Ocean Plastics Lab

Successful start of the international traveling exhibition in Turin and Paris

The Ocean Plastics Lab is a public exhibition about science. It is motivated by the enormous scale of the problem of plastics in the ocean and the important role of science in society. Every day, we all use bottles, pens, bags, etc. made of plastic. It is difficult to do without this material. Unfortunately, it is often not recycled or disposed properly. Every hour the equivalent of about 35 shipping containers filled with plastic is released into the seas and oceans. Recent studies estimate that over 5 trillion plastic pieces are currently floating in the oceans. This plastic causes a danger to the marine flora and fauna and with it also threatens human well-being.

The four exhibition containers inform the general public about the work of over 50 scientific groups around the world to understanding and tackling the complex problem of plastics in the ocean. In the context of current discussions about science in society, the Lab demonstrates science’s fundamental role in understanding and tackling societal challenges and highlights that society is an integral part of science.

The Ocean Plastics Lab is a German contribution to the implementation of the G7 Action Plan in the fight against marine pollution and is an initiative of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) together with the German Marine Research Consortium, supported by the European Commission and other partners.

The Lab was opened in Turin, Italy on September 27th by European Commissioner for Research and Innovation Carlos Moedas, German Federal Minister for Education and Research Johanna Wanka, President of the Regional Council of Piedmont Mauro Laus.  

After two weeks in Turin, the exhibition moved to City Hall Square in Paris, where it was shown from 4-17 November. In Paris, we had the pleasure to welcome Nobel Peace Prize Laureat Muhammad Yunus as well as Ambassador Nikolaus Meyer-Landrut of Germany and Counsellor Hermano Sanches Ruivo of the Mairie de Paris in the exhibition.

In 2018, it is planned to take the exhibition to Brussels (Belgium), Washington D.C. (USA) and Ottawa (Canada). Further details will follow here.

More information on: www.oceanplasticslab.net

Summer Schools in 2017

Three new Summer Schools: From Baltic Sea sediments to ecosystem-modelling. Apply now!

Coastal Summer School 2017

The Summer School “How to govern marine environment: Baltic Sea and sediment services as a case study” is realized in cooperation of some of the leading National Centres for coastal research in Germany: Helmholtz Centre Geesthacht, Leibniz Institute for Baltic Research Warnemünde, the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research and the KüNO (Coastal Research in the North Sea and Baltic Sea) umbrella project and takes place from 10-21 September in Lauenburg/Elbe and on the Research Vessel "ELISABETH MANN BORGESE".

More information about the Coastal Summer School:

ECORD Summer School

The ECORD Summer School on “Current-Controlled Sea Floor Archives: Coral Mounds and Contourites” 2017 will take place from 21 August to 1 September 2017 at the MARUM - Center for Marine Environmental Sciences and the IODP Bremen Core Repository, University of Bremen, Germany.

More information about the ECORD Summer School:


ICBM Summer School

The summer school “Introduction to Data Analysis and Ecosystem Modeling”, organized by the Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the Marine Environment (ICBM, University of Oldenburg), will take place from 30 July to 12 August 2017 at the ICBM facilities in Wilhelmshaven and Oldenburg, Germany. 

More Information about the ICBM Summer School:

Ocean MOOC – Enroll now!

Open online course „One Planet – One Ocean: From Science to Solutions“ starting April 25th 2016

One Planet - One Ocean: From Science to Solutions is a ten-week course presenting the challenges and opportunities facing oceans today. Led by the teams at GEOMAR, the International Ocean Institute, Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, and the Cluster of Excellence "The Future Ocean", the course brings in some of the world's leading experts on ocean science to present the issues and potential solutions grounded in rigorous scientific research.

More information here.

XPrize announces Shell Ocean Discovery XPrize

$7m competition to explore and map the seafloor

The $7 Million Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE is a global competition challenging teams to advance deep-sea technologies for autonomous, fast and high-resolution ocean exploration.

The three-year competition includes nine months for team registration, 12 months for initial solution development and 18 months to complete two rounds of testing and judging by an expert panel. In each round, teams will complete a series of tasks, including making a bathymetric map (a map of the sea floor), producing high-resolution images of a specific object, and identifying archeological, biological or geological features. Teams also must show resiliency and durability by proving they can operate their technologies, deployed from the shore or air, at a depth of up to 4,000 meters.

More Information: http://oceandiscovery.xprize.org/

KDM submits position paper on the role of science for good ocean governance to the European Commission

The European Commission launched a public consultation on international ocean governance.

