Info: Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT) GmbH

Fahrenheitstr. 6

28359 Bremen


Short Description (Company/ Institute):

The Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT) in Bremen is the only scientific institute in Germany that investigates tropical and subtropical coastal ecosystems and their importance for nature and people. With its work, the ZMT provides a scientific basis for the protection and sustainable use of these tropical coastal ecosystems.

In addition to research, the focus lies on the development of competencies and consultation services – always in close cooperation with international and national partners. As a member of the Leibniz Association (since 2009) the institute is funded by the Federal Republic of Germany and its Federal States.

Fields of activity, fields of research and development:

The scientific inner structure of ZMT is based on four different departments:

  • Biogeochemistry & Geology: The department of Biogeochemistry and Geology studies changes of the abiotic environment and its interface with the living world through time.
  • Ecology: The Ecology department analyses the importance of biodiversity for the structure of, and processes in, tropical coastal ecosystems on different organisational levels from individuals to communities and ecosystems.
  • Social Sciences: The social science department investigates the human dimension of tropical coastal and marine social-ecological systems.
  • Theoretical-ecology-and-modelling: The department of Theoretical Ecology & Modelling studies ecological and social-ecological systems using theoretical methods such as conceptual models, mathematical models, computational simulations, and advanced data analysis.
    The close cooperation between the departments promotes inter-disciplinary research and collaboration with companies and NGOs ensures also a trans-disciplinary approach.

Main competences for international cooperation:

Important objectives of the ZMT are the development and exchange knowledge and competencies. The Bremen institute provides training for students and doctoral students from all over the world. ZMT scientists teach at the universities of Bremen and the surrounding region, contributing significantly to international study courses, such as the master programme ISATEC (International Studies in Aquatic Tropical Ecology), which is offered in cooperation with the University of Bremen. The ZMT supports the establishment and expansion of expertise and structures in the tropics to allow for a sustainable management of coastal zones. In its partner countries, the institute organises international summer schools and offers courses and practical training. ZMT’s certified Centre for Scientific Diving provides training for scientists to become scientific divers pursuant to the standards of the German employers’ liability insurance.

Main fields of interest for international cooperation:

ZMT scientists conduct research in close cooperation with stakeholders and central actors from science, politics, economy, NGOs and the civil society – both at national and international level – in order to support a stronger integration of sustainable development and protection of tropical coastal ecosystems in society. In this context, ZMT’s Office for Knowledge Exchange (OKE) serves as a hub to generate research networks between these different stakeholders. At the same time, the OKE is both a national and international focal point for research, educational and governmental institutions for the exchange of expert knowledge.