Kiel Marine Science

Research questions

A major part of Philipp Schwemmer's research focuses on the question of how seabirds and marine mammals can be used as indicators of the location and condition of marine habitats. An important focus is the modelling of land use patterns of Wadden Sea birds using abiotic and biotic predictors (e.g. hydrodynamics, sediment regime, macrofauna). The telemetry of seabirds and marine mammals is a central method for this purpose. The results obtained are often directly applied in official marine nature conservation.

Current research questions:

  • What is the chain of action of hydrodynamics, sediment, distribution of macrofauna and seabirds?
  • Can the location of benthic habitats be predicted with the help of telemetric seabird data?
  • How does the energy transfer from macrozoobenthos to the birds as end consumers take place?
  • What are the conflicts regarding the migration of seabirds and offshore wind turbines?


In the future, remote sensing data could be combined with telemetric data on the land use of seabirds - both in coastal inland areas and in the Wadden Sea and offshore areas of the North and Baltic Seas. Seabird data can also be made available for the interdisciplinary description of the Good Environmental Status (links to socio-economic issues are possible).

Current Research

KMS on campus



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