Cluster Highlight Report

It covers more than a decade of Kielbased discovery, understanding and prediction of the ocean system and its importance for humanity.

More than 70% of our planet's surface is covered by a globally connected ocean. Kiel-based science contributes to our exploration of this ocean system by combining academic expertise from all faculties of Kiel University with the work of researchers from institutes such as the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, the Leibniz Institute for the World Economy and the Muthesius University of Fine Arts and Design. Some of our research addresses well-known priority areas such as climate change, ocean pollution or overfishing. But it has also resulted in unexpected findings and assessments, showing for example that invasive species may not always be a bad thing.


Ocean research is "big science". It requires costly, high-tech infrastructure to carry out in-situ observations. This involves large research vessels as well as observing robots such as moored buoys, lander systems, autonomous underwater vehicles, and other expensive and complex equipment. Ocean science calls for investment onshore as well as at sea. Kiel's ocean scientists use high-performance computer systems to simulate the dynamic ocean, its past changes and its likely future development. Our advanced analytical facilities enable detailed analysis of water samples, sediments, and the unique functioning of ecosystems, and the organisms they contain. As we show in this report, such investment in large-scale ocean science is essential. It is a prerequisite for generating new knowledge about the ocean system, which in turn is needed to improve our planning for the future and to seek solutions to the most pressing questions: How can the ocean's resources meet today's and future human needs while at the same time ensuring planetary sustainability?

Highlight Report as pdf (7,5MB)