Christian Wappl, born on the island of Raiatea in French Polynesia, is an Austrian-based biologist and nature photographer. He spent the first 9 years of his life travelling the world on a sailing yacht with his parents, including a circumnavigation of the globe. Seeing the world’s rich biodiversity at such a young age left Christian with a deep connection with nature, which led to the pursuit of a degree in biology.

During his studies, he picked up a camera to document his work and soon discovered that photography was more than taking snapshots for future reference. Travelling both for science and photography, he has since been to Morocco, Malaysia, Thailand, India, Costa Rica, Panama, the Caribbean and the Galápagos Islands. From an initial focus on reptiles and amphibians, Christian expanded his photography to a wide variety of subjects and techniques, earning critical acclaim in national and international photography competitions in the process.

A significant part of his photography is conducted in pristine and vulnerable habitats, particularly in the tropics. His other strong photographic focus is the interaction of man and nature. He hopes to inspire conservation by showing people the beauty and diversity of nature in remote corners of the world, but also in their own backyards.


Wildlife Photographer of the Year: 2018 (Highly commended: Invertebrate behaviour)

GDT European Nature Photographer of the Year: 2018 (First prize: Other animals)

Festival Camargue: 2018 (First prize: Wild nature)

Golden Turtle: 2018 (Finalist: The portrait of the animal)

ZNFS Magical Nature: 2019 (Commended: Other animals x2); 2018 (Commended: Mammals)

Narava: 2018 (Honourable Mention: Nature)

GDT Nature Photographer of the Year: 2019 (3rd place: Abstract; Commended: Birds/Other animals/Abstract)

VTNÖ Austrian Nature Photographer of the Year: 2018 (First prize: Insects & spiders, 3rd place: Insects & spiders; Commended: Mammals x3, Perspective x3, Other animals, Birds, Landscapes and Composition); 2017 (Runner-up: Other animals, Commended: Other animals and Composition)

Peer-reviewed publications

*denotes equal contribution

Wappl C*, Cimadom A*, Filek N, Heyer E & Tebbich S (submitted). Older male small tree finches (Camarhynchus parvulus) have higher breeding success than younger conspecifics under adverse conditions.

Heyer E*, Cimadom A*, Wappl C & Tebbich S (in revision). Parental care in the small tree finch (Camarhynchus parvulus), in relation to parasitism and environmental factors.

Cimadom A, Jäger H, Schulze CH, Hood-Nowotny R, Wappl C & Tebbich S (2019). Habitat management increases the detrimental effect of an invasive parasite on arboreal Darwin’s finches. Conservation Biology 233: 93–101.

Kollarits D, Wappl C & Ringler M (2017). The role of temporal call structure in species recognition of male Allobates talamancae (Cope, 1875) (Amphibia: Dendrobatidae). Herpetozoa 29 (3): 115–124.

Filipiak D, Geisler G, Kollarits D & Wappl C (2012). Iguana iguana (green iguana): Predation. Herpetological Review 43 (3): 487–488.