Our research focusses on marine phytoplankton with an emphasis on diatoms. We isolate these species-rich unicellular organisms from the sea and rivers right on our doorstep and have species of interest brought back from expeditions of our research vessels. Cultivation and analysis take place in out Plankton Lab. Here, various equipment for microscopical studies, mechanical tests and ecological experiments is at hand.
The shells of the diatoms receive special attention. They exhibit immense stability at minimal material demands and are thus considered “stable lightweight structures” that are of interest from basic research to technology transfer.
According to the practical biological tasks, the Plankton Lab is divided in three parts:
- Microscopy, micromechanical tests, image analysis: Two- and three-dimensional microscopical techniqures allow for the analysis of microalgae on different level of detail; micromechanical test procedures provide real-life stability test son microscopic scale.
- Experimental work: The ecology of the microalgae, especially predator-prey relations and the evolution thereof, the morphogenesis and modifications of the shells are experimentally determined.