Kiel Marine Science

Center for Ocean and Society


The Center for Ocean and Society is the cross-faculty research unit of the priority research area Kiel Marine Science (KMS) and will present a significant contribution to the sustainable use of coasts and the ocean. The aim is to link social justice for both present and future generations together with respect for the environment.

Our research areas:
Costal Hazards: We focus on coastal hazard assessment by analyzing deformation and controlling factors of slope stability. Our techniques include acoustic imaging (marine 2D/3D seismics, sediment echo-sounder, multibeam bathymetry), UAV (drone) mapping and visualisation of coastal areas and shallow water.

For example in our project Ocean Hazard Risk Assessment in Southern Italy we focus on Europe's largest active volcano: Mt Etna. Many earthquakes and resulting tsunamis affected the Mediterranean region during historical times. We aim to investigate and assess the complex relationship between ocean hazards and their potential risk to coastal communities.

Marine Food: Our work is dealing with the question how fisheries assessment and management can move from a single species to multispecies and finally ecosystem approach. An important component is communication between science and stakeholders and how research questions can be developed together with stakeholders..

For example in our project Humboldt Tipping we deal with fluctuations in the Humboldt current system and its impact on the fisher population in Peru. Together with local stakeholders, we aim to increase resilience of coastal communities.

Marine and Coastal resource management: Many different groups use marine and coastal resources. Usually, the action of one group impacts the current or future possibilities of other groups. We want to examine how policies impact (economic) trade-offs concerning the use of natural resources and the interests of different resource users. One focus is on technologies and on their potential to aggravate or reduce conflict.  We also consider the role of institutional settings for finding widely accepted ways to manage marine and coastal resources.

For example, with our participation in marEEshift we aim to identify institutions that foster a resilient marine ecological-economic system in a regime of sustainability. As part of the project, we identify sustainability norms of different stakeholders and examine whether their ideas for a sustainable development of the western Baltic Sea can be fulfilled simultaneously.

How we work:

  • We take a transdisciplinary approach to support evidence-based decision-making.
  • We develop research questions at the interface of societal challenges and state-of-the-art science.
  • We create and maintain a platform for stakeholder dialogue.
  • We design and realize projects in dialogue and in cooperation with different stakeholders.
  • We combine scientific approaches with practical knowledge and experience to develop and assess economically practical, societal acceptable and politically implementable solutions.

Prof. Dr. Marie-Cathrine Riekhof (Director, Team Leader Resource Management)

Dr. Felix Groß (Team Leader Coastal Hazards)

Dr. Jörn Schmidt

Dr. Christian Wagner-Ahlfs (Coordinator for Transdisciplinary Research)
Neufeldtstr. 10, 24118 Kiel
Phone +49 (0) 431 880-1554

Foto: "Carrying a basket of fish" by Vilmos Vincze (License CCBY2.0)

Current Research

KMS on campus



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