Christian Wappl, born on the island of Raiatea, 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 eventually led to a Master’s 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, India, Southeast Asia, Central America, 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.

Christian is a full member of the Association for Nature Photography (GDT) and the Austrian Association for Animal and Nature Photography (VTNÖ).


Wildlife Photographer of the Year (2018): Highly commended

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

Festival Camargue (2018): First prize

BioPhotoContest (2019): Highly commended (x2)

Golden Turtle (2018, 2019): Finalist (x4)

Cádiz PhotoNature (2019): Honourable mention

ZNFS Magical Nature (2017, 2018): Commended (x3)

Narava (2018): Honourable mention

Milvus (2019): Finalist

Fotonoja (2019): Finalist

GDT Nature Photographer of the Year (2019): 3rd place, Commended (x3)

VTNÖ Austrian Nature Photographer of the Year (2017, 2018): First prize, Runner-up, 3rd place, Commended (x12)

Peer-reviewed publications

*denotes equal contribution

Wappl C*, Cimadom A*, Filek N, Heyer E & Tebbich S (in prep). Under adverse conditions, older small tree finch males (Camarhynchus parvulus) produce more offspring than younger males. 

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

Wappl C (2019). First record of the Mourning Gecko, Lepidodactylus lugubris (Duméril & Bibron), from Grenada. Caribbean Herpetology 68: 1.

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.