Within the ibn, Walter Traunspurger is in charge of the field of ecology, with special emphasis on aquatic ecology and ecotoxicology. Since many years, Walter Traunspurger works on the taxonomy and ecology of benthic organisms (meiobenthos). The main topics of his work are the biodiversity of nematodes and its mechanisms, the distribution and autecology of dominant nematode species, their position in the benthic food web, and the link between nematodes and protozoans (ciliates and flagellates) and the macrobenthos (e.g. chironomids, annelids). As nematodes are the most abundant and one of the species-richest organism groups among metazoans, they are more and more used for assessing the quality of sediments and soils.
Since 1998, Walter Traunspurger is Professor at the University of Bielefeld, holding the chair of Animal Ecology.