The aim of this consultation is to gather input on how the EU could contribute to achieving better international governance of oceans and seas to the benefit of sustainable blue growth. On the basis of the results and other sources of data and information, the European Commission will consider how best to develop a more coherent, comprehensive and effective EU policy on improving the international ocean governance framework.

KDM submitted the following position paper:

KDM Response to Ocean Governance Consultation

PhD position offered by Jacobs University in cooperation with MARUM

"PhD Position in the initiative on sustainable deep-sea mining"

The international Jacobs University Bremen (JUB), in cooperation with the Center for Marine Environmental Sciences at the University of Bremen, MARUM, offers a PhD Position in the initiative on sustainable deep-sea mining as of October 1, 2015. The working title for the PhD project is "Assessing the Potential Synergistic Effects of Deep-Sea Mining and a Comparison to Onshore Mining: Sourcing Nickel from Deep-Sea Manganese Nodules as Case Study".

Description: This project strives for transdisciplinary research on assessing potential impacts of deep-sea mining on humans and nature, and comparing these impacts to those ensuing from land-based mining. Since nickel is the major commodity in manganese nodules, the specific case study will be the mining of nickel from deep-sea manganese nodules and onshore lateritic deposits. The comparison should include the three major steps of the process chain (exploration, exploitation, refining). The elements of the investigation should include, e.g, costs of investment, nickel price, areal impact, energy consumption, emissions to air, discharge of process water, and effects on local communities, to name a few. The work will be based on cutting-edge insights from recent work in sustainability and synergistic scenario building. Since deep-sea mining is a case with high uncertainty and limited data available, traditional strategies to forecast impacts on ecosystems are not appropriate. lnstead, scenario building should be used to identify various potential scenarios and develop robust strategies for a full range of options. Socioeconomic and environmental effects should be considered synergistically. A synergistic assessment would include questions such as: would deep-sea mining lead to loss of jobs in land mines and decrease incomes in those countries? Could mining in the deep ocean potentially decrease pressure on ecosystems on land, where mining reaches more and more into remote and sensitive areas? Other issues to be considered include public resistance and acceptance of the different mining scenarios. The PhD project will contribute to the activities of the transdisciplinary research initiative on sustainable deep-sea mining in Bremen.

Supervisors: Prof Dr. Andrea Koschinsky (JUB, geochemistry), Prof. Dr. Karen Smith Stegen (JUB, political sciences), Dr. Hermann Kudraß (MARUM, geology), Prof. Dr. Welf Werner (JUB, economics), Prof. Dr. Michael Bau (JUB, geochemistry).

Funding: The PhD student will receive a PhD stipend for 3 years.

Requirements: The successful applicant should hold an MSc/MA in any field related to the topics, such as environmental science, political science, geoscience, etc. Previous experience of working on interdisciplinary topics is very welcome. Excellent English communication skills are essential.

Application: Please send your complete set of application documents, including a cover letter expressing your motivation, CV, copies of relevant transcripts and names and addresses of three references in a single PDF file by email to Prof. Dr. Andrea Koschinsky a.koschinsky@jacobs-university.de, Please use the subject "PhD position sustainable deepsea mining" in the email. Deadline for applications is August 31, 2015. The review of applications will begin immediately until the position is filled.

For further information, please contact:

Prof. Dr. Andrea Koschinsky
+49(0)421 200 3567

For information about Jacobs University and MARUM, please check www.jacobs-university.de and www.marum.de/ en/index.html.

Euromarine Foresight Symposium „Future Coast – Europe“

5th-7th October 2015 in Berlin, Germany

“Future Coast – Europe” aims at bringing together institutions in coastal research in order to discuss research topics and identify key regions, which already have a good research data basis but would particularly benefit from an enhanced transdisciplinary concerted action and from transnational synergies. Furthermore, participants will discuss their individual research foci in relation to the European policies and policy developments such as Future Earth in order to set up demonstration missions for an integrated coastal zone management. These will be the scientific basis for a European collaborative project. The overall objective is to elaborate a network of partners that work in well studied areas in European coastal seas in order to develop a research programme for fully-integrated coastal zone management.

This event is hosted by Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research on behalf of the German Marine Research Consortium, Strategic Group Coastal Research.

Abstract Submission Deadline 31th July 2015

More information can be found at: http://www.io-warnemuende.de/future-coast-home.html

“Women in Oceanography” - Special supplement to the journal "Oceanography"

Taking stock with Prof. Johanna Baehr from CEN - Center for Earth System Research and Sustainability

“Women in Oceanography” is the title of the current supplement to the journal “Oceanography,” in which more than 200 women report on the personal challenges they face as career-oriented academics in a field still dominated by males.

