaker of a cross cutting research domain and department head to the development of research priorities of the IGB especially regarding the response of lakes, rivers and wetlands to rapidly changing global, regional and local environmental conditions.

Dr. rer. nat. Michael Hupfer first studied Marine Ecology at the University of Rostock before specializing in Technical Hydrobiology/Limnology at the Technical University of Dresden. In 1993, after guest stays in Innsbruck and at the Limnological Institute Mondsee of the Austrian Academy of Sciences Mondsee, he received his PhD on the topic "Phosphorus in aquatic sediments" at the TU Dresden. As a postdoctoral researcher at the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eidgenössische Anstalt für Wasserversorgung, Abwasserreinigung und Gewässerschutz, Switzerland), the focus was on improving the scientific basis for the application of lake restoration methods. The practice-oriented research topics were expanded during a subsequent appointment as a scientist at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) in Magdeburg, Germany, which focused on forecasting the development of mining lakes in flood and corresponding management strategies. The IGB offered the opportunity to extend this research and to transfer the findings into practice through a variety of activities. These include the development of a guide to lake therapy, participation in working groups, the organization of workshops and conferences, and the editing of the book "Handbuch für Angewandte Limnologie" (Wiley-Verlag) as a continuation work. His publication activities include more than180 publications in international and national journals. Mr. Hupfer is a member of the executive board of the German Society for Limnology and editor in chief of the journal "Limnologica".

Prof. Dr. Michael Hupfer
BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg
Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)
T +49 (0)30 64181 605
E michael.hupfer(at)


Ilka Seer
Referat Corporate Identity
T +49 (0) 355 69-3612
Dr. Michael Hupfer received the certificate for the honorary professorship from the President of BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg Prof. Dr. Gesine Grande during an academic ceremony on 13 July 2022 in the Audimax at the central campus. Photo: private