Scientists from all over Germany met at GEOMAR for a DFG roundtable discussion

Geomar-MeteorWhen the German marine sciences sought to reconnect with international research after World War II, they were able to establish such collaboration in the Indian Ocean. Using the then newly-built research vessel METEOR (II), the Federal Republic of Germany participated in the "International Indian Ocean Expedition" in 1964 and 1965.

However, the third largest ocean in the world is not only exciting in terms of the history of science but, given the prevailing monsoon winds, major ocean currents, varied tropical ecosystems, valuable resources under the seabed and some of the major trade routes of the world ocean, it is of great interest to scientists of all disciplines to this day. Therefore, 35 scientists from all over Germany met this week at GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel to exchange ideas about possible scientific questions surrounding the Indian Ocean and potential new research projects.

Among the participants were oceanographers, biologists, marine chemists, atmospheric and climate scientists, as well as geologists and seismologists. "This variety alone demonstrates that the Indian Ocean is an exciting area of research for many disciplines," says Prof. Dr. Hermann Bange from GEOMAR, who together with Prof. Dr. Martin Visbeck (also from GEOMAR) initiated the roundtable discussion on the Indian Ocean. Some initial ideas for future projects have already been developed during the two-day event. "We have identified many approaches and issues in which we can continue to work," says Professor Visbeck. The significant drop in the number of pirate attacks in the region is cause for some hope among researchers that all areas of the Indian Ocean may soon be reached with the new research vessel SONNE and the current METEOR (III). The meeting in Kiel was financed by the German Research Foundation (DFG).

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