According to The Oceanography Society (TOS), which produces it, the publication is intended to show how far female oceanographers have come over the past ten years. For example, the number of female Oceanography students is now on par with that for their male counterparts. But it also examines structures and mechanism that continue to stand in the way of equal career opportunities; among others, the higher places on the career ladder are still home to far more men than women. The first issue of “Women in Oceanography” was published in 2005.

“Universität Hamburg wasn’t included in the first issue; now we are. That shows that things are also in motion here in Hamburg, even if we still have a way to go,” claims physical oceanographer Prof. Johanna Baehr, who researches and teaches at Universität Hamburg’s Cluster of Excellence CliSAP and Center for Earth System Research and Sustainability (CEN). In a brief self-portrait, she explains how she manages to balance her career as a professor with two children and a partner who works full-time.

Joint call for proposals on Microplastics by JPI Oceans

"Ecological aspects of microplastics in the marine environment"

Joint call for proposals under the framework of JPI Oceans

The call which has a reserved budget of over € 6.0 million intends to increase the knowledge about the best analytical methods for identifying microplastics, their distribution in marine systems and their eco-toxicological effects on marine organisms.

Microplastics are persistent, ubiquitous and their high potential to cause physical harm and toxicological effect is being highlighted in various studies. Modes and mechanisms of microplastic toxic action have been indicated for different biological systems, and microplastics have been identified as an artificial substrate which can affect ecological processes, biodiversity and facilitate transport of invasive species as well as pathogens.

However, the knowledge about the origin, size range, abundance and spatial variability of microplastics in marine systems is still limited. The toxicological and ecological effects on marine organisms and ultimately on human health is also insufficiently studied. Hence, for the protection of marine habitats and the safety of marine resources and seafood a transdisciplinary European research initiative is necessary.

Therefore, a joint call for proposals is launched, comprising three main themes:

  •     Validation and harmonisation of analytical methods (interlaboratory study)
  •     Identification and quantification of microplastics
  •     Eco-toxicological effects of microplastic – impact on marine organisms

Each participant in consortium will be funded by his or her national partner organisation. For this call Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, The Netherlands, Norway and Sweden have reserved a total amount of over € 6.0 million. In addition to the above mentioned funding partners Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom would like to participate explicitly with in-kind contributions.

If you want to register as a coordinator for a transnational research project, please read the call text thoroughly before to ensure that your planned project fits into the focus of this call.

All national funding organisations have specific funding rules. Therefore, we would kindly advise you to take a special look at the national regulations and funding guidelines. You can download the guidelines from the funding partners or consult the website of the relevant funding organisations. For more information, please contact your national contact person.

Every proposal needs to be uploaded only by the coordinator. The coordinator also needs to register all project partners. After registration by the coordinator, all partners will get a login for the submission tool send by email.

Proposals can be uploaded on the submission platform from 10 February 2015 onwards. The deadline for submitting proposals is 31st March 2015, 12:00 CEST. Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.

More information:

Georg Wüst Prize for Marine Research awarded to Prof. Carsten Eden at CEN

Prize for his internationally respected work on ocean eddies and turbulence

The German Society for Marine Research (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Meeresforschung (DGM)) recently announced that the oceanographer Prof. Carsten Eden would be the recipient of this year’s Georg Wüst Prize. Eden will officially be awarded the prize at a ceremony during the Annual General Assembly of the European Geosciences Union in Vienna this April. Eden is a researcher at the Institute of Oceanography, part of the Center for Earth System Research and Sustainability, and at the Cluster of Excellence for climate research, CliSAP.

Eden received the prize for his internationally respected work on ocean eddies and turbulence and their integration into physical computer models of the ocean. In this context, he also investigated the influence of winds on water and heat transport in the North Atlantic. A further aspect concerns the energy transfer involved in the transition from large eddies and waves to smaller eddies in the climate system. In this regard, Eden developed a concept to fully take into account the energy conservation law. Based on his insights, a model for ocean circulation has now been developed which accurately reflects the relevant energetic processes. This marks a major advance over previous models, in which energy could be “gained” or “lost” during the simulation, unlike in the natural processes represented.

Supported by the Springer journal Ocean Dynamics, every two years the Georg Wüst Prize recognizes valued contributions to marine research. Recipients receive a cash prize of roughly € 1,500 and an honorary membership in the DGM.