The Zooplankton research at the DZMB concentrates on the investigation of the biodiversity of zooplankton in the Atlantic Ocean. Marine zooplankton covers a wide range of free-swimming organisms in the size range of protists, which might be only a few micrometers big up to jellyfish, which can grow up to a meter across and several meters long. Our research focuses on mesozooplankton organisms between 0.2 and 2 mm size, specifically on planktonic copepods (Calanoida).

Calanoid copepods constitute the most numerous group of metazoans in the world and occur in marine, as well as in brackish and limnic ecosystems. The number of existing species is currently estimated to be around 2000; however, it is assumed that many species are still undiscovered. Especially in marine ecosystems calanoid copepods play a fundamental role in transferring energy from primary production to higher trophic levels.
Our research on calanoid copepods covers topics on the taxonomy and biodiversity as well as the investigation of the influence of biotic and abiotic factors on reproduction and growth in experimental set-ups in the laboratory. These investigations are conducted in close cooperation with scientists of the Institute for Hydrobiology and Fisheries Science in Hamburg.

Zooplankton time series. The Zooplankton Time Series Helgoland is a high frequent monitoring program, investigates the phenology and dynamics of meso- and macrozooplankton at the monitoring station Helgoland roads. It was established by Wulf Greve in 1974 at the Biologische Anstalt Helgoland and later continued in cooperation with the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency, the Alfred Wegener institute for Polar and Marine Research and the German Center for Marine Biodiversity Research (DZMB).