Research for students

Open topics

MSc, BSc program

What effect do the newly established wildflower plots have on neighboring agricultural area

Supervisor: András BÁLDI, DsC

In the Kiskunság, 16 flowering plots in the middle of large agricultural areas were created. Our goal is to evaluate the impact of these plots, for example, whether the frequency of beneficial (and harmful) arthropods increases, and how far this extends into the adjacent agricultural fields. Are we infesting the wheat from the flower plots? Are we spreading predators or parasitoids to control pests? Is there a difference between arthropod groups or the crops grown or the edges with different structures? Hopefully this will help us to argue successfully to farmers about the benefits of sown flower fields and more broadly, habitat restoration.

MSc, BSc program

Colonization and habitat use of birds in newly established wildflower plots

Supervisor: András BÁLDI, DsC

In the Kiskunság, 16 flowering plots in the middle of large agricultural areas were created. Our goal is to evaluate the impact of these plots, for example, whether the frequency of beneficial (and harmful) arthropods will increase, and at what landscape scale. The impact of these plots on the occurrence of birds is an exciting research question: do ground nesting species prefer these sites over agricultural plots? How does it affect nest survival? What species prefer these areas? What is the effect of landscape structure? What effect does the size of the flower plot have? Such information can be used to develop a good practice to protect dramatically declining species such as the Eurasian skylark.

MSc, BSc program

What natural, economic and social background variables influence the spatial patterns of ecosystem services in Hungary?

Supervisor: Eszter TANÁCS, PhD

One of the main objectives of the European Union's Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 was to preserve and restore ecosystem services (ES) as fully as possible. To this end, Member States were required to map and assess the state of ecosystems in their territory and the status and economic value of the ES they provide. In Hungary, a project was launched in the autumn of 2016, coordinated by the Ministry of Agriculture which included the national mapping and evaluation of the ES of national importance (National Ecosystem Service Mapping and Evaluation; NÖSZTÉP). We are looking for an enthusiastic student to join the evaluation of the spatial patterns of the completed national maps.

PhD program: Environmental and Landscape Management

Effects of farming on biodiversity and ecosystem services

Supervisor: András BÁLDI, DSc

Low intensity farming is an essential tool for maintaining farmland biodiversity and ecosystem services (eg. pollination, soil fertility, pest control). Effective management requires research knowledge and continuous monitoring. The research examines the impact of grassland overseeding and establishment of flower plots on arable land in the Kiskunság on biodiversity and ecosystem services, all in a landscape context. The question is how sowing with native plants, especially with Leguminosae, can restore soil fertility of old fields, and thus increase biomass and biodiversity. The question regarding the flower parcels is how far the effect penetrates into the landscape on biodiversity and ecosystem services.

Active students

Áron Domonkos Bihaly (PhD School of Biological Sciences, Szent István University, 2019)

The effects of semi-natural and artificially established, moderately disturbed habitats on pollinator communities

Áron joined in the Kiskunság Wildflower Fields Experiment, where he studies the local and landscape scale effects of wildflower fields and strips on the species richness, abundance, species composition of wild bees and hoverflies, the reproduction success of cavity-nesting wild bees and wasps and the delivered pollination services.

Ildikó Arany (PhD School of Environmental Sciences, Szent István University, 2015-...)

Valuing ecosystem services provided by honey bees for nature conservation and sustainable land use

Ildikó explores the pitfalls of indicator ambiguities in the provision of honey from natural and agricultural ecosystems. In the last few years honey provision received considerable attention, with several new indicators having been proposed. Nevertheless, there are quite a few degrees of freedom in the way how honey provision capacities can be defined and measured, and consequently, there is a broad diversity between indicators developed in various parts of the world in what they actually show. Ildikó wants to unearth these hidden ambiguities, explore the underlying implementation choices, and to give recommendations for a sane and robust method selection and documentation process.

László Somay (PhD School of Environmental Sciences, Szent István University, 2014-...)

Role of dung beetles in the decomposition of domestic and wild grazers dung in Hungary

László compares dung beetle communities and functional traits in different habitats and for different dung types (horse, cattle, sheep). He also participates in international decomposition projects, and has prominent publications already.

Former students

  • Krisztina Bereczki (PhD School of Environmental Sciences, Szent István University, 2013-2017)

The role of birds in the natural control of caterpillar pests in temperate oak forests

  • Edina Mózes (Biologist MSc, Eötvös Lóránt University, 2012-2014 )

Assessment of pollinator communities and the efficiency of their sampling methods in arable fields and grasslands

  • Ádám Szirák (Biologist MSc, Eötvös Lóránt University, 2012-2013 )

The effects of landscape structure and vegetation on plant-pollinator networks

  • Áron Domonkos Bihaly (Plant Protection MSc, SZIE MKK, 2016-2018)

The assessment of mason bees (Megachilidae) in apple orchards and nearby semi-natural habitats near Börzsöny Mountain

  • Anita Nagy (Biologist MSc, St Andrews University, Scotland, 2017-2019)

Pollinator abundance and crop yield change with sown flowering plant strips, and the factors that affect this – a literature review; The effect of sown flowering plants on wild pollinator abundance and crop yield - a meta-analysis

  • Barbara Becker (Biologist MSc, ELTE, 2018-2019)

The effects of three invasive plant species on soil activity

  • Boglárka Berki (Biologist MSc, ÁTE, 2017-2019)

The effects of common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca L.) as an invasive plant species on pollinator communities

  • Márton Vörös (Biologist MSc, SZTE, 2017-2019)

The effects of the invasive Aster species (Aster novi belgii agg.) on the pollinator communities.