Don't forget to secure your membership before applying for gtö grants

For any questions regarding your membership status, please contact:

Dr. Simone Pfeiffer

e-mail: treasurer(at)

Merian Awards

The Merian Awards were established in 2001 to support early-career scientists by acknowledging outstanding contributions (talks and posters) delivered on the occasion of our annual meetings.Merian Metamorphosis

The award is dedicated to Maria Sibylla Merian (* 1647, Frankfurt/M. - † 1717, Amsterdam) to commemorate her unique work as an outstanding artist and as first female naturalist who actually travelled to the tropics in order to study their fascinating diversity. She was the first scientist who recognized, and documented the process of metamorphosis in insects. The resulting work, which she later published under the title: Metamorphosis insectorum Surinamensium, can easily be considered a fundamental milestone in entomology. The precision of her observations, her curiosity, her dedication and outstanding quality as a free thinker willing to shatter long-held believes despite the societal atmosphere predominating in her time, make her an ideal role-model for generations of young and aspiring tropical ecologists that follow in her footsteps.

The society grants a total of six Merian Awards annually. Three awards are reserved for the best oral presentations and three for the best posters. Prize money is granted according to the following ranking: 1. = 300€; 2. = 200€; 3. = 100€. Awardees for the best contributions are additionally freed from paying registrations fees for the following annual conference.

The winners are awarded during the conference closing ceremony.


Who is eligible and how to apply?

Eligible candidates are students and early career scientists (receiving their Ph.D. no more than three years before the meeting date). Nominees must be members of the gtö. So do not forget to secure your membership before enrolling for the award contest.


Past and present awardees



1. Thomas Luypaert: Extending species-area relationships to the realm of eco-acoustics: Island Soundscape-Area Relationships

2. Finn Rehling: Animal carrion decomposition and decomposers are influenced by canopy cover, topography, ants and tree species richness in a subtropical forest biodiversity experiment


1. Kim Lea Holzmann: From large mammals to small dung beetles: Diversity & abundance along a forest elevational gradient in Peru



1. Michele von Kocemba: The price of conservation: An effectivity analysis of biodiversity conservation in the protected areas of the Mount Elgon region, Uganda

2. Johannes Wiegers: Evaluating density estimation methods for unmarked wildlife with trail cameras in a Neotropical forest

2. Anita Weissflog: Microbial plant-soil feedbacks affect secondary succession of tropical rainforests

3. Sailee Sakhalkar: Unveiling the Role of Module Persistence in the Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Pollination Networks in Afrotropical Forests

3. Maciej Barczyk: Environmental conditions differently shape leaf, seed and seedling trait composition between and within elevations of tropical montane forests               


1. Dominik Anyz: Do selfing rates rise with elevation as pollinator activity decreases in Afromontane grasslands?



1. David Bartholomew: The response of photosynthesis, respiration and carbon storage to long-term drought in small Amazonian trees                                           

2. Matthew Methcoat: A machine learning approach to map tropical selective logging in Landsat imagery                                     

3. Samuel Robinson: Impact of logging gaps on soil microbial community attributes and function in Borneo                                   


1. Leandro van Langenhove: Rapid post-fertilization plant phosphorus uptake indicate phosphorus limitation in French Guiana                               

2. Helena Teixera: Genomic assessment of hybridization between the distantly related Microcebus murinus and M. ravelobensis species in northwestern Madagascar

3. Michael Pashkevich: Conserving river margins of mature oil palm during replanting has varied impacts on oil palm arthropods                                       



1. Robert Muscarella: Global patterns in palm abundance                                        

2. Natalia Ocampo-Peñuela: Four decades of forest loss in Borneo and its lasting effects on forest frugivores and seed dispersal                                           

3. Omar Nevo: Is fruit odor an adaptation for Lemur seed dispersal?                                   


no poster prizes in 2018!                                                          



1. Siria Biagioni: Prehistorical and historical human-landscape interactions at the Lindu plain and the link to climate variability of Central Sulawesi (Indonesia)         

2. Kartika Hapsari: Anthropogenic disturbance and resilience of a tropical peatland: a message from the past                                

3. Friederike Gebert: Mammals and dung beetles along an elevation and land use gradient on Mt Kilimanjaro                                           


1. Kerstin Pierick: Variation of tree fine root architecture along a topographical gradient in an Ecuadorian tropical montane forest

