Interactions and interfaces

The development, behavior and performance of living systems are constantly challenged by contact with the animate and inanimate substrates in their environment. The ability to recognize the nature of these interactions and subsequently to generate accordant reactions is crucial for the survival and adaptation strategies of cells and organisms.

Our CONTACT initiative researches such contact-generated responses and dynamic interactions. In so doing, we employ state-of-the-art technologies and methods on the molecular, cellular and organism levels. The task we have set ourselves is to identify and characterize differences and commonalities in the response patterns connected with contact-associated processes. This encompasses research on cognition and communication, on the nature of the interaction process from cooperation to competition, and the mechanisms that manifest themselves once decisions concerning future development have been reached (construction and collapse).

CONTACT pursues the aim of researching the interaction mechanisms of biological systems on different levels of organization. The main “cornerstones” of CONTACT comprise two defined interdisciplinary thematic foci.


Research in the area of “Marine Ecosystems” encompasses the bioscientific components of Bremen’s excellent high-profile area of marine research.

Synthetic Biology” combines interdisciplinary research from the areas of molecular, neurosciences and materials sciences.

The CONTACT initiative strengthens the University of Bremen’s four high-profile research areas: marine sciences, material sciences, M3 (Minds, Media and Machines), and health sciences.