Future Forum on the Ocean

ZFO Members

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Members

Prof. Dr Sabine Kasten (Executive Board, Spokesperson)

Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research

Prof. Dr Helmut Hillebrand (Executive Board)

Carl-von-Ossietzky University Oldenburg and Helmholtz Institute for Functional Marine Biodiversity

Research interests:

  • Ecological stability
  • Biodiversity
  • Ecosystem function
Helmut Hillebrand studied biology and worked in Kiel, Uppsala and Cologne before becoming professor of plankton ecology in Oldenburg in 2008. Since 2017, he has been director of the newly founded Helmholtz Institute for Functional Marine Biodiversity at the University of Oldenburg [HIFMB]. In his research, he investigates mechanisms that constrain and alter biodiversity in a variety of ecosystems, mainly based on experiments and quantitative syntheses. He also focuses on various aspects of ecological stability under rapid environmental change, in particular the link between functional stability and community composition. Helmut Hillebrand is an appointed member of the Senate Commission on Fundamental Questions of Biodiversity Research of the German Research Foundation.

Dr Heike Link (Executive Board)

Christian-Albrechts University of Kiel

Prof. Dr Martin Visbeck (Executive Board)

GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel

Prof. Dr. Johanna Baehr

University of Hamburg

Prof. Dr Ulrich Bathmann

Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemünde

Prof. Dr Gerhard Bohrmann

MARUM Centre for Marine Environmental Sciences and Department of Geosciences at the University of Bremen

Research interests: 

  • Methane hydrates and their dynamics in the ocean
  • Geology of marine fluid seeps (hot and cold springs)
  • Formation and significance of Vent precipitates
  • Seabed geology, seabed mapping

Prof. Dr Hans Burchard

Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemünde

Research interests:

  • Hydro- and sediment-dynamic processes in the coastal ocean
  • Mixing and exchange flows in estuaries
  • Development and analysis of simulation models for the coastal ocean
  • Turbulence closure modelling
Hans Burchard is a physical oceanographer whose scientific focus is on hydro- and sediment-dynamic processes in the coastal ocean and estuaries, and on numerical ocean modelling. He is the developer of the water column model GOTM (www.gotm.net), which comprises a collection of turbulence closures used in many ocean models. He co-developed the coastal ocean model GETM (www.getm.eu), whose adaptive vertical coordinates enable highly accurate simulations of the coastal ocean. Hans Burchard is deputy head of department at the Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research in Warnemünde and professor at the University of Rostock, where he teaches on the topic of "Ocean and Atmosphere" in the master's degree programme in physics.

Dr.-Ing. Leif Christensen

German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence

Research interests: 

  • Autonomous marine systems
  • Robotics
  • Autonomous navigation in unstructured / harsh environmental conditions
  • AI
After obtaining his diploma degree in computer science in 2008, Leif Christensen did his PhD at the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science at the University of Bremen in the field of artificial intelligence for autonomous robotic systems. A passionate sailor since his youth, he has been leading the Maritime Robotics Group at the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence - Robotics Innovation Center (DFKI - RIC) for several years and has been responsible for various projects in the past, both in the field of maritime applications and space robotics. His experience includes probabilistic robot navigation with a special focus on maritime applications. He is currently a member of the International Advisory Board of SENAI/CIMATEC Brazil and is a reviewer for several journals in the field of robotics and for the European Space Agency.

Prof. Dr Anja Engel

GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel

Research interests: 

  • The biological carbon pump and the carbon cycle in the ocean
  • The microbial turnover of organic material
  • Climate change and anthropogenic stressors
Anja Engel received her PhD in Kiel in 1998 and subsequently worked at the University of Southern California Santa Barbara, the Alfred Wegener Institute and Stony Brook University. Since 2011, she has been Professor of Biological Oceanography at CAU Kiel and works at GEOMAR, where she heads the Marine Biogeochemistry Research Unit and the Microbial Biogeochemistry WG. Her research focuses on the marine carbon cycle, in particular the coupling between microbial production and degradation processes in the water column and at the ocean-atmosphere interface. Her work investigates the effects of climate change and other anthropogenic influences such as eutrophication and plastic pollution.

