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Research Unit - Coastal Seas and Society

Projects                         Publications                         Guest scientists                          Teaching                         Theses

The Baltic Sea is heavily affected by human activities and is exposed to massive pressures that negatively affect its environmental state.  

Our research focuses on applied research driven by societal and political demands and in close co-operation with end-users and stakeholders with the aim to support a sustainable development of the Baltic Sea, in line with the Baltic Sea Action Plan of the Helsinki Commission (HELCOM). This includes research in other European and comparable seas that allows us to transfer our knowledge and/or learn from other approaches. The inter- and transdisciplinary approach maintains close co-operations with social, economic and engineering sciences as well as NGO’s and private enterprises. The focus is to ensure synergies and gain mutual benefits of scientific progress and practical experience.

Major research fields:

Human activities, interventions and measures in coastal and marine systems: Objective is to understand how the coastal and marine systems are influenced by human measures and interventions, to give advice how to minimize negative impacts and pressures on the ecosystem. The aim is to maintain major ecosystem services and to support a sustainable planning and management.

Implementation of coastal and marine policy: National and international environmental policy is an important challenge for science. We provide a sound scientific basis for the implementation of coastal and marine policies, , such as the Water Framework Directive, the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and the Maritime Spatial Planning Directive.

Regional Change – impacts and adaptation: Climate Change, increasing pressure by human activities, as well as land-use changes in the river basins directly and indirectly affect coastal and marine systems. Our assessment of future changes and their consequences on coastal and marine ecosystems provides the scientific basis for adaptation measures and supports a future oriented management and planning.

Methodological approaches and concepts:

We combine different methodological approaches, from field studies to geospatial analyses and ecosystem modelling to stakeholder- and expert based assessments. For the ecosystem modelling, we cooperate closely with the physical oceanography department by translating practical research demands into model scenarios and by post-processing model results to meet the practically relevant scientific question. The human dimension is added through the Systems Approach Framework and the Ecosystem Service concept.

Head of the unit

       Ute Fensky
       Tel: +49 (381) 5197 101
       Fax: +49 (381) 5197 105
Head, Coastal and marine applied research and management
Marine litter
Marine litter, eutrophication
Ecosystem services, marine litter
Ecosystem services, stakeholder involvement, decision support tools
Marine litter, monitoring and management
Marine planning, ecosystem services
Ecosystem modelling, eutrophication
Amina Baccar Chaabance
Marine litter
Juliana Socrate
Marine planning, ecosystem services
Fati Aziz
Ecosystem services