Global change and the underlying physical processes in system Earth are at the center of the research carried out by the Institute of Environmental Physics. Among other things the institute, which is integrated in several international programs, measures changes in the polar ice and the composition of the atmosphere with the aid of remote sensing methods. Physical-oceanographic measurement data are compiled within a global network to track changes in large-scale ocean streams. Another research area encompasses the terrestrial environmental physics.
The institute BreMarE (Bremen Marine Ecology - Center for Research & Education) encompasses the marine research groups at the Faculty of Biology/Chemistry at the University of Bremen. Their research concentrates on marine ecological aspects, such as the investigation of ecosystem functions, functional diversity in marine systems and trophic interactions, as well as adaptive strategies of marine organisms (ecophysiology), and biogeochemical pathways. BreMarE carries out research projects in the Tropics, temperate and Polar seas, in coastal systems as well as the deep sea, applying state-of-the-art methods in ecophysiology, molecular biology, biochemistry and trace element analysis. Furthermore, BreMarE coordinates the education in marine biology and marine chemistry at the University of Bremen.
There is an especially close cooperation with the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) in Bremerhaven, part of the Helmholtz Association. In 2010 AWI and MARUM created the AWI-MARUM Alliance (AMAR), similar to the Jülich Aachen Research Alliance (JARA). In a first step, this strategic partnership is thematically focused on three main areas: the ocean dynamics of the North Atlantic-Arctic; marine technologies and earth observation systems; data information systems.
Other important partners are the Max Planck Institute (MPI) of Marine Microbiology and the Leibniz Center for Tropical Marine Ecology (ZMT), which existed as a non-university institute funded by the Land of Bremen prior to being accepted into the Leibniz Association. As in the case of the AWI, in addition to the existing research projects, long-term mutual research perspectives are developed also with the MPI of Marine Microbiology and the ZMT. An example of this is the investigation of processes which exchange energy and matter between relatively short-lived biological and longer-term geological element cycles (MPI). In collaboration with the ZMT, mutual research is taking place on the dynamics of tropical marine ecosystems.
New underwater technologies for exploring the ocean depths and for the environmentally friendly extraction of resources from the sea are being jointly developed by the University’s Institute of Maritime Technology (MarTech-Bremen), founded in 2010 by the cooperation partners MARUM, DFKI Bremen and DLR Bremen.
International visibility is boosted by two DFG International Research Training Groups ( Proxies in Earth History (EUROPROX), Integrated Coastal Zone and Shelf-Sea Research (INTERCOAST) in collaboration with Waikato University in New Zealand) and the three graduate programs run jointly with the AWI and the MPI (Helmholtz Graduate School for Polar and Marine Research (POLMAR), Earth System Sciences Research School (ESSReS), International Max Planck Research School of Marine Microbiology (MarMic)). Representative of the quality of the young researchers being produced is the graduate school “Global Change in the Marine Realm” (GLOMAR), which was supported in the first phase of the Excellence Initiative.
The high-profile area cooperates closely with internationally leading research institutions in the field of marine, climate, and polar research, especially in the USA, France and Great Britain, China, Japan and New Zealand.
The quality of research in the high-profile area is reflected in the DFG funding rankings for 2009, in which the geosciences occupied first place; in addition to this, in 2009 and 2011 the high-profile area received two Leibniz Prizes of the DFG and in 2010 an ERC Advanced Grant.
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