A German, French, African
                   consortium in West Africa

Master AWA

The German and French laboratories

German laboratories

French laboratories

  • Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences at the University of Kiel (IFM-Geomar)

The IFM-GEOMAR was founded in January 2004 through the merger of the Institut für Meereskunde (IFM) and the Research Center for Marine Geosciences (GEOMAR). The institute is a member of the Leibniz Association and employs more than 750 scientific and technical staff. The institutes’ mandate is the interdisciplinary investigation of all relevant aspects of modern marine sciences, from sea floor geology to marine meteorology. Research is conducted worldwide in all oceans. The institute has four major research divisions: ocean circulation and climate dynamics, marine biogeochemistry, marine ecology and the dynamics of the ocean floor. In addition, IFM-GEOMAR contributes to the excellence cluster “The Future Ocean” and SFB754: “Climate-Biogeochemistry Interactions in the Tropical Ocean”, funded by the German Science Foundation (DFG). The Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences is associated with the University of Kiel in undergraduate and graduate teaching in the following fields: Bachelor in “Physik des Erdsystem” (Ozeanographie – Meteorologie – Geophysik) and Master courses in “Climate Physics: Meteorology and Physical Oceanography” and “Biological Oceanography”. In addition, the institute operates four research vessels, state-of-the-art, access to high performance computing facilities and an attractive public aquarium. IFM-GEOMAR is one of three leading institutions in the field of marine sciences in Europe. On 1.1.2012 IFM-GEOMAR will be handed over from the Leibniz Society to the Helmholtz Association under the new name “Helmholtz Zentrum für Ozeanforschung Kiel (GEOMAR)”.

  • Johann Heinrich von Thünen Institute; Federal Research Institute for Rural Areas, Forestry and Fisheries – Institute of Sea Fisheries (vTI-SF)

vTI-SF prepares decision support for the German Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMELV) with respect to the Common Fisheries Policy of the EU (CFP) and international marine conventions of which Germany is a member. Through its scientific monitoring programs and research activities, the institute contributes to increasing knowledge about ecology and economy of marine systems. The institute enunciates research-based advice to the European Commission and provides a significant part of the German contribution to the advice on fisheries and marine ecosystems at the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES). vTI-SF takes part in international research projects funded by EU and other agencies to resolve specific questions regarding the management of marine living resources and to further improve the scientific basis of its advice (e.g. GLOBEC-Germany, LAKRIS, VECTORS, COEXIST, UNCOVER, ADVICE). In AWA Dr. Gerd Kraus will serve as German coordinator of the project. Web site http://www.vti.bund.de/en/startseite/institutes/sea-fisheries.html

  • The Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Ecology (ZMT)

The Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Ecology aims to provide a scientific basis for the protection and sustainable use of tropical coastal ecosystems. Its activities are focused on three main areas: (i) Research: In close cooperation with partners in the tropics, the ZMT leads interdisciplinary projects concerning the structure and functioning of tropical coastal ecosystems and their response to human impacts and natural changes. (ii) Capacity building: The ZMT is involved in the education of students and young scientists from all over the world in the field of tropical marine ecology. In tropical countries, it further supports capacity building within this field of research. (iii) Consulting: The ZMT is both a national and international focal point for research, educational and government institutions for the exchange of expert knowledge in the field of tropical marine ecology. The center has carried out a number of projects (JOPS, MADAM, SPICE, LANDSET, etc.), that focused on estuaries and mangroves in tropical countries such as Brazil, Costa Rica, Indonesia or Vietnam, always performed on a bilateral basis including foreign partners in planning, realisation of the field work and publication of the results. The role of ichthyoplankton in the pelagic community of an upwelling system and its adaptation to changing environmental conditions is have been and are the goal of projects in the Benguela upwelling system (BENEFIT, GENUS). Web site http://www.zmt-bremen.de/en/Teaching.html

  • Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel (CAU)

Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel (CAU) is a full university owned by the German State of Schleswig-Holstein. At its eight faculties it currently teaches about 23.000 students, with 1.165 scientific staff involved both in teaching and research. In research, CAU is well-profiled; e.g. it currently holds 3 projects funded by the German “Excellence Initiative” and has participated in over 40 projects funded by EU’s 6th Framework Programme and is currently involved in 30 projects and successful proposals under the EU’s 7th Framework Programme. The Department of Economics has a long tradition in the field of resource economics. Several major research projects have been coordinated. In particular, the department hosts two research groups within the ‘Cluster of excellence’ Future Ocean, specially funded by the German Federal Government. One of these working groups is dealing with questions of sustainable fisheries management. This group consists of leading scientists in the field of resource economics, population dynamics of exploited fish stocks, and marine ecology. Web site http://www.uni-kiel.de/

