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.