Signing of MOU by IUI and ZMT | Photo: Agnes Richard, ZMT

28.11.2018 | On Monday, 26th November, the fourth ELIC meeting took place in the headquarters of the Leibniz Association in Berlin. Representatives of the individual ELIC projects from IUI, Israel and the Leibniz Association came together to present efforts, results and successes of their ongoing measurements during the campaigns in 2018. We were very happy to also welcome the attaché for culture and science of the Israeli Embassy in Berlin, Tsach Saar, Regina Rutenberg from the German Federal Foreign Office and Marion Mienert from the PT-DLR as well as the new director of the IUI, Jaap van Rijn for the first time in the context of ELIC.

The projects span a wide range of scientific activities in the Gulf of Aqaba such as the investigation of fish and coral interactions, fish size spectra across a human disturbance gradient, biodiversity of the Red Sea Octocorals, the effect of aeolian dry deposition on the sediments as well as the mineral dust load in the atmosphere, the role of groundwater discharge from sub-desert aquifers and also the governance of tourism.

Several more ideas are to be realized in the near future. On the basis of equipment acquired in the framework of ELIC, a joint lab will be furnished at the IUI in Eilat - open to all partners of ELIC for further bilateral undertakings. Thus, the network created in the framework of ELIC will be strengthened through further cooperation leading to joint project proposals and publications. Another collective undertaking for the future foresees the organisation of joint courses and the opening of courses at the individual institutions for the ELIC partners as well as exchanges of students and scientists.

The meeting in Berlin was closed by officially signing the renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding between IUI and ZMT by the two directors, Jaap van Rijn and Hildegard Westphal to continue also the cooperation of these two Institutes. Followed by this Israeli visit in Berlin we were very happy to welcome Jaap van Rijn and Simon Berkovicz from the Hebrew University on the following day at ZMT in Bremen, where they came together with additional scientist from ZMT that are already cooperating with Israel or are planning to do so. One important and continuous cooperation is the diving course that is to be organized on a yearly basis at IUI by Michael Schmid, dive safety officer of ZMT.