Research themes at the Tropical Field Station La Gamba

Research has been carried out at the La Gamba Field Station since 1993, with groups from Austria, Germany, the USA and Costa Rica addressing a wide range of questions, mostly on tropical themes. Some current areas of investigation, and the researchers involved, are detailed below.

Conservation biology

Abandoned pastures are being replanted with native trees as part of the reforestation project. Several recent investigations have focused on the effects of land use on biodiversity.

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Stefan Dullinger
Univ.-Prof. Dr. Peter Hietz
Dr. Werner Huber
Dr. Christian Schulze
Univ.-Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Wanek
Dr. Anton Weissenhofer

Biodiversity research

A longside our long-running Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functions (BDEF) project, a wide range of organismal groups will be documented and analysed along natural and anthropogenic clines, in order to gain insights into functional diversity.

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Konrad Fiedler
Univ.-Prof Dr. Walter Hödl
Dr. Johann Schinnerl
Dr. Christian Schulze
Univ.-Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Wanek
Univ.-Prof. Dr. Wolfram Weckwerth

Ecosystems research

Nutrient cycling has been investigated over several years in selected tropical rainforest research plots.

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Andreas Richter
Univ.-Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Wanek
Dr. Florian Hofhansl

Animal–plant interactions

We are investigating how animals and plants interact, such as pollinators and flowers, or ants and their host plants.

Dr. Veronika Mayer
Univ.-Prof. Dr. Jürg Schönenberger
Univ.-Prof. Dr. Anton Weber

We are also looking into the biology of tropical bees.

Dr. Thomas Eltz
Dr. Stefan Jarau
Dr. Santiago Ramirez
Dr. Johannes Spaethe


Our zoologists study frogs and birds in their natural habitats, the mouthparts of butterflies, and much more.


Univ.-Prof. Dr. Walter Hödl
Univ.-Prof. Dr. Harald Krenn
Dr. Eva Ringler
Dr. Christian Schulze