Institutes and Centres
Institutes and Centres
The scientific centre COAST networks the natural, social and economic sciences as well as computer science in order to bundle activities in the field of environment and sustainability. The focus of the work is in the areas of energy and climate research as well as the interrelationship of humans and the environment in the coastal region. The centre is made up of five member institutions:
- Centre for Environmental Modelling (CEM)
- Oldenburg Centre for Sustainability Economics and Management (CENTOS)
- Centre for Wind Energy Research (ForWind)
- Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the Sea (ICBM)
- Centre for Sustainable Spatial Development in Oldenburg (ZENARiO)
COAST provides the space for the planning and implementation of interdisciplinary research projects of the member institutions and the integration of external partners. In addition, the teaching of sustainability-related Bachelor's and Master's degree programmes is coordinated here across the faculties. Furthermore COAST is committed to successful scientific work in close dialogue with society. Since 2012, for example, there has been the Marine Spatial Planning Research Network as an association of scientists, politicians and practitioners in the field of marine spatial planning.
The Institute of Chemistry and Biology of the Sea (ICBM) is an interdisciplinary research institute working on fundamental and applied issues in marine and environmental research. The ICBM investigates the significance of marine environmental systems in cooperation with working groups from various scientific disciplines (chemistry, biology, physics, modelling). The focus is on marine material cycles and energy flows in water, in sediments and at interfaces between habitats and water bodies, as well as the functional role of marine biodiversity. One research focus of the ICBM is coastal waters worldwide, as coastal regions are among the most productive and most human-influenced and used zones on our planet. The North Sea and the Wadden Sea are of particular interest. The ICBM is also the home institute of the research vessel Sonne and therefore also globally active in the various oceans. The function of marine ecosystems depends on the biological diversity of the seas. How strongly and in what form this biodiversity reacts to global warming and anthropogenic influences is the central research interest of the Helmholtz Institute for Functional Marine Biodiversity (HIFMB). It aims to better understand the effects of fluctuations in biodiversity on the function and performance of marine ecosystems and to develop corresponding conservation and management strategies. Together with the Bremerhaven Alfred Wegener Institute and the Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) the ICBM is currently developing and expanding the HIFMB. Modelling, observational and experimental research approaches benefit from modern, high-resolution chemical analytics and the institute's own technological developments in marine sensor technology. To this end, in January 2017 the Centre for Marine Sensor Technology (ZfMarS) with staff from the ICBM took up its work. One focus is also on boundary layers. The transition from the sea to the atmosphere is a central area for climate processes. New metrological methods are to record the exchange processes at the interfaces and shed light on their role in technical applications as well as in climate research.
ForWind is the centre for wind energy research of the universities of Oldenburg, Hanover and Bremen and bundles 30 institutes and working groups. This inter-university association is unique in Germany. The German Aerospace Center (DLR), the Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy Systems (IWES) and ForWind form the joint research centre. Wind Energy Research Association (FVWE). Findings from elementary questions on wind energy research are transferred to industry in numerous research projects via application-oriented projects.
The design of sustainable development and the decarbonisation of the economy and society represent complex socio-economic transformation processes. The associated research questions are addressed by the Oldenburg Center for Sustainability Economics and Management (CENTOS). CENTOS combines scientific competences and activities in the disciplines of environmental economics and sustainability management as well as the social sciences, which have been established at the University of Oldenburg over the course of two decades and have now achieved a high national and international visibility. CENTOS deals with environmental economic analyses and the design of learning and change processes in companies and other social actors and governance processes. In particular, it focuses on business networks, new services, utilisation systems and institutional change in the context of sustainable development. At the macroeconomic level, the focus is on the assessment of environmental changes, the design of environmental policy measures, their political-economic determinants as well as their economic effects. Modern concepts and methods of environmental policy, questions of environmental education, aspects relevant to consumption and lifestyle as well as culturalist perspectives on sustainable consumption are taken into account, as are transdisciplinary approaches in innovation and entrepreneurship research. The concrete fields of investigation currently include climate protection and energy supply, adaptation to climate change, nutrition, information and communication technologies, the textile industry and mobility.
The Centre for Sustainable Spatial Development in Oldenburg (ZENARiO) brings together spatial and regional competencies in sustainability research and teaching at the University of Oldenburg, which until now have existed in isolation and unconnected to each other. It takes on a bridging function, integrating various natural, economic, social and political science working groups under the common umbrella of sustainability and tapping into the resulting potential for cross-institutional and cross-faculty cooperation as well as cooperation with non-university institutions to build profiles and create synergies. The action level of space is of essential importance for dealing with numerous questions of sustainable development, as it is on this level that the complex requirements of spatial planning and control of development processes are mapped and organised. The work of ZENARiO is aimed at making a contribution to both national and internationally networked spatial sustainability research. Particular attention is paid to deepening the partnership with neighbouring universities in Bremen and Groningen. ZENARiO is equally concerned with basic research in spatial and regional science as well as practical, application-oriented solutions to spatially relevant problems.
The Institute of Biology and Environmental Sciences (IBU ) is an interdisciplinary research institute focusing on biodiversity and evolution, landscape ecology, neuroscience and didactics of biology. The IBU includes the Botanical Garden, which serves as a teaching infrastructure primarily for further education in all aspects that have to do with plants. In addition, however, it also offers good opportunities for educational events with zoological and environmental science topics. Ultimately, however, it is also open as a venue to other members of the university and other educational providers who promote the aims of the Botanic Garden. The Botanic Garden is a close cooperation partner of Oldenburg Touristik und Marketing GmbH and an active member of the Association of Botanic Gardens in Germany. The number of visitors per year is approx. 70,000.