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Department Biologie ZMAW


Fisheries Science

The Fisheries Science (Fs – Prof. Axel Temming, Prof. Christian Möllmann, Jun.Prof. Marc Hufnagl) group deals with the population dynamics of key fish species and their management. A key task of the FS group is the role of fish in marine food webs, i.e. to understand how "top-down" processes shape marine ecosystem structure and functioning.

measuring fish on board

adult herring

Scientific fish trawl

metamorphosing sprat

The FS group investigates the population dynamics of key fish species and the role of fish in marine food webs. A central research topic of the group is to clarify the mechanisms acting to influence recruitment of commercially and/or ecologically important marine fish species. The other main research area is to investigate “top-down” controls in marine ecosystems. This includes both piscivore and planktivore interactions as well as planktivore zooplankton interactions. The group applies both laboratory experiments and extensive field sampling campaigns, and uses the results of these in different modelling approaches.

Research within the FS group examines a suite of topics from general ecology (trophodynamics) and physiology (ecophysiology) as well as aquaculture of key fish species. Data collected at the organismal level are included within a variety of simulation techniques to examine population- and community-level dynamics and responses to climate and fishing

Examples of Field Approaches

  • Oceanographic research cruises to various shelf sea ecosystems
  • Small- and mesoscale measurements of abiotic and biotic features
  • Species composition, abundance and distribution of fish and invertebrate predators

Examples of Laboratory Approaches

  • Analyses of trophic pathways and feeding selectivity via gut content analyses
  • Metabolic measurements of key species (intermittent and closed-circuit respirometry)
  • Feeding-growth & gut evacuation experiments
  • 2-D video observation (e.g., adult fish feeding behaviour
  • Biochemical analyses (nucleic acids & proximate composition)

Examples of Modeling Techniques

  • Age- and/or stage-based population modeling
  • Multi-species virtual population analysis
  • Bioenergetics models of key fish species
  • Coupled 3-D transport / population models
  • Multivariate Statistical Modelling

Members of the FS group have received funding from a variety of sources and have a number of ongoing EU and German national research programs including: :


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