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Dr. Anja Scherwaß

Curriculum vitae


Study of biology at the University of Cologne. Graduation ("Dipl.-Biol.")


Study of limnology at the University of Vienna, Institute for Limnology (Erasmus-Grant of the European Union)


Diploma thesis on problems of nitrite toxicity on macroinvertebrates and occurrence of nitrite in surface and interstitial water in a small river


Assistance at laboratory work and students courses at the University of Cologne, Department of Physiological Ecology, Prof. Dr. Neumann

1998 – 2001

Graduate Student at the University of Cologne: Ecological role of ciliates in the potamoplankton of the river Rhine

2001 - 2005

Postdoctoral Research Associate: Interactions between bacteria and protozoans: Feeding ecology of heterotrophic flagellates

March 2003 - May 2003

Research Stay at the Molecular Microbial Ecology Group (Prof. S.Molin) at the Danish Technical University, Lyngby

2005 -

Research Associate (Permanent Position)


Research interests

Ecology of Protozoans, esp. Ciliates in Rivers, Biofilm Ecology, Bacteria-Protozoa Interactions, esp. Three Dimensional Structure investigated by Laser Scanning Microscopy

Recent publications

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Scepanski, D., Augustin, N., Dünn, M., Scherwaß, A., Xavier, J.R., Werner, J., Waldvogel, A.-M., Arndt, H. (2024) Vertical distribution of epibenthic megafauna of a large seamount west of Cape Verde islands (tropical North Atlantic). Marine Biodiversity 54:6.


Stief, P., Schauberger, C.,Lund, M.B., Greve, A.,Abed, R.M.M., Al-Najjar, M.A., Attard, K., Bonaglia, S., Deutzmann, J.S., Franco-Cisterna, B., García-Robledo, E., Holtappels, M., John, U., Maciute, A., Magee, M.J., Pors, R., Santl-Temkiv, T., Scherwass, A., evilgen, D.S., de Beer, D., Glud, R.N., Andreas Schramm, A., Kamp, A. (2022): Intracellular nitrate storage by diatoms can be an important nitrogen pool in freshwater and marine ecosystems.


Živaljić, S., Scherwass, A., Schoenle, A., Hohlfeld, M., Quintela-Alonso, P., Nitsche, F., Arndt, H. (2020): A barotolerant ciliate isolated from the abyssal deep-sea of the North Atlantic: Euplotes dominicanus sp. n. (Ciliophora, Euplotia). Europ. J. Protistol. 73, Article 125664

Živaljić, S., Schoenle, A., Scherwass, A., Hohlfeld, M., Nitsche, F., Arndt, H. (2020): Influence of hydrostatic pressure on the behaviour of three ciliate species isolated from the deep sea. Marine Biology  167:63


Venter, P., Nitsche, F., Scherwass, A., Arndt, H. (2018) Discrepancies between molecular and morphological databases of soil ciliates studied for temperate grasslands of central Europe. Protist 169: 521-538


Jeuck, A., Nitsche, F., Wylezich, C., Wirth, O., Hennemann, M., Troll, N., Bergfeld, T., Monir, S., Scherwaß, A., Arndt, H. (2017): A comparison of quantification methods for heterotrophic flagellates of different taxonomic groups. Protist 168: 375-391


Scherwass A., Erken M., Arndt H. (2016): Grazing effects of ciliates on microcolony formation in bacterial biofilms. In: "Microbial biofilms - Importance and Applications": 81-93 Ed: D. Dhanasekaran and N. Thajuddin


Ackermann, B., Esser, M., Scherwaß, A., Arndt, H. (2011) Long-term dynamics of microbial biofilm communities of the River Rhine with special references to ciliates. Int. Revue Hydrobiol. 96:1-19

Bergfeld, T., Scherwass, A., Ackermann, B., Fischer, H., Arndt, H., Schöl, A. (2011): Longitudinal and seasonal dynamics of the planktonic microbial community along the length of the River Rhine. River Systems 19(4): 337-349


Scherwass, A., Bergfeld, T., Schöl, A., Weitere, M. and Arndt, H. (2010): Changes in the plankton community along the length of the River Rhine: Lagrangian sampling and enclosure experiments, J. Plankt. Res. 32 (4): 491-502.


Bergfeld, T., Scherwass, A., Ackermann, B., Arndt, H., Schöl, A. (2009).: Comparison of the components of the planktonic food web in three large rivers (Rhine, Moselle and Saar)". River Research and Applications 25 (10): 1232-1250

Risse-Buhl, U., Scherwass, A., Schlüssel, A., Arndt, H., Kröwer, S., Küsel, K. (2009): Detachment and motility of surface-associated ciliates at increased flow velocities. Aquat. Microb. Ecol. 55: 209-218


Wey, J.K., Scherwass, A., Norf, H., Arndt, H., Weitere, M. (2008): Effects of protozoan grazing within river biofilms under semi-natural conditions. Aquat. Microb. Ecol. 52: 283-296


Scherwass, A., Fischer, Y., Arndt, H.(2005): Detritus as a potential food source for protozoans: consumption and digestion of plant detritus by a heterotrophic flagellate (Chilomonas paramecium) and a ciliate (Tetrahymena pyriformis). Aquatic Ecology 39(4): 439-445

Scherwass, A., Arndt, H. (2005): Structure, dynamics and control of the ciliate fauna in the potamoplankton of the river Rhine. Arch. Hydrobiol. 164(3): 287-307

Weitere, M., Scherwass, A., Sieben, K.-T., Friedrich, G., Arndt, H.(2005): Planctonic Food Web Structure and Potential Carbon Flow in the Lower River Rhine with a Focus on the Role of the Protozoans. River Research and Applications 21: 535-549


Scherwass, A., Wickham, S. A. , Arndt, H. (2002): Determination of the abundance of ciliates in highly turbid running waters - an improved method tested for the River Rhine. Arch. Hydrobiol. 156 (1): 135-146


Scherwass, A., Eimer, A. & Arndt, H. (2001): Selective influence of filter-feeding benthic bivalves (Corbicula sp., Mytilus sp.) on planctonic ciliates. Verh. Int. Verein. theor. angew. Limnol. 27: 3315-3318


Scherwass, A., Arndt, H. (1999): Ciliaten im Potamoplankton des Rheins: Reines Driftphänomen oder eigene Planktongemeinschaft?. Tag. Dt. Ges. Limnol: Erw. Zus.


Scherwass, A., Lorenz, D. & Neumann, D. (1996): Charakterisierung der Interstitialwasserbedingungen eines abwasserbelasteten Mühlengrabens. Tag. Dt. Ges. Limnol: Erw. Zus.