We investigate infectious fish and crustacean diseases in the environmental context. Our current research focuses on the temperature-dependent, parasitic proliferative kidney disease in brown trout, and on crayfish plague caused by the oomycete Aphanomyces astaci. We investigate pathogenesis, epidemiology, the role of invasive species, but also abiotic factors such as temperature, water quality and other stressors.
Global changes play an exemplary role in the severity and spread of both diseases and will gain further importance in the future. As cold-blooded animals, fish and crustaceans are directly affected by climate warming. At the same time, warming water favours the spread of invasive species and of pathogens. Consequently, native brown trout and native crustaceans are endangered or potentially endangered. Both species are therefore an ideal model for studying the effects of climate warming on aquatic ecosystems and adaptation processes to global warming.