Senckenberg am Meer Wilhelmshaven

German Center for Marine Biodiversity Research (DZMB)

The German Centre for Marine Biodiversity Research DZMB was founded in 2001 as a new department of Senckenberg am Meer. The DZMB’s main task is to strengthen taxonomic and systematic research on marine organisms and to foster the assessment of biological diversity in the world’s oceans.

The oceans harbour an exceptionally large diversity of species which is still largely unknown, with six times as many species being described from dry land as from the sea even though nearly three quarters of the earth are covered by oceans. Therefore the overarching research disciplines of the DZMB include taxonomy and systematic treatment of marine organisms. Aside from the origin of today’s diversity, factors influencing changes of marine biodiversity in time and space are studied. The scientist of the DZMB apply traditional taxonomical methods as well as innovative molecular and biochemical methods to assess biodiversity.

Members of the DZMB work on projects worldwide. Special emphasis is placed on meio- and macrofaunal taxa constituting the benthic communities, plants and animals of the plankton, and ecological and evolutionary aspects. With the coordination of the 10-year international project CeDAMar (Census of the Diversity of Abyssal Marine Life, 2000-2010), researching the large abyssal plains in depths between 4000 and 5000 meters, the DZMB became internationally known. Since 2010 the Junior Research Group Molekulare Taxonomie Mariner Organismen develops efficient methods for the characterization of the fauna of the North Sea and methods for the acceleration of the assessment of biodiversity.

The DZMB is located in Wilhelmshaven and Hamburg.