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Department of Freshwater & Marine Ecology

The department advocates a mechanistic bottom-up approach. Inputs from environmental chemistry and physics as well as the molecular biology and physiology of the organisms are considered essential to obtain a sound understanding of the interactions between organisms and their environment.

Our research focusses on both benthic (coral reefs, aquatic sediments) and pelagic ecosystems (plankton), with a strong emphasis on those organisms that play a key role in primary production and biogeochemical cycles (i.e., bacteria, phytoplankton, benthic invertebrates, pteropods, corals, sponges).

To unravel interactions between organisms and their environment we make use of mathematical models, omics techniques, state-of-the-art analytical instrumentation, laboratory experiments and field studies.


Our research findings lead to innovative applications in water management (water quality, hydrodynamics), nature conservation (preservation & restoration of aquatic ecosystems) and climate change studies (ocean acidification, harmful algal blooms).