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AWI to coordinate the scientific preparations for establishing marine protected areas in the Weddell Sea

Bremerhaven, 30th October 2012. The Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research takes a leading role in preparing the formation of marine protected areas in the Weddell Sea. Yesterday the German Federal Ministry for Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection published a press release, stating that the Bremerhavener institute is going to coordinate the scientific work, which will form the essential foundation for the protection of the Weddeell Sea. The German delegation, operating under the guidance of the federal ministry, announced yesterday at the annual meeting of The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) in Hobart, Australia, that they will undertake the preparations for the formation of marine protected areas in the Weddell Sea for the commission.

“The Weddell Sea is home to marine animal communities and ecosystems that have adapted to the Antarctic living conditions over the last millions of years. The oceanographic processes in the Weddell Sea also function as the engine for global ocean currents, which are important for oceans worldwide and our climate”, the AWI director Prof. Dr. Karin Lochte explains the region’s ecological importance. “The AWI and the German Antarctic science community are therefore willing to gather the extensive results of the scientific research from the last 30 years, to analyse and reprocess these to the basis for an effective protection of the Weddell Sea. The region accommodates several biological treasuries, which it is essential to conserve; furthermore the region serves as an important reference area for basic scientific research. Hence we are very interested in that future research in this unique and widely pristine area is not endangered by destructive human activities”, says the director of the institute.

The Alfred Wegener Institute conducts intensive research in the Weddell Sea since its foundation in 1980. The region belongs to its scientific “home oceans”. Click here to read the press release of the German Federal Ministry for Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (in German only).


 

 

AWI director Karin Lochte is awarded an honoary Ph.D. by the University of Oldenburg

Bremerhaven, 11 October 2011. Prof. Karin Lochte, director of the Alfred Wegener Institute für Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association, was awarded an honoary Ph.D. of the University of Oldenburg's department for mathematics and natural science today. The award ceremony took place during the festivities of the 25th anniversary of the university's Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the Marine Environment (ICBM) today. With this award the faculty honors Karin Lochte’s outstanding scientific success. Before becoming AWI director the biologist and deep sea expert had investigated the role of bacteria in the oceans sediments and the consequences of nutrient limitation for the growth of diatoms in the Southern ocean. Furthermore she had done reseach on the reaction of bottom-dwelling deep sea creatures to sedimentation. “Karin Lochte is not just an outstanding scientist. She also fights tirelessly for the advancement of marine reseach and higher quality standards of scientific work”, the faculty says is its explanatory statement.

Karin Lochte has been leading the Alfred Wegener Institute since the 1st of November 2007. She is a member of various national and international scientific boards and committees. In summer 2012 the biologist became the first ever female member of the SCAR Executive Committee. SCAR is a committee of the International Council for Science and it is charged with the initiation, promotion and co-ordination of scientific research in Antarctica. SCAR also provides international, independent scientific advice to the Antarctic Treaty system and other bodies.


 
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