The institutions of marine research


With 20 members, KDM represents the entire breadth of marine sciences in Germany, with their complementary thematic and regional focuses. Members of KDM are all major research institutes, university and non-university institutions, museums and federal authorities active in marine, polar and coastal research.

Overview map

For details of our members, please select a member location on the map.

The members in detail

Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research | Bremerhaven

Polar and marine research are central topics of Earth system and global environmental research. The Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), carries out scientific projects in the Arctic, Antarctic and temperate latitudes. It coordinates polar research in Germany and provides the equipment and logistics required for polar expeditions.

Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency | Hamburg & Rostock

The BSH is the central maritime federal authority and departmental research institution in the portfolio of the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) with offices in Hamburg and Rostock.

Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources | Hanover

The BGR is the central advisory institution of the Federal Government in the field of geosciences and raw materials. Its thematic fields include mineral resources, energy resources, groundwater, soil, final disposal of radioactive waste, use of the deep underground, nuclear test ban, geohazards and international geoscientific cooperation.

CEN - Centre for Earth System Research and Sustainability at the University of Hamburg

CEN combines the expertise of nine institutes and facilities at the university that deal with climate, environmental and earth system research. Oceanography, meteorology, marine biology, geophysics, geology, soil science, geography, biogeochemistry as well as economics and social sciences are involved. The aim is to work together on overarching issues.

Constructor University Bremen

Scientists at Constructor University are involved in the fields of "Marine Geosciences", "Biological Oceanography" and "Robotics". The research work focuses on the carbon and trace substance cycle at continental margins and hydrothermal vents as well as on bio-geo-marine resources.

Department of Maritime Systems, Interdisciplinary Faculty, University of Rostock

In 2007, the Department of Maritime Systems was founded at the University of Rostock with the aim of bundling university research on maritime topics. Three focal points shape the interdisciplinary cooperation in this department: research areas "Coastal Zones in Global and Regional Change", "Use of Maritime Systems" and "Sustainable Development and Management".

German Oceanographic Museum, Stralsund

Founded in 1951 as a municipal nature museum in the former Dominican monastery of St. Katharinen in Stralsund, the German Oceanographic Museum has developed into an internationally recognised museum in the more than 60 years of its existence. Due to its conception, it is an exceptional institution, as only a few museums worldwide are so specifically and comprehensively dedicated to the scientific study and museum presentation of the marine habitat.

German Maritime Museum, Bremerhaven

As part of the research programme "Man and the Sea", the German Maritime Museum is investigating the history of shipping and the use of the sea with a view to long-term economic and social structural changes against the background of global change. The German Maritime Museum / Leibniz Institute for Maritime History (DSM) in Bremerhaven has set itself the task of researching the changing relationship between man and the sea and bringing it to life in exhibitions.

Coastal Research Centre, Hanover & Brunswick

As a joint central institution of Leibniz Universität Hannover and Technische Universität Braunschweig, the Forschungszentrum Küste (FZK) combines the scientific expertise of both universities in the field of coastal engineering and geotechnics. With the Large Wave Channel (GWK) in Hannover-Marienwerder, the FZK operates one of the world's largest experimental facilities for studying coastal processes.

GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel

GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel is a member of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. GEOMAR's task is to investigate all important areas of modern marine research, from seabed geology to maritime meteorology, in interdisciplinary cooperation.

Helmholtz Centre Hereon, Geesthacht

At the Helmholtz Centre Hereon, 150 employees are working on the scientific basis for sustainable management of the coastal habitat.

Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the Sea, University of Oldenburg

The Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the Sea (ICBM) at the University of Oldenburg with its locations in Oldenburg and Wilhelmshaven is the only university-based marine research institute in Lower Saxony. The ICBM uses an interdisciplinary scientific research approach to study the oceans as part of the Earth system in order to better understand the complex interrelationships in global material flows and marine ecosystems.

Kiel Marine Science, Centre for Interdisciplinary Marine Sciences at the Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

The interdisciplinary institution "Kiel Marine Science - Centre for Interdisciplinary Marine Sciences at Christian Albrechts University" (KMS) forms the umbrella for the marine science research focus at Kiel University.

Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemünde

The Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemünde, or IOW for short, is a non-university research institution dedicated to interdisciplinary marine research in coastal and marginal seas. The focus of the work is on researching the ecosystem of the Baltic Sea. All four basic disciplines of marine research (physical oceanography, marine chemistry, biological oceanography, marine geology) are represented at the IOW.

Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research | Bremen

The Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT) devotes its research and teaching to tropical coastal ecosystems such as coral reefs, mangroves, seagrass beds, upwelling areas and river estuaries. In close cooperation with project partners in the tropics, the ZMT develops scientific principles on the structure and function of these ecosystems and their resources, as well as on their response to human interventions and natural changes.

MARUM - Centre for Marine Environmental Sciences, University of Bremen

MARUM uses state-of-the-art methods and is involved in international projects to decipher the role of the ocean in the Earth system - especially with regard to global change. It records the interactions between geological, physical, chemical and biological processes in the ocean and provides information for sustainable use of the oceans. Under the motto "Get to the bottom of the ocean!", scientists at MARUM, the Centre for Marine Environmental Sciences at the University of Bremen, are researching key processes in the marine environment.

Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology | Bremen

The Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology researches the role, diversity and properties of microorganisms, especially bacteria, which are crucially responsible for substance transformations in the sea and other aquatic systems. Microbiologists, molecular biologists and biogeochemists work closely together at the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology to understand microbial life in the sea.

Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg

The Max Planck Institute for Meteorology (MPI-M) is an internationally recognised institute for climate research. The aim of the MPI-M is to understand how and why the climate on our planet is changing. The department "Ocean in the Earth System" is dedicated to oceanic processes and the interactions of the ocean with the other components of the Earth system.

Senckenberg by the Sea, Wilhelmshaven

Senckenberg am Meer Wilhelmshaven has been the marine location of the Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum since 1928. The institute is closely networked with important interest groups in German marine research, with universities and other associations. Today it consists of two units, the Department of Marine Research and the German Centre for Marine Biodiversity Research (DZMB), which was newly founded in 2001.

Thünen Institute, Bremerhaven & Rostock

The three fisheries research institutes of the Thünen Institute conduct applied research on the effects of fisheries, aquaculture and other forms of marine utilisation on fish stocks and aquatic ecosystems. They develop strategies for the sustainable utilisation of wild fish stocks and aquatic production systems.