Prof. Dr Julia Gottschalk

Christian-Albrechts University of Kiel

Research interests:

  • Reconstruction of the global carbon cycle in the past
  • Studies of changes in the palaeoclimate
  • Determining the past role of the polar regions in the climate system
Julia Gottschalk is Professor of Marine Geology and Palaeoceanography at the Institute of Geosciences at Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel. She investigates global changes in the carbon cycle, as well as climate and ocean dynamics of the polar regions in the past. This research is based on sediments and microfossils from marine sediment cores, which she has obtained on numerous ship expeditions, including the international drilling ship Joides Resolution. She completed her PhD in Earth Sciences at the University of Cambridge (UK), and then post-docs at the Oeschger Centre for Climate Research at the University of Bern and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University.

Dr Tatiana Ilyina

Max Planck Institute for Meteorology

Dr Kerstin Jochumsen

Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency

Research interests:

  • Physical Oceanography
  • In-situ measurement method
  • Currents and water masses in the Atlantic
2018-present Head of the Marine Physics and Climate Unit: Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency, Hamburg. Coordination of activities in the unit, committee work e.g. on climate policy and adaptation.
2010-2018 Research Associate (PostDoc): Experimental Oceanography, University of Hamburg. Collection, processing and analysis of observational data in the Atlantic, application and management of
Research projects, teaching.
2007-2010 Research Associate (PostDoc): Physical Oceanography, UHB. Analyses of model data in the tropical Atlantic (own DFG project).
2003-2007 PhD student: Physical Oceanography, University of Bremen. Supervisor: Prof. Monika Rhein. Topic: Currents and water masses in the tropical Atlantic.

Prof. Dr Torsten Kanzow

Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research

Dr Johannes Karstensen

GEOMAR | Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel

Research interests:

  • Optimised design and use of ocean observations
  • Role of the ocean in the Earth's climate system
  • Influence of ocean dynamics on biogeochemical processes

Prof. Dr Silja Klepp

Christian-Albrechts University of Kiel

Research interests:

  • Environmental and climate justice
  • Social impacts of climate change
  • political ecology
  • Human geography, social anthropology
  • Italy, Mediterranean, Kiribati, Oceania and Northern Germany
Silja Klepp is Professor of Human Geography at Kiel University. Her research group "Social Dynamics in Coastal and Marine Areas" focuses on human-environment relations in the Anthropocene. In her current research on climate governance, she is particularly interested in equity issues, how social and cultural diversity can be integrated into climate change adaptation measures and policies, and how the self-determination of affected communities can be ensured. Silja has conducted field research in Kiribati, Vanuatu, New Zealand, Italy, Libya, Malta and Zambia. She has won several awards for her doctoral thesis on refugees and border spaces in the Mediterranean. Together with colleagues, Silja Klepp founded the transdisciplinary network for environmental justice EnJust (www.enjust.net). To work inclusively and creatively, she also uses transdisciplinary approaches and experiments with artistic research.

Dr Gesche Krause

Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research

Research interests:

  • Science-Policy-Interaction
  • Process and impact research
  • Protection and use of marine resources
  • Human-nature relations
Dr Gesche Krause is a social scientist working at the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) in Bremerhaven, Germany. She was educated at the universities of Kiel and Greifswald (Germany) and received her PhD in philosophy from Stockholm University (Sweden). In addition to working for several years in various private sector companies, she conducted long-term social science research in Brazil on the Amazon, as well as in Indonesia on the Spermonde Archipelago. Since 2013 she has been working at AWI, where her research focuses on knowledge transfer processes and evaluation, the interactions between science and stakeholders in marine (resource) systems, and impacts of science on social processes.

Dr Dorit Liebers-Helbig

German Oceanographic Museum

Research interests: 

  • Exhibition coordinator
  • Digital media in the museum
  • Participatory formats for Man and the sea
  • Curator for birds, focus on phylogeography
Dr Dorit Liebers-Helbig studied biology in Jena and Dublin and did her doctorate in Toronto and at the Hiddensee ornithological station. After a postdoc at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, she has been working at the German Oceanographic Museum Stralsund since 2004. Her work focuses on the conception, planning and realisation of various exhibition formats, including the permanent exhibition "The Baltic Sea" in the OZEANEUM, the special exhibition "From the Deep Sea to the Polar Regions" in the MEERESMUSEUM and several annual themes such as NO NOISE SEA. Currently, the focus of her work is on digital communication formats and participatory projects on the future handling of the seas and oceans.

