PONDERFUL under the microscope at IGB Science Day 2023

Nov 21, 2023

PONDERFUL was a key attraction at the Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB) Science Day in September.

Around 600 people from across Berlin and beyond attended the public event, which PONDERFUL partner IGB has held since 1992. The Science Day focused on informing and educating visitors about IGB’s research activities on lakes, rivers and ponds, as well as addressing freshwater issues of public concern. The event, which attracted people of all ages, featured several interactive elements and gave people the opportunity to interact with IGB researchers.

The PONDERFUL group at IGB created a stand, which included two microscopes. Visitors used the microscopes and ID sheets to identify the main groups of benthic macroinvertebrates, found in ponds at nearby PONDERFUL demo-site Schöneiche. These aquatic invertebrates can be important indicators of water quality. Attendees also played a memory card game to learn about the main Nature Contributions to People provided by ponds. They were also invited to list local names for ponds at Schöneiche.

Dr. Thomas Mehner of IGB said: “Our stand attracted a lot of attention and sparked interesting conversations about the role of ponds. Many visitors observed that almost all the ponds at the demo-site had become dry during the last decade and, as a result, we had discussions about regional hydrology and the roles of stakeholders.

“It was surprising to understand that many people are not aware of the role of ponds – or freshwater in general – as the habitat for development of many insect groups, including dragonflies and beetles. The event was a great opportunity to share PONDERFUL with a wider public, as well as engaging in discussions about the importance of ponds for biodiversity.”