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Leibniz Graduate School SUTAS (Sustainable Use of Tropical Aquatic Systems)

SUTAS is a new Leibniz graduate school coordinated by the Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT) and conducted jointly with partners in and around Bremen as well as in the tropics. It offers a structured, high-level interdisciplinary graduate training in the field of tropical coastal system research. Tropical coastal regions are characterised by rapid social and environmental changes, which lead to threats to ecosystem functions and services with local as well as global impacts. Using an interdisciplinary approach, the programme tackles pressing questions of coastal zone ecology, management and human health in the tropics.

SUTAS supports early career scientists by linking them to a national and international network of researchers and institutions. Disciplines covered in SUTAS include marine biology, fisheries science, sedimentology, microbiology, sociology, economics, modelling and epidemiology. The research is conducted in focal regions of ZMT activities, Zanzibar being the one for the first group of PhD students.

Main features of SUTAS

Stringent and advised progress leading to successful graduation within three years is supported by the PhD panel.

Deeply rooted disciplinarity is provided by the large number of experts available from the SUTAS consortium.

Interdisciplinary experience is assured by the design of the PhD research projects, which look at a joint problem from different disciplinary perspectives, and by the intensive exchange between the students.

Cultural literacy - through extended periods of field work SUTAS students attain a high level of cultural understanding, communication skills and other intimate knowledge of a social ecological system in the tropics.

Research areas

  • Seagrass and algae
  • Organic matter cycling
  • Carbonate builders
  • Fish behaviour
  • Fisheries assessment and modelling
  • Food and nutrition

Upcoming events

SUTAS: Final Symposium

Final Symposium of the Leibniz Graduate School SUTAS from 19th - 22th September 2016
Venue: New IMS Building Zanzibar, Stone Town

SUTAS flyer


Students holding positions financed by SUTAS are automatically members of the SUTAS programme.

PhD students of partner institutions of the SUTAS programme, who are focussing their research on topics related to SUTAS are welcome to apply. Application documents comprise:

1. CV
2. Motivation letter
3. M.Sc. Certificate and Academic Transcripts
4. A research proposal with time plan (3-5 pages)
5. Confirmation of funding

Participating institutions

  • University of Bremen
  • Jacobs University
  • University of Oldenburg
  • Institute for Epidemiology and Prevention Research (BIPS), Bremen
  • Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural Museum (SaM), Wilhelmshaven
  • Institute of Marine Sciences, Zanzibar (IMS)
  • State University of Zanzibar (SUZA)
  • International Ocean Institute (IOI)

Coordination at the ZMT

Prof. Dr. Matthias Wolff