The Ecophysiology group conducts research to contribute to a better understanding of tropical coastal ecosystems and reasons for success or failure of organisms living there.

Our work focuses on ecologically or economically important key organisms occurring in “extreme” environments like the intertidal or upwelling areas. We investigate their physiological mechanisms of acclimation and adaptation. At present, our work focuses on the impacts of anthropogenic influences, especially climate change.

Breeding and rearing of organisms

The successful breeding and maintenance of organisms for aquaristics and aquaculture demands knowledge about thresholds and sensibilities of the target organisms with regard to environmental parameters. Larvae, juveniles and adult specimens can possess widely deviating tolerance limits. We therefore work with different life stages.

Comparative physiology

Organisms apply different strategies to deal with environmental changes and resulting influences on metabolic processes. Comparative approaches are a powerful tool to understand these complex interactions between organisms and their environment.

We therefore investigate:

  • energy metabolism and influence of O2, CO2 and temperature
  • oxygen uptake, transport and processing in organs / cells
  • ontogenesis and resilience
  • direct reactions and changes in behaviour due to stress


Research Projects


Using intertidal fish to study life’s tolerance to low oxygen

Improved sexual and asexual coral reproduction

Impacts of marine pollution on biodiversity and coastal livelihoods

Early Stress*
New methods for early detection of (environmental) stress in fish and invertebrates– development of a toolbox

Aquaculture practice in tropical coastal ecosystems: Understanding
ecological and socio-economic consequences

German Indonesian Anti-Infectives Cooperation

Diversity of microorganisms in both natural and aquaculture tropical seaweed systems:
biotechnology potential for sustainable development

Revisiting “our” MPA in Sumatra

Cassio Stress*
Physiological responses of Cassiopea sp. to selected stress factors

* Thesis Projects