Prof. Dr Jochem Marotzke

Max Planck Institute for Meteorology

Prof. Dr Christian Möllmann

University of Hamburg

Dr Christian Müller

Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources

Research interests:

  • Exploration of marine mineral deposits
  • Environmental impacts of future deep-sea mining
  • Geological structure and energy resource potential of the continental margins
  • Marine seismic measurement procedures and method development
  • Geological potentials of the CO2-Storage

 

Dr Christian Müller has been head of the "Marine Resource Exploration" department at the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) in Hannover since 2017. After completing his doctorate in geophysics at Christian Albrechts University in Kiel, he moved to BGR, where he initially conducted research on gas hydrates and the structural geology of active and passive continental margins. Afterwards, he worked for several years on the geological potential for CO2 storage in Germany. Currently, his work focuses on the occurrence and use of marine mineral resources (manganese nodules and polymetallic sulphides) as well as marine structural geological and geophysical investigations in the North Sea, Baltic Sea and North Atlantic.

Dr Sophie Paul

GEOMAR | Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel

Dr Hanieh Saeedi

Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum

Research interests:

  • Determining patterns of biodiversity in marine species (shallow and deep sea)
  • Predicting how species richness and ranges will change under future climate change
  • Management of large data sets, data standards and data quality control tasks (Data Manager Ocean Biodiversity Information System OBIS)
  • Strategic development of data archiving and participation in the design of biodiversity databases
  • Participation in scientific-political processes such as IPBES and the preparation of the IPBES report on invasive species.
Hanieh Saeedi focuses on the application of biodiversity informatics to museum collections and open data to reveal species distribution patterns and to help predict future changes in the range of marine species under future climate change. This background knowledge provides fundamental information on the global state of biodiversity in the world's oceans in response to policy makers' call for better management plans to conserve ocean biodiversity.

Prof. Dr Achim Schlüter

Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research

Research interests:

  • Institutions (rules) for the sustainable use of tropical marine coastal ecosystems and their transformation
  • Emergence and promotion of cooperation in the shared use of the coast and the sea
  • Behaviour of people as central actors in the socio-ecological system of coast and sea
Head of the Institutional and Behavioural Economics Group at the Centre for Tropical Marine Research. He is mainly interested in institutions in the sense of rules that enable the coast and the sea to be managed in an economically, socially and ecologically sustainable way. To this end, it is central to understand the behaviour of people within these institutions. These aspects are considered in the working group in various areas, such as aquaculture, marine pollution, sea level rise, tourism or fisheries. Methodologically, essentially qualitative or experimental research approaches are pursued.

Prof. Dr Torsten Schlurmann

Coastal Research Centre, Leibniz University of Hanover

Research interests:

  • Effects of climate change on coasts and estuaries and their adaptation
  • Development and proof of effectiveness of Nature-based Solutions (NbS)
  • Offshore Wind and Marine Renewables: Digital twins for impact assessment in the marine environment

Dr Jörn Schmidt

International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES)

Research interests: 

  • Marine and Fisheries Ecology
  • Marine social-ecological systems
  • Co-production of knowledge, including consideration of indigenous and traditional ecological knowledge
  • Inter- and Transdisciplinary Research
  • Sustainability research
Jörn is currently Chair of the Science Committee of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea. He is also an associate professor at Dalhousie University's Marine Affairs Program and a senior researcher at Kiel University's Center for Ocean and Society. He has worked in the Baltic and North Seas, as well as in Senegal, Cabo Verde, Haida Gwaii (Canada), Sitka (USA) and Peru. Jörn is a member of the Expert Group and German Focal Point for the World Ocean Assessment and a member of the High Level Stakeholder Advisory Board of the Empowering women for the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development project. He has also co-developed serious games (www.ecoocean.de, www.go-jelly.de).

Prof. Dr Thomas Schweder

University of Greifswald

Research interests:

  • Bacterial physiology
  • Polysaccharide utilisation of marine bacteria
  • Metabolic interactions in marine invertebrate-bacterial symbioses
  • Microbial biotechnology
Thomas Schweder received his doctorate in Greifswald in 1994 and was then a postdoc at Standford University (USA). From 1996, he conducted research as a junior research group leader for molecular biotechnology at the University of Greifswald. Since 2001 he has been chairman of the board of the Institute of Marine Biotechnology. In 2004, he accepted an appointment as Professor of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology at the University of Greifswald. His research focuses on the physiology of marine bacteria. His work focuses on molecular mechanisms of bacterial polysaccharide degradation especially during phytoplankton blooms. He also studies the physiology and interaction of bacterial symbionts in marine invertebrates.

