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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...





POLMAR congratulates its former graduate school member Felizitas Bajerski for winning one of the AWI PhD prizes 2013!

AWI Weihnachtsfeier 2013, Verleihung des Doktorandenpreises an Dr. Felizitas Bajerski (AWI Potsdam) durch die AWI-Direktorin Prof. Dr. Karin Lochte


POLMAR congratulates its former member Dr. Judith Hauck for winning the Annette-Barthelt Prize 2013


Dr. Judith Hauck (AWI), Dr. Axel Möller (University of Lüneburg/Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht (left) together with the chairman of the Annette Barthelt-Stiftung, Prof. Dr. Wolf-Christian Dullo (Foto: Jan Steffen, Geomar)


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!



Sven and Nina in New York City

Our former POLMAR members Nina Keul and Sven Kranz are currently holding a Postdoc position in the United States at Lamont Doherty Observatory and Princeton University, respectively. They are happy to answer your questions regarding work and life in the US. Contact details are available via the POLMAR office.


POLMAR students participate in expeditions and workshops all over the world!

Glacier Grytviken, South Georgia/Antarctica

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.


Research stay at ISMER-UQAR, Canada (M. Hoins)

Beach in Have St. Pierre, Quebec, Canada

In autumn/winter 2013 POLMAR funded my three months research stay at the ISMER-UQAR (Institute des Sciences de la Mer de Rimouski- Université du Québec à Rimouski) 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.

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Dr. Claudia Sprengel
Dr. Claudia Hanfland

POLMAR Office hours:
9 till 14 a.m. and on request,
Fixed consultation hours (on mondays, 1 - 2:30 pm)




Additional Information

Helmholtz Association