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New Study

Kidnapping in the Antarctic animal world?

A puzzling relationship between amphipods and pteropods

Der Flohkrebs Hyperiella antarctica einer Flügelschnecke (Spongiobranchaea) Huckepack
[10. September 2018] 

Pteropods or sea snails, also called sea angels, produce chemical deterrents to ward off predators, and some species of amphipods take advantage of this by carrying pteropods piggyback to gain protection from their voracious predators. There is no recognisable benefit for the pteropod. On the contrary they starve: captured between the amphipod’s legs they are unable to feed.

Highest-valued European environmental award

Prof. Antje Boetius receives the 2018 German Environmental Award

Federal President Steinmeier to honour the deep-sea and polar researcher at the end of October

Prof. Dr. Antje Boetius,deutsche Meeresbiologin und Professorin der Universität Bremen,
seit November 2017 leitet sie das Alfred-Wegener-Institut in Bremerhaven.
Geboren: 5. März 1967 (Alter 51 Jahre), Frankfurt am Main
Ausbildung: Universität Hamburg
Feld: Meeresbiologie
Auszeichnungen: Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz-Preis, Gustav-Steinmann-Medaille,Deutscher Umweltpreis 2018
[23. August 2018] 

The 2018 German Environmental Award goes to Antje Boetius and a team of wastewater experts from Leipzig. The Director of the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) is glad to see the deep seas and polar regions, the last great expanses of unspoiled nature, attracting more attention. Helmholtz President Prof. Otmar D. Wiestler has praised Boetius as a strong advocate for preserving our oceans.


How Arctic lakes are accelerating climate change

Thawing permafrost’s contribution to global warming could double by 2050

Arktische Seenlandschaft, Alaska
[20. August 2018] 

In the future, climate change could abruptly increase the amount of methane released by lakes in the permafrost regions of the Arctic. An international research team, including experts from the Alfred Wegener Institute, has now determined that the rapid thaw under lakes has been neglected in models so far and that bacterial decomposition of organic matter in the thawed sediments may strongly increase the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane.

Scientific Study

Questioning conventional understanding of antifreeze proteins

Scientists describe new phenomenon possibly expanding application

Ein reiner, Eiskristall, beobachtet am Lichtmikroskop (grünes Bild) und gleichzig am Interferenzmikrokop (rotes Bild). Das Bild am Lichtmikroskop zeigt deutlich die Morphologie der Kristalle und das Wachstum der Dendriten. Aus den charakteristischen gestreiften Interferenzmuster im rechten Bild werden Informationen zu dem Wachstum der Kristalle in der Höhe, also senkrecht zu der basalen Fläche, abgeleitet. Die Maßstableiste entspricht 0,2 mm. Erschienen in Proceedings of National Academy of Science; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1807461115
[30. July 2018] 

Scientists have discovered that an ice-binding protein (fcIBP) from the sea ice microalga does not fit in the conventional classification of ice-binding proteins, suggesting unknown mechanisms behind its antifreeze property. This finding could lead to a broader application of the antifreeze protein in food and medical industries.

Supporting young researchers

Ten scholarship holders in oceanography honoured

Graduates of the Centre of Excellence in Observational Oceanography from around the globe were bid a fond farewell

POGO-Stipendiaten 2017/18 mit Betreuerin auf Helgoland
[24. July 2018] 

On 24 July 2018 ten scholarship holders from around the globe presented their final papers at the Wissenschaftsforum conference centre in Berlin as part of the Centre of Excellence in Observational Oceanography. For the past ten months, all have been engaged in a training programme addressing all oceanographic disciplines at the Alfred Wegener Institute.