Welcome to the Helmholtz Graduate School for Polar and Marine Research –

Fostered by the Helmholtz Initiative and Networking Fund, the graduate school POLMAR provides a structured qualification programme for PhD students at the Alfred Wegener Institute as supplement to their individual research work. More about POLMAR...



Awards! Awards! Awards!

YOUMARES 5 with more than 100 participants, guests, speakers, session-chairs from more than 8 nations has taken place successfully in Stralsund from 10th -12th of September, 2014). The 2 ½-day programme included 33 lectures and 15 posters in the unique ambiance of the host, the OZEANEUM, directly at the harbour site of Stralsund.

As a long time supporter, SPRINGER sponsored awards for the three best poster and oral presentations. Congratulation to two of our (former) POLMAR members!

YOUMARES 5 – Best Talks

YOUMARES 5: Awarding the Best Talk Award to Duygu Sevgi Sevilgen (POLMAR alumni, right), Isabel Richter, and Ines Stuhldreier.

YOUMARES 5 – Best Posters

And the Best Poster Award goes to....Luisa Federwisch (AWI, POLMAR, left), Lindan Mlambo, and Steffi Meyer!

Family support by POLMAR

Polona Itkin (Climate Sciences/ Sea Ice Physics) has been able to attend seminars and make business trips thanks to the POLMAR family support programme. She took her young family with her and POLMAR covered the additional expenses. There is no minimum age limit for becoming a marine scientist!


Our former POLMAR members Nina Keul and Sven Kranz had gone to the US for a Postdoc position. Meanwhile, Sven accepted an assistant professorship at Florida State University and Nina is back in Germany at the Institute of Geosciences at Kiel University.

POLMAR students work and travel all over the world

During their PhD time, several POLMAR students take the chance to participate in expeditions to the Arctic or the Antarctic or attend national and international conferences or workshops. Besides the challenge of working under extreme conditions such as low temperature or limited working spaces on research platforms, the learning of new scientific methods and the opportunity to discuss scientific results with colleagues from all over the world make such activities an unforgettable experience. Additionally, the social and intercultural experience broadens the view and may lead to long lasting friendships and networks. International experiences remain indispensible for being successful in the scientific community. POLMAR therefore strongly recommends, encourages and financially supports applications for participating in international conferences, workshops or seminars that are related to the respective PhD project. In the following there will be provided some short reports of POLMAR students on recent activities.

POLMAR-funded research stay in Canada (M. Hoins)

In autumn/winter 2013 POLMAR funded my three months research stay at the ISMER-UQAR in Canada. During this time, the purpose was to do an essential part of the laboratory work for my PhD project, which is about developing a new proxy for atmospheric CO2 based on the stable carbon isotope fractionation of dinoflagellates (unicellular algae). My project is divided into two major parts: one conducted at the AWI, where I am investigating carbon isotope fractionation of motile dinoflagellate cells and the second at the University of Utrecht, The Netherlands, where I am working on fossil dinoflagellate cysts found in sediment cores. The experiments at ISMER were designed to quantify the isotopic relation between cells and cysts. To this end I isolated dinoflagellate cysts from sediments to let them develop into monoclonal strains for further experiments under controlled carbonate chemistry conditions. During my stay at ISMER I was able to learn state-of-the-art techniques needed for such experiments. Furthermore working abroad was a great opportunity to learn about different perspectives and social life. I consider this experience as beneficial for both my scientific carreer and my personal development and thank POLMAR for making it possible.