Growing up in Germany I lived near Rhine and Mosel rivers during the big ecological crisis of the 70s and 80s and witnessed mass mortality of fish in the waters surrounding our village. These incidents left a deep impression on me and I decided that I wanted to protect aquatic environments. Throughout my education and career I have remained focused on this field with a masters and PhD about invasive benthic species and benthic living communities. While following my husband abroad and raising three kids I was able to work in different aquatic research institutions in Europe, NZ and Asia. We live in NC for almost nine years and I am happy to be able to contribute to work in the field of water protection and restoration.