2. Friederike Clever: Local and regional differences in fish community structure on the mesoamerican barrier reef                       

3. Michael Staab: Trap nests for hymenoptera: past, present, and future of a standardized sampling method in (tropical) ecology



1. Kartika Hapsari: Deglacial and Holocene environmental and peat-carbon accumulation dynamics of a peatland in the coastal area of Central Sumatra, Indonesia

2. Fritz Kleinschroth: Roadless space and logging in intact forest landscapes of the Congo Basin                                           

3. Anita Weißflog: Insect herbivory and predation pressure across a tropical rainfall and tree species richness gradient                                              


1. Gloria Gessinger: Oral emission of echolocation calls in phyllostomid bats?                                 

2. James Smith: Untangling the liana dominance hypothesis: are lianas increasing in an aseasonal Neotropical forest?                                              

3. Hsiao-Hang Tao: Long-term effects of crop residue application on soil biota activities and functions in oil palm agroecosystems                                            



1. Graham Prescott: S17-O13 (conference abstracts)                                   

2. Tom Van der Stocken: S10-O1 (conference abstracts)                                            

3. Bea Maas: S5-O1 (conference abstracts)                                       


1. Delphine Zemp: s12p6 (conference abstracts)                                           

2. Anne Gérard: s5p2(conference abstracts)                                   

3. Julia Adams: s5p5 (conference abstracts)                                     



1. Sarah H Luke: The impacts of logging and oil palm agriculture on stream invertebrates in Malaysian Borneo: can riparian margins mitigate the loss of biodiversity?

2. James Smith:                Winging it: using tower experiments and seed morphology to predict dispersal in tropical trees                                              

3. Witold Lapinski: Habitat use and ecomorphology in Central American wandering spiders     


1. Patrick Cvecko: Activity pattern and foraging behavior of the tent-making bat (Uroderma bilobatum) in panama                  

2. Roman Link: Small-scale spatial distribution of Piperaceae and Rubiaceae in a tropical mountain ecosystem in southern Ecuador                              

3. Brenner Silva                Rendez: WUE: Canopy evapotranspiration meets water use efficiency of leaves                                            



1. Amanda Matson: Nitrogen-cycling response to elevated nutrient inputs in canopy soils of Ecuadorian montane forests                                              

2. Ingo Grass: Strong effects of increasing relative invasive abundance and land-use intensity on native plant-pollinator interactions                      

3. Maria Helbig-Bonitz: Who reaches the summit? Impacts of land use on elevational distribution patterns of insectivorous bats at Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania


1. Nikolai Knapp: Which role do frogs play in a rainforest food web? A quantitative investigation of anuran predation in Borneo.                                       

2. Bernhard Schuldt: Differences in drought resistance and growth performance of ten native tree species on a mixed plantation of the Guanacaste region in Costa Rica

3. Karin Schneeberger: Effect of Sex and Age on the Immune System of Neotropical Bats        



1. Karin Schneeberger: Eco-immunology of tropical mammals                               

2. Claudia Raedig: SPERICH: an open-source tool for the identification of spatial species richness patterns at large scales and in sparse data situations            

3. Alexandra Pardow: Microhabitats and desiccation tolerance: implications for bryophytes in the tropical lowland forest               


1. Insa Wagner: Sweet tooth with good teeth low percentage of dental caries in the Neotropical frugivorous bat A. jamaicensis and probable causes           

2. Daniel Lewanzik: Rain increases the energy cost of bat flight                                               

3. Daisy Cárate: Effects of experimental nutrient addition on the establishment and growth of tropical montane forest tree seedlings in southern Ecuador 



1. Andreas Wilting: Past, present and future of Bornean carnivores                                     

2. Alexandra Ley: The impact of Pleistocene climate change on speciation in Central Africa the case of Haumania (Marantaceae)                                              

3. David Bierbach: Conservation of endemic extremophile live bearing fishes from sulfidic habitats in southern Mexico


1. Delicia Pino:                                                

2. Inga Geipel:                                                

3. Hannes Lerp: