Bela Csanyi

What did you study, when, where and most importantly: why?

I was a hydrobiologist of the Research Centre for Water Resources (VITUKI) studying fish and macroinvertebrates for biological water quality assessment and bioindication. The main topic was always dealing with the water quality assessment of lakes and rivers in Hungary, collecting some experiences in some other countries, too (former Yugoslavia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, India). My interest turned to the Danube and other large rivers since the Cousteau Danube Survey in the early 90-ies. Since that time, I took part in some international longitudinal Danube and Tisza Surveys (JDS1 and JDS2, JTS1, AquaTerra).

Currently I work in the Danube Research Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Centre for Ecological Research where the main emphasis can be put on the research of large river ecology. During the last few years period my hydrobiologist group developed a new deep-water sampling method for macroinvertebrate and fish studies in large rivers. This methodology appears now in the scientific program of the JDS3 as a new way of collecting biological information of the Danube River.

What will your role be on board of the JDS3 ships?

I will be the Core Team Leader. My primary role is the coordination of work, sampling, sample processing, together with the coordination of the whole team activity including the navigational crew. A secondary job of mine is to carry out field sampling of macroinvertebrates, particularly in the cross sectional sampling in the deer region of the Danube. Our team is responsible for dealing with chemical and microbiological sampling, sediment sampling and helping other field worker experts such as hydromorphologist, phytobenthon expert, or macrophyte expert.

The deep water sampling of macroinvertebrates along the whole cross section is a new method worked out by our Hungarian hydrobiologist colleagues during the last few years. During the JDS2, we just started with this kind of sampling and this time, the method is a routine work in case of our large river research. We worked out a similar cross-sectional sampling method for investigating the Danubian fish community living in the deep water region of the Danube. Both methods will be applied during the JDS3, as a Hungarian national in-kind contribution.

Why is this important? What can we learn?

Homogenous macroinvertebrate and fish datasets will be collected along the whole Danube from the deep water zone that is a new type of information about the large and deep river. This type of information is new and most probably very valuable for achieving more relevant knowledge about the ecological status of the Danube River.

What is an important gain from JDS3 specifically for your country of origin?

The Hungarian Academy of Sciences took my former Hydrobiological Team and me to the Centre for Ecological Research - Danube Research Institute as an expert group after our former institute, VITUKI was closed down. Our new scientific work is even more closely bound to the Danube research at this time. Therefore, I hope that we will be able to fulfil the expectations of our new institute concerning the higher level of scientific research.

What are you looking forward to regarding the JDS3?

This time will be the fifth longitudinal Danube survey in my life. Each of the missions provided incredible adventures. I got new friends; I could meet beautiful river landscapes. I could collect specific experiences; I saw animals never seen before, so, I had the opportunity of experiencing ever-new aspects of the Danube River. This is hard to express by wording. I believe that the third JDS will be even more interesting than any of the others before…