Marine, Polar and Climate Research

The University of Bremen’s focus in this scientific area is concentrated at MARUM, the Center for Marine Environmental Sciences.

The goal of MARUM is to improve our understanding of the ocean’s global role in the Earth System through systematic studies. A wide range of processes in the ocean and on the sea floor affect the entire Earth System. Interactions among geological, physical, biological and chemical processes influence the climate system as well as the global carbon cycle, and lead to the development of unique biological systems. The task for MARUM is to acquire and convey vital scientific knowledge about the role of the ocean and the sea floor in the Earth System, and provide objective information for the good of society. With this focus, MARUM trains marine environmental researchers within an international and interdisciplinary framework, and informs the general public about the importance of the marine environment.

Since its inception in the mid-1990s, MARUM has developed into an internationally recognized center for marine research, and today it is a Research Faculty of the University of Bremen. Its work is strongly integrated in international programs, with MARUM researchers actively participating in the development of these programs. MARUM operates one of the three core repositories of the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) and manages a fleet of state-of-the-art submersible vehicles that can be deployed in the deep sea and on the ocean floor.

MARUM is home to the DFG Research Center/Excellence Cluster “The Oceans in the Earth System” as well as other national and international research programs.

  • Actinie in 630 Meter WassertiefeActinie in 630 Meter Wassertiefe
  • Wanderausstellung MeerErlebenWanderausstellung MeerErleben
  • Greifarm von MARUM-QUESTGreifarm von MARUM-QUEST
  • Der Tauchroboter MARUM-QUESTDer Tauchroboter MARUM-QUEST
  • Einsatz eines SchwerelotsEinsatz eines Schwerelots
  • Kaltwasserkoralle in 1000 Meter WassertiefeKaltwasserkoralle in 1000 Meter Wassertiefe
  • Beprobung eines SedimentkernsBeprobung eines Sedimentkerns
  • Octokoralle am Mittelatlantischen RückenOctokoralle am Mittelatlantischen Rücken
  • IODP-Kernlager am MARUMIODP-Kernlager am MARUM
  • Schwarzer Raucher am Mittelatlantischen RückenSchwarzer Raucher am Mittelatlantischen Rücken
  • Arbeiten im Geochemie-LaborArbeiten im Geochemie-Labor
  • Blick auf die Gerätehalle des MARUMBlick auf die Gerätehalle des MARUM
  • GLOMAR Doktoranden-WorkshopGLOMAR Doktoranden-Workshop
  • Aussetzen des AUV MARUM-SEALAussetzen des AUV MARUM-SEAL
  • Messung eines SedimentkernsMessung eines Sedimentkerns
  • Aussetzen des MARUM-MeBoAussetzen des MARUM-MeBo
  • Ein Sedimentkern wird geöffnet.Ein Sedimentkern wird geöffnet.
  • Untersuchungen am MikroskopUntersuchungen am Mikroskop
  • Geophysikalische UntersuchungGeophysikalische Untersuchung
  • Korallenbewuchs auf KissenbasaltKorallenbewuchs auf Kissenbasalt

Investigations at the Institute of Environmental Physics (IUP) focus on global change and its underlying physical processes within the Earth System. Studies of changes in sea-ice cover, for example, or atmospheric composition using remote-sensing methods, are closely integrated with international measurement programs. Physical oceanographic measurement data are jointly compiled by the IUP and MARUM as part of a global network to record changes in large-scale ocean circulation. Terrestrial environmental physics represents an additional research area.

The University of Oldenburg and the private Jacobs University (JU) in Bremen are among the cooperative university partners of MARUM. In addition to the cooperative work on research projects and expeditions by scientists, there is also a network for teaching and supporting young researchers. Even closer collaboration is planned for the future, especially in the fields of marine chemistry and biology, as well as ecosystem research and marine robotics.

Cooperation is especially close with the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) in Bremerhaven. In 2010, AWI and MARUM established the AWI-MARUM Alliance (AMAR). The first goal of this strategic partnership was to develop the three research areas: Ocean Dynamics North Atlantic-Arctic; Underwater Technologies and Earth Observation Systems; and Data Information Systems.

Other important partners for MARUM include the Senckenberg Research Institute in Wilhelmshaven, the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Marine Microbiology, and the Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT). Mirroring past and ongoing collaboration with the AWI, joint long-term research perspectives are being developed and collaborative projects are being carried out with the MPI for Marine Microbiology and the ZMT. One example of this is a collaborative investigation with the MPI of processes that exchange energy and matter between relatively short-lived biological element cycles and longer-term geological cycles. The dynamics of marine tropical ecosystems as well as sea-level fluctuations and coastal changes are being studied in cooperation with the ZMT.

New underwater technologies for deep-sea research and for the environmentally friendly recovery of resources from the sea are being developed through the Institute for Maritime Technology (Mar Tech-Bremen), a partnership established in 2010 by MARUM, DFKI Bremen and DLR Bremen.

Support for early career scientists is concentrated in the graduate school “Global Change in the Marine Realm” (GLOMAR), which was initially established within the framework of the Excellence Initiative and has since been integrated into MARUM. Also contributing to international networks are two international DFG Research Training Groups: with Waikato University in New Zealand under the theme of coastal research, and with eight Canadian universities in the field of climate research.

This scientific field cooperates closely with leading international institutes for marine, climate and polar research, particularly in the USA, France, The Netherlands, Great Britain, China, Japan and New Zealand.

The quality of research in this scientific field is evidenced in the DFG Funding Atlas 2015, in which geosciences was again ranked number one. Since 2009 it has also attained recognition through the bestowal of three Leibniz Prizes and six ERC Advanced (4), Consolidator (1), and Starting (1) Grants.


See publication list on the MARUM homepage.