The Institute for Hydrobiology and Fisheries Science at the University of Hamburg conducts interdisciplinary research in all fields of marine science with a focus of understanding the functioning of marine ecosystems under different pressures, e.g. climate variability and change as well as fisheries. Regionally the work of the institute is focused on the North and Baltic Seas with additional studies in the North Atlantic, the Mediterranean Sea and the Benguela Upwelling System. The institute is composed of two core research groups (Biological Oceanography, Fisheries Science) which together cover all trophic levels of a marine ecosystem with overlaps in the zooplankton and fish early-life history stages (see schematic). The broad and interdisciplinary work of the institute allows a holistic understanding of marine ecosystem structure and functioning. The general scientific approach of the institute is to combine a wide range of methods including laboratory experiments and field process studies to examine key processes affecting marine ecosystem dynamics. These process studies provide the basis for different modelling approaches which are conducted within the institute or in cooperation with several partner institutions. Scientists of the institute are involved in several national and international research projects on basic marine research as well as on the incorporation of scientific results into ecosystem management (see project-pages). Locally the institute is a part of the Department of Biology within the Faculty of Mathematics, Informatics and Natural Sciences of the University of Hamburg. The institute is further attached to the Centre for Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, cooperation between several institutes of the University of Hamburg and the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, which conduct research on the earth system and its reaction to the effects of human activity. The holistic approach of the institute and the broad national and international partnership allows significant contributions to developing concepts for an Ecosystem Approach to Management of the marine environment, and especially an Ecosystem-based Fisheries Management. Web site http://www.uni-hamburg.de/ihf/index_e.html

  • LMU Munich, Aquatic Ecology group, Departement of biology II (LMU)

The LMU Munich is belonging to the top ranking university of Germany and one of the few german universities with full excellence status. The Aquatic Ecology of the LMU Munich is part of the Department Biology II and has laboratory facilities at two locations. Large outdoor facilities and laboratory space for water analytic and phytoplankton research are located at the Campus for Biology at Martinsried, Bavaria; a field station with large laboratory facilities and access to several lakes is located in Seeon, Bavaria. The equipment of the field station includes several boats, equipment for mesocosm experiments with high replication demands and modern instrumentation for chemical and biochemical analytical techniques. The Aquatic Ecology of the LMU Munich was in the last 10 years involved in more than 20 projects funded by the German Science Foundation (DFG) and 12 projects within European programmes. Web site http://www.zi.biologie.uni-muenchen.de/

  • UMR Ecosym (University of Montpellier 2, CNRS, IRD)

Marine coastal ecosystems gather 1/3 of world ecological resources of the Biosphere but are under increasing anthropic and environmental pressures. Lagoons, which cover more than 13% of the world shoreline, contribute highly to coastal zones’ productivity. However, lagoons are among the most fragile coastal ecosystems and the most threatened by human activities. In this context, the “Lagoon Ecosystems” joint research unit (ECOLAG, UMR 5119) focuses its research activities on the study of the “effects of local and global changes linked to human activities on lagoons and marine coastal ecosystems”. Because of their positioning at the sea-continent interface, these ecosystems are involved in major economical and ecological human activities: fishing, aquaculture, water cleansing, etc. The study of the biological functioning of lagoon and marine coastal ecosystems implies an integrative approach combining, at various scales (local, global), the characterisation of all main biological, physical and chemical components, the analysis of their interactions and the related functions. For this, the staff of the UMR 5119 carries out both in situ studies and mesocosms experiments, using a large range of analytical tools and methods (molecular biology, biogeochemistry, cytometry, etc). The UMR 5119 is composed of 19 lecturers, 24 research scientists (from the CNRS, Ifremer and IRD institutes), 16 technical assistants and 22 PhD students split into 6 research teams. Web: http://www.ecosym.univ-montp2.fr/

  • UMR LDO (CNRS, Université de Bretagne Occidentale)

LDO (Laboratoire des Domaines Océaniques) “Oceanic Domains” is a joint research laboratory in Marine Geosciences from Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and the University of Brest (UBO). Our facilities are located in the Technopole of Plouzané, in the outskirts of Brest. The laboratory is one of the 7 laboratories of the European Institute for Marine Sciences (IUEM), whose research activity focuses on the Sea. IUEM is an Observatory in Earth and Space Sciences (OSU) from the University of Brest and from the National Institute for Earth and Space Sciences (INSU) of CNRS. The research activity focuses on the genesis and evolution of the oceanic domains. The pluridisciplinary approach includes structural geology, geophysics, petrology, isotopic geochemistry, sedimentology and paleontology. The fields of investigation include continental rifts and mid-oceanic ridges, continental platforms and deep basins, hotspots and volcanic islands, and passive and active margins. The laboratory gathers about 80 people, of which 35 research scientists and faculties, 19 engineers, technicians and administrative staff, and about 20 PhD students, post-docs and visitors. Web http://www-sdt.univ-brest.fr/oceanic-domains?set_language=en

