Being raised at the borders of the Rhine, Karl M. Wantzen is a ‘naturally born riverscape ecologist’.
After studying biology at Mainz and Konstanz universities, he accepted a position at the Tropical Ecology Group of the Max-Planck-Institute for Limnology, to work on stream ecology in the Brazilian Cerrado (PhD thesis, 1997), and in the following, on the ecology of the Pantanal floodplain and the Paraguay River with foci on foodweb, organic matter processing, and sustainable management. Executive coordinator of the Pantanal Ecology Project (1994-2001, BMBF/CNPq) in cooperation with the Federal University of Mato Grosso, where he continues to teach in the MSc. and PhD course in Ecology and Conservation of Biodiversity and develops cooperation projects until today.
After 8 years of working experience in Brazil he returned to Germany in 2001 (University of Konstanz), where he coordinated the “Worldwide Decomposition Experiment” in tropical streams, and performed research on invasive species and organic matter processing (DFG Cooperative Research Center: Ecology of Lake Constance Littoral).
In 2007, habilitation thesis on "Aquatic-terrestrial interactions in tropical riverscapes" and foundation of the “Aquatic-Terrestrial Interaction Group”.
Since 2010, he holds the position of a Professor in Aquatic Ecology, Université François Rabelais, Tours, France, where he continues to work on tropical ecology (Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, and river and wetland restoration in France (cooperative research center CNRS UMR CITERES), teaches in the Master course “IMACOF” (Ecological River Management) and leads the Master Course “IMACOF international” (restoration of tropical streams and wetlands, begins in 2014).
Editor and co-editor of international scientific journals and books, including the series “Aquatic Biodiversity in Latin America” and the Book “Ecology of the Pantanal” (http://www.pensoft.net/book/10634/).