Helmholtz Institute for Functional Marine Biodiversity at the University of Oldenburg (HIFMB)
The HIFMB was founded in 2017 and is an institutional cooperation between the Alfred Wegener Institute in Bremerhaven Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), and the Carl von Ossietzky University in Oldenburg. It researches marine biodiversity and its importance for the function of marine ecosystems. In doing so, it develops the scientific basis for marine nature conservation and ecosystem management.
Marine life is characterized by an unsurpassed diversity of life forms and interactions. At the same time, this biological diversity ensures the Earth’s habitability for humans by contributing to key global ecosystem processes, including oxygen production, carbon fixation, transfer of energy in food webs and material cycles.
The protection of biodiversity therefore serves directly (food production, water quality, tourism) and indirectly (climate stabilization, coastal protection) to ensure human well-being. However, marine biodiversity reacts sensitively to (anthropogenic) global environmental changes, resulting in a rapidly changing composition of marine communities.