The group

Christian Buschbaum

Why do species and communities of coastal ecosystesm show specific patterns in their occurrence, what are the underlying processes and do overall principles for different ecosystems exist? These are the primary questions of my research. My particular interest focuses on species interactions in temperate and Arctic regions and on the effects alien marine organisms on native coastal ecosystems.

Mathias Wegner

Parasites are everywhere! That's why I spent my whole scientific carreer with research on "host-parasite coevolution". I started out with investigating the selective maintenance of genetic variability of immune genes (MHC) in three-spined sticklebacks in the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology. From there I went to the Institute of Integrative Biology (IBZ) at the ETH Zürich where I studied experimental coevolution of red flour beetles and their microsporidian parasites. Being a native islander, bringing my favorite research subject to the Waddensea station of the AWI was a logical consequence. Here, I make use the unique evolutionary histories of invasive species to understand host-parasite coevolution in the wild.

Lisa Shama

I am interested in the evolutionary potential of populations to respond to rapidly changing environments. During my PhD, I investigated the influence of gene flow and phenotypic plasticity in promoting and constraining adaptation in populations of an alpine caddisfly. As a PostDoc, I started dabbling in the realm of quantitative genetics, and assessed the relative contributions of selection and drift (Qst / Fst) to latitudinal variation of growth rate for populations of a damselfly. My current work with marine sticklebacks focuses mainly on transgenerational plasticity (parental environment effects on offspring traits) in response to ocean warming. So far, I can say that maternal effects play an important role in populations’ adaptive responses to climate change, but also carry-over effects from grandparent environments (particularly from grandmothers) shape offspring growth, physiology and gene expression.

Dago Lackschewitz

I studied biology at the universities of Bremen and Göttingen and did her PhD thesis at the Max-Planck-Institute f. exp. Medizin, Göttingen. She continued studying at Yale University, New Haven and University of South Florida, St. Petersburg. In 1992 she was employed at Wadden Sea Station Sylt focusing on coastal biota and Wadden Sea ecosystems. Since 2009 she is involved in a rapid assessment survey of introduced marine species (neobiota) in German coastal waters at Alfred-Wegener-Institute.

Tobias Dolch

Tobias studied Geography with the study focus ‘Ecology and Environmental Science’ at the University of Bonn and at Monash University, Melbourne. After his studies he had worked for the Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemünde before he went to the Wadden Sea Station Sylt of the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) in 2004. He did his PhD on the analysis of morphodynamics and habitat changes in the Wadden Sea and obtained his degree in Physical Geography in 2008. Tobias works in coastal ecology and focuses on the current status and long-term development of intertidal seagrass beds. Since 2011 he is also teaching at the Department of Geography of the University of Kiel.

Andreas Waser

I am a marine biologist with broad interests in the ecology of benthic organisms in coastal environments. Particularly, I am interested in studying how different species interact which each other and what consequences this has for other species and the benthic species community in general. My research focuses on invasive species, parasites and habitat forming species like epibenthic bivalves (mussels, oysters). In my current project, I am investigating the epibenthic species community of subtidal areas in the Sylt-Rømø Bight, with special focus in recently abandoned on-bottom culture areas of blue mussels. The project aims to investigate whether these former culture plots are suitable for the development of natural mussel beds in the subtidal zone.   

Annika Cornelius (PhD student)

The increasing number of non-native species (Neozoa) in the Wadden Sea and the mostly unknown effects of successful establishment in the ecosystem are the basis for my research. I deal with the effects of the successful establishment of two pacific crabs, Hemigrapsus takanoi and Hemigrapsus sanguineus in the Wadden Sea. My PhD project is intended to provide a detailed picture of the ecological consequences of the invasion of Hemigrapsusspp. for the ecosystem. For this I will consider both direct and indirect effects between introduced and native organisms.

Kaibil Escobar Wolf

Master of the Beasts

Kaibil is a creative engineer of experimental setups and a dedicated fish keeper and his biggest pleasure is to set unused animals free.

Eike Petersen (BTA)

Eike has been working as a technical assistant in the community and evolutionary ecology team since January 2017. She is a wizard in the molecular lab and also enjoys mucking about in the Watt.  She is always happy to help students with their research on the tidal flats.


Timm Kress

As a technical assistant, I am responsible for animal care and help with the preparation of experiments in the thermal constant rooms and mesocosms. Of the many long-term data series at the station, I am responsible for the fish and jellyfish monitoring. I am also the point of contact for guest researchers and groups, and take care of the dispatch of animal and plant material.



Dr. Christian Buschbaum

Dr. Mathias Wegner

Dr. Lisa Shama



Dr. Tobias Dolch

Dr. Dagmar Lackschewitz

Dr. Andreas Waser



Annika Cornelius

Bachelor/Master Students:


Technical Assistance:

Eike Petersen

Timm Kress

Kaibil Wolf



Dr. Alexandre Fellous (Postdoc)

Eric Weniger (BSc.)

Neal Scheraga (MSc.)

Carl Bukowski (BSc.)

Thea Petermann (BSc.)

Sylvia Wanzenböck (MSc.)

Lukas Füxjäger (MSc.)

Lena Ruf (BSc.)

Anna Sommer (MSc.)

Jonas Geburzi (PhD.)

Felicitas Demann (PhD.)

Marieke Feis (PhD.)

Vivian Oloton (MSc.)

Leo Gottschalk (BSc.)

Ana Lokmer (PhD.)

Franziska Schade (PhD.)

Carolin Wendling (PhD.)