Julia von Gönner

Scholarship Holder



Development and evaluation of a Citizen Science programme for freshwater monitoring to assess the ecological status and pesticide contamination of streams 

I am interested in biodiversity education and especially in new approaches to improve the science-society-policy interactions in the field of environmental research.

In my PhD thesis, I investigate the potential of Citizen Science for ecological und ecotoxicological freshwater monitoring. I am building up a Citizen Science programme to assess the aquatic insect and invertebrate diversity as indicators for the ecological status and pesticide contamination of streams in the three German federal states Saxony, Thuringia and Saxony-Anhalt. The participating citizen scientists will also assess the structural quality of the stream habitats and measure basic chemical water quality parameters.

The Citizen Science programme (project name: FLOW) will complement the German national stream monitoring programme of the German Federal Environmental Agency (Umweltbundesamt) and of Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) as well as the German Water Framework Directive monitoring schedule.

My aim is to assess the structure and quality of the obtained ecotoxicological Citizen Science data and identify adequate methods for an integrated evaluation of Citizen Science data and monitoring data collected by scientific institutes and environmental agencies.

To carry out the volunteer trainings and fieldwork, I am working in close cooperation with the ‘environment buses’ of the Saxonian Foundation for Nature und Environment. I will also evaluate the extent and quality of ecological and transformative learning processes of the volunteers set off by the Citizen Science programme.

For more information you can visit my research project site.

iDiv publications


Kelly, R., A. Fleming, G. T. Pecl, J. v. Gönner, A. Bonn

(2020): Citizen science and marine conservation: a global review. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
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Puschstrasse 4
04103 Leipzig

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+49 341 9733150
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Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ

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