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Microbiology of global change

Major questions concerning the role of microscopic life and our future

How microorganisms shape the dynamic evolution of our planet

Untersuchungen von Sedimentzusammensetzung und Bodenlebewesen in einer Greiferprobe.
[15. May 2019] 

"Microbiology of Global Change" is the name of the research field that deals with microbial responses to global warming and pollution. The journal "Nature Reviews Microbiology" asked Antje Boetius according to her assessment.


Half of the coral reefs have already been lost

AWI expert on the role of marine biodiversity in the IPBES report

[06. May 2019] 

Commentary by marine biologist Julian Gutt: since the changes taking place underwater are far less visible than those on land, it was all the more important that the IPBES pay due attention to the oceans in its Global Assessment report.

New Study

Veritable powerhouses – even without DNA

Parasitic algae from the dinoflagellate lineage have organised their genetic material in an unprecedented way

Watercolour painting: A healthy Alexandrium (right) and Alexandrium infected by the parasite Amoebophrya (left).
Aquarellbild eines gesunden Dinoflagellaten Alexandrium (links) und eines von Amoebophrya befallenen (rechts).
[24. April 2019] 

Whether human beings or animals, plants or algae: the cells of most life forms contain special structures that are responsible for energy production. Referred to as mitochondria, they normally have their own genetic material, in addition to that found in the nucleus. Uwe John and colleagues at the Alfred Wegener Institute have now identified the first-ever exception to this rule in a single-celled parasite. The mitochondria of the dinoflagellate Amoebophrya ceratii appear to produce energy just like our own mitochondria, but without any genetic material, as the team reports in the journal Science Advances.

New Building in Bremerhaven

Groundbreaking Ceremony for the AWI Technical Centre

Representatives of the political and research communities celebrate the future Rasmus Willumsen House

Grunsteinlegung AWI-Technikum. v.l.n.r.: Karsten Wurr (AWI Verwaltungsdirektor), Johannes Kister (ksg Architekten), Carsten Sieling, Präsident des Senats der Freien Hansestadt Bremen, Antje Boetius, AWI-Direktorin, Eva Quante-Brandt, Wissenschaftssenatorin Bremen, Melf Grantz Oberbürgermeister Bremen, Michael Meiste Staatssekretär BMBF, Hans Peter Willumsen, Johan Willumsen
[18. April 2019] 

On Thursday, 18 April 2019 an official groundbreaking ceremony was held for a new Technical Centre for the development of innovative maritime technologies in Klußmannstraße, Bremerhaven. Representatives of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the Federal State of Bremen, and the City of Bremerhaven celebrated this milestone together with the Directorate and staff of the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research.

Helmholtz program MOSES

Three research vessels – one mission

Research team takes a closer look at extreme high-flow and low-flow events

Wissenschaftler des Helmholtz-Programms MOSES beproben die Nordsee zwischen Cuxhaven/Büsum und Helgoland.
[16. April 2019] 

Based on global forecasts, storm events accompanied by heavy rainfall and flooding will occur 10 to 20 percent more frequently by the end of this century. Moreover, they and extreme low-water phases will produce a tremendous amount of damage, not to mention both socio-economic and ecological impacts. In order to better understand those impacts, on 16 and 17 April 2019 three research ships in the Helmholtz programme MOSES will undertake a joint research cruise from the Elbe estuary to Helgoland.