Johannes MEKA (PhD candidate, WP2)

Population monitoring and food web analysis of reintroduced European pond turtle Emys orbicularis


ORCID: 0000-0002-4651-0431

SGN Frankfurt, Germany & IPHC Strasbourg, France

Post address:
LOEWE-Zentrum für Translationale Biodiversitätsgenomik (TBG)
Senckenberg Biodiversität und Klima- Forschungszentrum (SBiK-F)
Georg-Voigt-Straße 14-16
60325 Frankfurt am Main


E-mail: email


My PhD project

Passionate about water’s diverse ecosystems since my first aquarium at eleven, I studied Limnology and Oceanography in Amsterdam, exploring coral reefs on Curaçao and learning water management in Dutch polders. As a teacher in Berlin, I shared my passion for fishing and water activities with my students.
My next ambition is a PhD in aquatic ecology, titled: « Population monitoring and food web analysis of the reintroduced Emys orbicularis, the European pond turtle ». Emys is a native freshwater turtle in Europe, acting as an umbrella species, meaning that its protection also benefits many other species, including us humans. I conduct field research on turtle behaviour and lab-based eDNA methods (environmental DNA) for food web analysis.
Emys-R, an interdisciplinary and transnational project, provides an excellent foundation to study successful wetland restoration and reintroduction, as it reflects collaboration between science, stakeholders, and society. Long-term, I aim to contribute to environmental protection and aquatic restoration.
Joh’s homepage

I am registered at Université de Strasbourg, France, supervision by Dr PD Kathrin Theissinger & Dr PD Jean-Yves Georges.





Meka J (2022) Überwachung der Wiederansiedlung der Neuburger Sumpfschildkröten als Teil des europaweiten Emys-R Projektes” (“Monitoring of the European pond turtle reintroduction in Neuburg as part of the Emys-R project”). Symposium Feldherpetologie im NABU-Zentrum Rheinauen, Bingen, Germany,  2 Oct 2022 — TALK (see the talk)

Public outreach

Meka J (2023) Unveiling the fascinating world of the European pond turtle. The eDNA Collaborative blog (link here)

Short CV


Emys-R is funded through the 2020-2021 Biodiversa & Water JPI joint call for research proposals, under the BiodivRestore ERA-Net COFUND programme, and with the funding organisations Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR, France), Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF, Germany), State Education Development Agency (VIAA, Latvia), and National Science Center (NSC, Poland).



Jean-Yves Georges, IPHC, FR


Kathrin Theissinger, SGN, DE