Research Division 2: Marine Biogeochemistry


The Research Division Marine Biogeochemistry has four Research Units: Biogeochemical Modelling, Biological Oceanography, Chemical Oceanography and Marine Geosystems.

Work in the Marine Biogeochemistry Research Division focuses on interactions between sediment, oceanic, and atmospheric material reservoirs and the organisms (including humans) which mediate marine biogeochemical processes.

Major emphasis is on the highly dynamic interfaces between atmosphere and ocean and sediment and ocean. Particular attention is paid to elements and compounds that are highly mobile and radiatively active.

 The research activities of the Division extend from the oceanic crust and sediments, through the water column to the surface layer and marine atmosphere. Investigative approaches include field work, laboratory and mesocosm studies as well as modeling.

A closely related theme is the development of chemical, biological and isotopic diagnostic tools (proxies) that are suited to investigation of current and past oceanic conditions. An emerging research area concerns the future biogeochemical state of the oceans in a high-CO2 environment.

The Division comprises a community of geochemists, biologists, geologists, physicists and modellers with complementary skills, diverse perspectives and inter-related scientific interests.

RD2 News

Vertical section of zonally averaged oxygen changes in the simulation with historical CO2 emissions and zero emissions from 1 January 2021 onwards. Left: Year 2020 relative to 1800. Right: Year 2650 relative to 2020. Graphics: C. Kersten, modified from A. Oschlies, 2021, GEOMAR.

Long-term consequences of CO2 emissions

Oxygen in the ocean will continue to decrease for many centuries

Manganese nodule with a deep-sea sponge. Expedition SO242. Photo: ROV KIEL6000, GEOMAR.

Assessing the Impacts of Nodule Mining on the Deep-Sea Environment

European Consortium monitors first in situ test of a pre-prototype collector vehicle in the Pacific

  • Head of the Research Division 2 - Marine Biogeochemistry:

    Prof. Dr. Anja Engel
    GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel
    West shore campus
    Düsternbrooker Weg 20
    D-24105 Kiel
    Phone: +49-431 600-1510
    Fax: +49-431 600-4448

    Administrative Assistant/Office of the Research Division 2 - Marine Biogeochemistry (RD2):
    Silvana Gagliardi
    Phone: +49 431 600-4445
    Fax: +49 431 600-134445
    e-mail: sgagliardi(at)