Benthos Ecology Research Unit

The Benthos Ecology research unit is studying the ecology of benthic organisms, which comprises the flora and fauna living in or on the seafloor.


Our research aims at understanding and predicting how climate change and other anthropogenic or natural influences affect marine benthic systems and to apply this knowledge to sustainable ecosystem management. 

The understanding of what determines species distribution in benthic environments and how that affects ecosystem functioning and processes is a key element of our research. We are using modeling methods, field and experimental studies to investigate how benthos communities respond to climate change, anthropogenic impacts and natural variability. 

Another research focus of the unit is on networks among benthic species, specifically food web interactions. Benthic species constitute a main food source for higher trophic level species, but specific knowledge about their role in the food web is scarce. Therefore, we study food webs with different methods in several regions of the NE Atlantic. This knowledge will contribute to our understanding of how exploiting one component in the food web (e.g. by fishing) could affect others.


Henning Reiss
​Assoc. Professor and Unit Manager
​Arunima Sen
​Michael Streicher
​PhD Student
​Michael Weinert
​PhD Student
Valentin Kokarev
​PhD Student