Natural History

Musem Vienna

7

Role in the project

The Natural History Museum Vienna and its team is responsible for the coordination of all scientific and public communication, participation and outreach. Moreover, we work on the role of microorganisms in restoration efficiency, as well as the restoration of cold-water coral habitat in the North Atlantic.

Because there is only rudimentary understanding of the functional consequences of host-microbiome interactions in marine forests, we will be combining field and laboratory experiments to 1) characterize host-associated microbiomes of natural populations; 2) determine the influence of the microbiome on host performance under changing conditions; and 3) investigate host microbiome interactions in restoration experiments.

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Team members

Pedro Frade, PhD

Pedro Frade, PhD

PI

Website: https://www.nhm-wien.ac.at/en/pedro_frade

Being curator of invertebrate zoology in a research museum in a land-locked country, I feel privileged that our institution can contribute to applied science leading to conservation and restoration of marine ecosystems. 

In RESTORESEAS I will be directly involved in coordinating work about the role of microorganisms in the success of restoration of shallow and deep marine animal forests. I will also contribute to the coordination of the project’s scientific and public communication, participation and outreach, including the translation of scientific results into new communication tools (together with collaborators in Vienna) involving art as a vector for science.

Elisabeth Haring, Priv-Doz. Dr.

Elisabeth Haring, Priv-Doz. Dr.

Molecular techniques and student supervision

Website: https://nhm-wien.ac.at/elisabeth_haring

As head of the Central Research Laboratories of NHMW, I supervise research projects dealing with molecular systematics, phylogenetic and phylogeographic studies of a broad variety of animal species, spanning birds, mammals, insects, molluscs and, more recently, cnidarians. In RESTORESEAS I am interested in exploring the species-specificity of microbial communities associated to coral hosts and how to best address the role of microbiomes in the context of conservation vs restoration.

Iris Ott, MSc

Iris Ott, MSc

Coordination of participatory science communication

Website: https://nhm-wien.ac.at/iris_ott

As head of the Science Communication department at NHMW Naturhistorisches Museum Wien – Department of Science Communication (nhm-wien.ac.at), my team and I are involved in the coordination and conceptualization of how the museum communicates with the public. Using a variety of formats, locations, and activities, we want to inspire you, fascinate you, give you access to an extraordinary world and invite you to become part of it. We strive to reach a diverse audience in the most appealing and varied way possible and, above all, we want to be a museum open to everyone! In RESTORESEAS I am particularly interested in exploring a new concept of itinerant exhibition and workshop based on eBikes: Naturhistorisches Museum Wien – NHM Vienna on tour (nhm-wien.ac.at)

I believe this concept can be a great step to explain marine restoration to a broad public in a landlocked country and reaches all of those who cannot visit us in the museum.

Christian Pruckner, MSc

Christian Pruckner, MSc

PhD student

Conservation biology, especially marine conservation, has been dear to me already since a young age and therefore I am excited to contribute to the protection and restoration of marine animal forests in RESTORESEAS. Through my background in Microbial Ecology, I had the opportunity to study microorganisms with culture-dependent and -independent techniques, as well as studying their evolutionary history. In the RESTORESEAS project I will be applying my skills to characterize the host-associated microbiome in cold-water coral (CWC) habitats in the North-Atlantic – primarily habitats formed by Lophelia pertusa – and to identify the microbial consortium involved in the successful restoration of these habitats. These findings will help improve resilience of CWCs in the restoration process.

Marcellina Rola

Marcellina Rola

MSc student

Marine ecosystems have always fascinated me. By focusing on the evolution of photosymbiosis in Invertebrates for my bachelor thesis, I got entirely soaked up by the science behind it. Symbiosis generally leads to complex organismic interactions and precise evolutionary adaptions. Yet, facing irreversible tipping points in largely all ecosystems, doesn’t make the holobiont fine-tuning any easier. Humans are also highly depend on their coastal protection and the nursery ground that marine forests provide. In a nutshell, I am excited to be part of the RESTORESEAS project, to work on my master thesis. I am particularly interested on how the microbiome maintains healthy marine forests and how microbial communities could be a key element to establish nature-based restoration strategies.

Maria Pinto, PhD

Maria Pinto, PhD

Website & Media Communication Officer

I am interested in marine sciences and science communication, especially in bridging the knowledge gap between research and policy makers and the public. My passion has always been marine biology, and I use my academic education in the field, together with my passion for communication, to promote awesome and important science.

Latest blog posts

From Brazil to Austria

From Brazil to Austria

It is super exciting to see our project RESTORESEAS showcased in the new Brazil exhibition at the Natural History Museum Vienna! This exhibition explores 200 years of historical relationships between Brazil and Austria