Summer School on Diversity of Coastal Habitats

The school will take place from 6-14 September 2006 on the Island of Sylt and from 14 to 20 September 2006 on the Island of Helgoland, Germany. It is hosted by the Alfred-Wegener-Institut für Polar- und Meeresforschung in der Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft in cooperation with IOW, GKSS and the University of Gdansk.

Coastal areas are characterised by a high diversity of habitats and biodiversity. Significant global change is occurring within the coastal zone due to human activity as also by natural forcing especially by climate change. In order to asses the effects of these changes we need a fundamental understanding of ecosystem structure and function. The topic of this advanced study course is a comparison of coastal ecosystems: soft bottom systems in the Baltic Sea (Gulf of Gdansk/Puck Lagoon; Mecklenburg Bight) versus Wadden Sea habitats versus hard bottom communities of Helgoland, with some perspectives to polar and tropical regions. This Summer School will bring together postgraduated- or PhD students, young scientists with experts in coastal research.

Aspects of the influence of global change on diversity of coastal ecosystems will be addressed

  1. historic changes in habitat diversity
  2. physical oceanography of Baltic and North Sea in relation to coastal diversity
  3. changes in morphodynamics and environmental impacts
  4. effects of global change on pelagic and benthic communities: physiological and ecological changes, changes in diversity, invasive species
  5. marine biodiversity - relevance, assessment and patterns

An introduction to the analysis of food webs will be given.The question will be discussed: How can the scientific community provide recommendations for an integrated coastal zone management and for a sustainable use of natural resources?

The summer school will consist of background lectures by scientists actively engaged in coastal research, as well as field trips and practical courses.

The closing date for applications has passed.

For more information, take a look at the website