Dr Anne Sell

Thünen Institute of Sea Fisheries

Research interests:

  • Demersal communities of the North Sea: biodiversity and ecology
  • Impacts of climate change and fisheries in North Sea ecosystems
  • Ecosystem approach to fisheries management: developing indicators of ecosystem status and function
  • Organisation and management of research cruises

Prof. Dr Inna Sokolova

University of Rostock

Dr Helmuth Thomas

Helmholtz Centre Hereon

Dr Ralf Weisse

Helmholtz Centre Hereon

Prof. Dr Karen Wiltshire

Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research

Research interests:

  • Coastal ecology
  • Global marine research
  • Long-term data series Helgoland and Sylt Reede, Wadden Sea
  • Long-term ecological changes in the North Sea
Prof. Karen Wiltshire is the Deputy Director of the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) and Director of the AWI sites on Helgoland and Sylt. She teaches as Professor of Shelf Sea Ecology at Kiel University.
Born in Ireland in 1962, Karen Wiltshire completed her Master's degree in Environmental Science at Trinity College, Dublin, in 1986. She then moved to the University of Hamburg, where she received her PhD in hydrobiology in 1992 and later also completed her habilitation. She worked as a scientist at GKSS (now HEREON) from 1987-1994 and at the University of St Andrews in Scotland from 1994 to 1997. She then took up a research and teaching position at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Plön and was an associate researcher at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. Karen Wiltshire has been researching and working at the AWI since 2001.

Prof. Dr Christian Winter

Christian-Albrechts University of Kiel

Research interests:

  • Hydrodynamics, sediment dynamics and morphodynamics of sandy coasts
  • Dynamics of suspended sediment and liquid silt in estuaries
  • Formation, development and hydraulic effect of soil forms
  • Evolution of seabed habitats and impacts of human interventions
C. Winter heads the Coastal Geology and Sedimentology working group at the Institute of Geosciences at Kiel University. Since studying civil engineering and gaining a doctorate in geosciences, he has been working on various interdisciplinary issues in coastal regions.

Using ship- and land-based field measurements and numerical modelling, the group is working towards a process-oriented understanding of the interrelationships between hydrodynamic and sediment dynamic processes, and their effect on seabed habitats.
Basic or applied transdisciplinary research projects look at transport processes on many spatial and temporal scales: from the microscopic interaction of turbulent fluid movements to the mesoscale dynamics of landforms and beaches to the evolution of coasts over geological time scales.

Prof. Dr Oliver Wurl

Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the Sea (ICBM) at the University of Oldenburg

Research interests:

  • Interaction ocean - atmosphere
  • Biogeochemical processes at marine interfaces
  • Marine Technology
Prof. Dr. Wurl researches interactions between the ocean and the atmosphere, focusing in particular on the surface films of the oceans, which are only a few hundred micrometres thick. This area, also known as the sea-surface microlayer, is a habitat with extreme physico-chemical and biological conditions and global extent as well as significance, among other things for climate research. His group takes a multi- and interdisciplinary approach and also develops its own technologies, such as a remotely operated catamaran, drifting measurement labs and micro-profiling probes. His work includes numerous expeditions from the tropics to the remotest polar regions to gain new knowledge in global matter cycles and climate change.

Prof. Dr Oliver Zielinski

Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the Sea (ICBM) at the University of Oldenburg

Research interests:

  • Marine physics and intelligent sensor systems
  • Autonomous sensor and observation systems
  • Coastal and marginal seas, with focus on North Sea and polar regions
  • Sustainable Artificial Intelligence
  • Citizen science
Prof. Dr Oliver Zielinski has been Professor of Marine Sensor Systems at the Institute of Chemistry and Biology of the Sea (ICBM) at the University of Oldenburg since 2011. At the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), he has headed the research area "Marine Perception" since 2019 and the competence centre "Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Environment and Sustainability" since 2020. After receiving his doctorate in physics from the University of Oldenburg in 1999, Zielinski worked, among other things, in the management of an international sensor system provider before being appointed professor at Bremerhaven University of Applied Sciences in 2005. Zielinski's research area includes the environmental physics of aquatic ecosystems with a focus on the use of smart technologies, especially in the field of autonomous sensor systems and marine observatories.