  • UMR EME (IRD, Ifremer, University of Montpellier 2)

Since the 1st January 2009, the CRH evolved towards an UMR (joint labs). UMR 212 EME associating the IRD, the University of Montpellier II and Ifremer by the 1st January 2011, its objectives being to study the impact of global change on marine ecosystems, their governance and their exploitation and plan out evolution scenarios with the help of patterns and empirical analysis. More information on the Web site: http://www.umr-eme.org/

  • Laboratoire des Ecosystèmes Aquatiques Tropicaux et Méditerranéens, USR 3278 CNRS – EPHE

The USR 3278 was created in 2010 from the merger of the team “Coral Reef” of the UMR 5244 “Biology and Tropical Ecology and Mediterranean” and the UMS 2978 “Island Research Centre and Observatory the environment”. It is the result of 40 years of research, teaching and training of the School of the coastal ecosystem present in over 110 countries in all three tropical oceans in the world. Based in Moorea, French Polynesia is working closely with the Coral Reef Institute at the School created by ministerial decree dated 21 January 2009. The unit includes 28 people, who are based in French Polynesia where in Perpignan, including: nine faculty and six IATOS of the Establishment, 7 and 4 Ita researchers from CNRS, and 3 Lecturer EPHE. (EPHE) is a leading institution of higher education and research, which provides highly specialized practical training in basic and applied research within three core Sections: Earth and Life Sciences; Historical and Philological Sciences; Religious Sciences. Web http://www.ephe.sorbonne.fr/en/

  • UMR Legos (CNES, CNRS, IRD, University Paul Sabatier Toulouse III)

LEGOS, a laboratory of Midi- Pyrenees Observatory (OMP), is a multi-disciplinary research laboratory concerned with environmental research. Researches conducted at LEGOS concern key environmental issues related to ocean health and its response to climatic forcing. They associate physical oceanography (large and coastal scales), marine geochemistry and biogeochemistry, spatial hydrology and the dynamics of polar ice sheets. Theses researches themes are linked by an observational approach using remote sensing from satellites. Research in oceanography covers a wide range of spatial and temporal time scales from gravity waves (tides, response to storms) to seasonal and interannual variations of the global ocean. The relationship between these phenomena and climate is investigated as well as the interactions between dynamics, primary production and the chemical state of the ocean. LEGOS specificities are the development of original algorithms for oceanography and hydrology from space and the acquisition of in situ data. LEGOS is also leader in the development of geochemical tracers and sensors as well as development of new generation numerical models for both open end regional oceans. Web http://www.legos.obs-mip.fr/

  • UMR Lemar (Université de Bretagne Occidentale, CNRS, IRD)

The LEMAR “Laboratoire des sciences de l’environnement marin” (Science Laboratory of the Marine Environment) has gathered biologists, chemists and physicists with the aim of studying, understanding and modelling marine systems within the biosphere, of defining the characteristics of this medium and its organisms, and of specifying their interactions. This UMR has gathered more than 42 researchers and around 24 engineers and technicians (37 PhD and 18 PostDoc and limited-term employees). The unit pursues a resolutely interdisciplinary policy, inside which it has carried out methodological research in the use of underwater acoustic technologies, and applying these methods on fishery resources. It works particularly on the studies and observations of marine populations in coastal environments. West Africa is a priority area for the unit. Web http://www-iuem.univ-brest.fr/UMR6539/lemar-en?set_language=en

·         UMR LOCEAN (CNRS, IRD, University Pierre et Marie Curie, IRD, MNHN) :

LOCEAN is a joint research laboratory of Université Pierre et Marie Curie (UPMC), Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Institut de la Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), and Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle (MNHN). Its personnel includes 111 permanent employees (61 of whom have a researcher or teaching researcher status), about 55 graduate students and 30 post-docs and CDDs. The research done at LOCEAN is mainly devoted both to the study of the variability of the ocean and the role of the ocean on climate. Another topic is biochemistry for ocean and for paleoclimatology. For the first topic of research, the focus is on the role of the ocean (both physical and chemical) on climate variability on seasonal to centennial time scale for past, present and future periods. For the second topic, the focus is on improving our understanding of ocean dynamics and its impact on major chemical compounds (in particular, carbon, both inorganic and organic) in relation to the investigation of some bio-geochemical processes and cycles and their impact on climate. The regions investigated include the Arctic, the Austral Ocean, tropical regions (with specific field experiments/studies in the Arctic, West Africa, South America, and Indian basin), the Mediterranean region, as well as global ocean circulation and biogeochemical model developments. Web https://www.locean-ipsl.upmc.fr/index.php

