IOW Logo

Press Archives

19.06.2020

Our “top athletes” on the seafloor: Hediste diversicolor, Arctica islandica, Echinocardium cordatum, Amphiura filiformis

A comparative study in four sea regions (German Baltic Sea, German North Sea, Belgian part of the North Sea and Eastern Channel) identified the organisms behind these Latin names as the most important actors in wide areas of the North Sea and the Baltic Sea in terms of bioturbation. They ensure that the bottom is supplied with oxygen, which triggers a chain of other vital processes. In different environments, only the ranking within this group changes. An international team led by the Warnemünde biologists Mayya Gogina and Michael Zettler now published the results. Using maps of the bioturbation potential, they defined areas of high ecosystem service particularly worthy of protection.

27.05.2020

Upwards with the “bubble shuttle”: How sea floor microbes get involved with methane reduction in the water column

For the first time, an IOW research team has been able to determine the efficiency with which methane-oxidising bacteria from the seafloor can travel with gas bubbles from submarine methane seeps into the open water column and influence biogeochemical processes there.

08.05.2020

When every particle counts: IOW develops comprehensive guidelines for microplastic extraction from environmental samples

Today, microplastics can be detected in almost every ecosystem in the world. Despite intensive research into this massive environmental problem, it is still a challenge to identify and quantify these synthetic particles made of various types of plastic in environmental samples. A team of researchers at the IOW has now for the first time compiled a comprehensive overview of methods that enables the use of standardized microplastics extraction workflows optimized for samples with very different properties.

28.02.2020

UV light against undesirable underwater growth – Innovative antifouling system from IOW now ready for serial production

Biofouling is a major problem for any technical equipment that has to remain operational under water for long periods of time. Crusts of mussels and barnacles usually cause mechanical problems, but even thin biofilms of algae and bacteria can damage sensitive measuring equipment as well as interfere seriously with measurements. After about three years of development, an antifouling device designed at the IOW has now been licensed for commercial production. The new system for the first time uses lens optics to focus the UV light of energy-efficient LEDs and thus keeps irradiated surfaces free of fouling.

12.11.2019

Setting an example in equal opportunities: IOW receives “Total E-Quality” certificate for the 3rd time

The IOW has been awarded the “Total E-Quality” (TEQ)-Certificate for its equal opportunities policy for the third time in a row. This time, the jury particularly acknowledged effective gender equality structures established in almost all areas of the Institute’s activities, which are underpinned by extensive measures. The TEQ certificate is awarded by the association TOTAL E-QUALITY e. V. for a period of three years.

04.11.2019

Is the Baltic Sea at a crossroads? Future scenarios for the combined effect of climate change and nutrient load

Can effective marine management mitigate climate change impacts so that the Baltic Sea regains a good environmental status? Can record blue-green algae blooms and other extreme events with an impact on future tourism be averted? A team led by Markus Meier from the IOW now presents a study, in which various greenhouse gas and nutrient pollution scenarios are modelled up to the year 2100. Only in the most optimistic scenario – nutrient reduction according to a perfect implementation of the Baltic Sea Action Plan – a good environmental status is achievable and extreme algae blooms can be avoided despite increasingly frequent heat spells.

06.08.2019

Burst Hope: No chance for environment-relieving plastic decomposition by bacteria

No, they won’t help us with this particular environmental problem: Bacteria are definitely not able to decompose plastic released into marine environments, and they are unlikely to acquire this ability through evolution. This is the conclusion reached by IOW microbiologists Sonja Oberbeckmann and Matthias Labrenz in a comprehensive review study concerning biofilms on microplastics.

31.07.2019

How stressed are coastal seas by humans and climate? Expedition with research vessel SONNE to the South China Sea

On August 2, 2019, the German research vessel SONNE sets off from Singapore for the SO269-SOCLIS cruise to the South China Sea under the lead of IOW scientist Joanna Waniek. At more than 70 sampling stations, 24 German and 16 Chinese scientists will investigate, how natural materials and anthropogenic harmful substances are distributed in the shelf area and deeper oceanic regions, which physical processes are responsible for observed pattern, how far the pollution halo of industrial centres and large conurbations reaches into the sea, and how different climate conditions affect the relevant processes. The expedition ends on September 3 in Hong Kong.

26.06.2019

Yes, they can! First proof of bacterial manganese(IV) oxide use for survival near H2S “dead zone”

The Black Sea, with its permanent stratification, large oxygen-free water masses and extensive zones of toxic H2S, is an excellent natural laboratory to study survival strategies of specialised organisms. IOW Microbiologist Jan Henkel and colleagues have investigated how bacteria are nevertheless able to grow there. They now for the first time present proof in the renowned scientific journal PNAS that a bacterium that frequently occurs near the “dead zone” specifically uses manganese(IV) oxide to gain metabolic energy from H2S and convert it into non-toxic sulphate.

20.05.2019

Dutch royal couple visits the IOW (with photo gallery)

His Majesty King Willem-Alexander and Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands are visiting the Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemünde (IOW) this afternoon as part of their working visit to Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. They will be accompanied by Prime Minister Manuela Schwesig and a high-ranking Dutch-German delegation. The visit marks the festive conclusion of the Dutch-German colloquium "North Sea meets Baltic Sea" at the IOW with about 50 invited scientists. German and Dutch researchers will report to the royal couple on their cooperation on climate change, sea-level rise, coastal protection, pollutants and microplastics in the sea and sign a declaration of intent on future cooperation.