In  more than 25 years since its founding, the ZMT has built a strong network of partners in Germany and abroad. Cooperation agreements and MoU's exist between the ZMT and several research institutions in South America, Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia. The institute is a focal point not only for scientists, but also for government agencies and companies to exchange expert knowledge in the field of tropical marine ecology.

The participation of ZMT employees in international organisations contributes to the integration of German marine tropical ecology research with international programmes and the development of common strategies.

ZMT's new Senior Fellows Programme invites scientists  who are willing to foster the institute in research and strategy development, in international cooperation and in capacity development and training Senior Fellows can be actively involved in research and develop joint scientific projects.