  • UMR LPO (CNRS, Ifremer, IRD, Université de Bretagne Occidentale)

LPO (Laboratoire de Physique des Océans, Physics Laboratory Oceans) covers three main scientific themes: (1) Mechanisms of ocean dynamics, from sub-mesoscale to basin scale; (2) Climate change: Role of the ocean and impacts on the thermohaline circulation; and (3) Understanding the exchange from the coast to the open ocean to study the effects of climate change on regional oceanic margins and their ecosystems. More information on Web site : http ://wwz.ifremer.fr/lpo

  • UMI UMMISCO (IRD, UPMC, UGB, UCAD, University of Marrakech, University of Yaoundé, IFI Hanoi)

UMMISCO, Unit of Mathematical Modelling and Computer Science of complex systems, under the joint supervision of IRD-UPMC, is built around the old unit Geodes from the IRD team and its partners in France, Africa and Southeast Asia. The international joint unit provides a stable and sustainable in the long-standing trading dynamic. Thematic applications in modelling research conducted in this “joint laboratory” part of the major scientific priorities of the IRD. Understanding of natural phenomena, social and epidemiological of the world today is becoming increasingly essential for economic decision-making and policies. The sciences of complexity so an increasing development experience motivated particularly by the global issues (ecology, public health, social stability), which in consequence of globalization, concern both the industrialized and developing ones. Dare to model complex systems, whose behaviour at a given scale is the product of interactions between a large number of entities on a smaller scale. Web http://www.ummisco.ird.fr/index.php


The Geomer team is part of joint research unit UMR 6554 LETG (coast, environment, remote sensing and geomatics) in which four geography laboratories in the west of France have joined forces. Geomer, the Brest branch, is member of the Observatory for the Sciences of the Universe at the European Institute for Marine Studies (OSU-IUEM, UMS 3113), affiliated to the University of Western Brittany (UBO). Geomer comes under two CNRS institutes: the Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences (InSHS) and the Institute of Ecology and Environment (INEE). Leader of the Geomer team is Louis Brigand, lecturer at UBO. Our research activities take place within the extensive field of human geography, physical geography and geomatics and concern the coastal environment in temperate and tropical ecosystems. Geomer’s dedication to multidisciplinary team work is obvious from the diverse origin of the researchers and engineers (cartography, ecology, geography, geology), as well as the increasing number of collaborations with researchers in humanities, life sciences and sciences of the universe, and, with regard to the engineers, physical sciences. The team participates in the master programme Marine and Coastal Sciences and admits students enrolled in the doctoral programme Marine Sciences (EDSM) at the European Institute for Marine Studies. To access the web site: http ://letg.univ-nantes.fr/

  • US ‘Instrumentation, Moyens Analytiques, Observatoires Géophysique Océanographie’ (IMAGO)

The IRD ‘Unité de Service’ (Technical Unit) US191 IMAGO is competent in the following fields: (i) Marine Chemical analysis: salinity, dissolved oxygen, nutrients, plytoplantonic pigments (HPLC); (ii) Physical oceanography instrumentation: Sampling bottle rosette, CTD probes, Currentmeter (ADCP and LADCP, etc. (iii) management of observational networks: TAO mooring array in the tropical Atlantic Ocean (PIRATA program), sea surface salinity and pCO2 measurements from merchant vessels; (iv) software developpement; (v) use of satellite data: One engineer  can provide data (SST, CHLa, Wind, altimeter, atmospheric fluxes etc.) either on Delayed Time (historical series) or in Near Real Time (during oceanographic cruise). Technicians and engineers of the IRD technical unit IMAGO are able to deliver formation, in marine chemistry, instrumentation, ship of opportunity program, use of satellite data either in laboratory or at sea. The unit is ISO 9001 certified since 2009. Web site: www.brest.ird.fr/us025/

  • UMR ESPACE-DEV, (IRD, Université de Montpellier 2, Université de la Réunion, et Université des Antilles et de la Guyane)

ESPACE-DEV is a public joint research unit located at the "Maison de la Télédétection" (Remote sensing centre), Montpellier France, with overseas bases in New Caledonia, Reunion island, Martinique, and French Guyana. Research topics link Earth observation, information systems and environmental integrated approaches towards environmental observatories dedicated to sustainable development. One of its three teams, the team "Integrated environments and societies approaches" (AIMS) is working on a multidisciplinary monitoring and spatialization of environmental knowledge. This includes research on coastal anthroposystems. Web site: http://www.espace.ird.fr/