Birte Peters

Postdoctoral Researcher

Research interests


Ecological interactions and networks never fail to fascinate me, both at descriptive and functional scales. Understanding their comprehensive complexity, in my opinion, necessitates a collaborative scientific approach that spans from the molecular to the ecosystem level. Therefore, the development of interdisciplinary research employing multidisciplinary methods holds utmost importance in my view.

Furthermore, I have a strong interest in participatory research, biodiversity education, and exploring innovative approaches to enhance interactions between science, society, and policy in the field of environmental research. This interest is fueled by the recognition that the contribution individuals make to science, research, and policy is a key step in aligning activities with the actual needs of the community. Hence, citizen science plays a crucial role in modern society as an essential component and valuable resource.

Additionally, interdisciplinary research is dedicated to finding solutions for real-world environmental issues.  The integration of citizen science with modern tools  (such as DNA metabarcoding or automated image recognition), demonstrates substantial potential in addressing crucial data gaps, particularly when conventional scientific monitoring proves impractical or unfeasible.

I strongly believe that successful conservation strategies must embrace a harmonious approach that involves collaborating with nature and actively engaging with humans.


The InsectMobile project is a Citizen Science initiative conducting mobile insect monitoring using car-mounted devices. It focuses on patterns of insect abundance, composition, and biomass in agricultural and natural landscapes. The pilot phase (2018-2020) explores the advantages of mobile monitoring and genetic barcoding compared to traditional methods, as well as the use of automated image recognition for analysis. We aim to develop a rapid assessment tool for widespread monitoring, complementing intensive efforts. The collaboration with citizens is expected to facilitate the timely translation of collectively generated knowledge into actionable options for management and policy, such as in urban planning, agriculture, and forestry. Additionally, firsthand experiences with insects (or their absence) may serve as inspiration to seek and implement solutions for more sustainable land use practices.

We are collaborate closely with the Danish project InsectMobile of the Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen.



Engel T,  Chowdhury S, Friedrichs-Manthey M, von Gönner J, Herrmann T, Klenke R, Koch Sheard J, PetersB und Bonn A (2023). Digitalisierung in Citizen Science und Naturschutz – Anwendungsbeispiele aus der Praxis Digital technologies in citizen science and nature conservation – Overview of practical examples. Natur und Landschaft, ed.98 6/7. DOI:10.19217/NuL2023-06-07

Leonhardt SD, Peters B, Keller A. (2022). Do amino and fatty acid profiles of pollen provisions correlate with bacterial microbiomes in the mason bee Osmia bicornis? Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B 377: 20210171.

Peters, B, Keller, A, & Leonhardt, SD (2022). Diets maintained in a changing world: Does land-use intensification alter wild bee communities by selecting for flexible generalists? Ecology and Evolution, 12, e8919.

Peters B, Türke M, Junker RR (2017) Epiphytic bacteria on lettuce affect the feeding behavior of an invasive pest slug. Acta Agrobotanica (invited contribution to a special issue on plant-animal interactions)

Kuppler J, Grasegger T, Peters B, Popp S, Schlager M, Junker RR (2017) Volatility of network indices due to undersampling of intraspecific variation in plant insect interactions.Arthropod-Plant Interactions

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Puschstrasse 4
04103 Leipzig

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+49 341 9733138
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Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ

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