13/08/2019 | Prof. Dr. Martin Zimmer has replaced Dr. Werner Ekau as head of the Department of Ecology and also become a member of ZMT's extended board of directors, which is responsible for the institute's strategic orientation. The Department of Ecology at ZMT consists of five working groups and includes research on mangroves and coral reefs as well as on fish, algae and sea grass.

“From my predecessor Werner Ekau, I inherited a very well-positioned Ecology Department whose interdisciplinary research profile I will continue to sharpen in the future. I am looking forward to this new task and the exciting collaborations with my colleagues,” says Zimmer.

Portrait Martin Zimmer

Martin Zimmer, a zoologist by training, joined ZMT in 2014 and took over the professorship of mangrove ecology as well as the leadership of the corresponding research group, where he pursues his research interest in interactions in biocoenoses under changing environmental conditions in the mangrove ecosystem. This habitat is increasingly affected by global environmental changes, such as global warming, sea-level rise or changes in salinity in brackish water due to increased rainfall. In addition, there is local pressure from humans to use the water. How do these factors affect the ecosystem and its services? Zimmer seeks an answer in the interaction of the individual system components, symbiotic interactions, food webs and material flows in mangroves and their neighbouring ecosystems.

Zimmer studied biology at the University of Cologne where he also received his doctoral degree in Cologne. His research in the context of his habilitation and a private lectureship in Evolutionary Ecophysiology at Kiel University brought him into contact with coastal ecosystems for the first time. Before joining ZMT, he headed a research group for Terrestrial Ecology at the University of Salzburg.