Press Release 41/2008

Expert for Floodplains

Professor Dister Is Awarded the Federal Cross of Merit at Rastatt
Specialist for floodplain ecology: Emil Dister.
Photo by: Universität Karlsruhe

Many fundamental findings in floodplain ecology are associated with his name: Emil R. Dister. For this, Federal President Horst Köhler has granted the Federal Cross of Merit. Peter Hauk, Minister of Nutrition and Rural Areas of the state of Baden-Württemberg, will hand over this award to Professor Dister on Tuesday, July 08, 19.30 hrs, at the Staffelschnatzersaal, Badnerhalle, Rastatt (Kapellenstraße 20-22).

Born in 1949, Dister studied biology / geobotanics and geography at Mainz and Göttingen. He was conferred his Ph. D. in 1980 at Göttingen, with his thesis focusing on floodplain ecology. Dister worked for example as a scientist at the Hessische Gesellschaft für Ornithologie und Naturschutz (HGON, Hesse Society of Ornithology and Nature Protection) at Frankfurt am Main and as an academic employee of the Institut für Biogeographie (Institute of Biogeography) of the University of the Saarland. Since 1985, he has been heading the WWF Auen-Institut (Floodplain Institute) at Rastatt that became a major part of the Institute of Water and Water Development (IWG) of the Universität Karlsruhe in 2004. As associate lecturer at the universities of Saarbrücken (since 1979) and Karlsruhe (since 1989) and temporarily at the universities of Basle and Marburg, he conveyed his knowledge and ideas to students.

For projects and research, Dister traveled to many countries in Europe, South America, and West Africa. These stays focused on natural or anthropogenic changes of the vegetation of floodplains, the effect of reservoirs, and renaturation.


Hans-Jürgen Pütsch, lord mayor of the city of Rastatt

Hand-over of the Federal Cross of Merit:
Peter Hauk, Minster of Nutrition and Rural Areas of the state of Baden-Württemberg

Welcome addresses, among others by:
Christoph Heinrich, Nature Protection Director WWF Deutschland, and Gunter Kaufmann, Member of State Government


The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is the merger of the Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, member of the Helmholtz Association, and the Universität Karlsruhe. This merger will give rise to an institution of internationally excellent research and teaching in natural and engineering sciences. In total, the KIT has 8000 employees and an annual budget of 700 million Euros. The KIT focuses on the knowledge triangle of research – teaching – innovation.

The Karlsruhe institution is a leading European energy research center and plays a visible role in nanosciences worldwide. KIT sets new standards in teaching and promotion of young scientists and attracts top scientists from all over the world. Moreover, KIT is a leading cooperation partner of industry.

ele, July 07, 2008

ele, July 07, 2008


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