The Leibniz Center for Tropical Marine Ecology – ZMT for short – is now called the Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research. The name change entered into force on January 1, 2017. The name change takes into account the increasingly interdisciplinary scope of the ZMT, which includes both the natural sciences and the social sciences.
Since its founding in 1991, and especially since joining the Leibniz Association in 2009, the ZMT has developed into an internationally recognized institute with a staff of more than 200 people. Moreover, the range of disciplines represented at the institute has become more comprehensive.
An institute that began more than 25 years ago with three scientists whose disciplines focused on fishery biology, modelling and ecology now includes sedimentologists, hydrogeologists, ecologists, biologists and biogeochemists, theoretical ecologists and modellers as well as economists, sociologists and anthropologists.
The original objectives of the institute – to create a scientific basis for the protection and sustainable use of tropical coastal ecosystems and to cooperate closely with national and international partners in the fields of research, training and consulting – remain valid and will continue in the future. In order to fulfil this mandate, the ZMT has successively met the challenge of pursuing an interdisciplinary approach while at the same time maintaining disciplinary depth.
“The designation ‘tropical marine ecology’ in the institute’s old name no longer fully reflects our scientific range. The research of the ZMT is now much more diverse and is no longer limited to ecology. With our name change, we want to signify our consciously holistic approach to research,” said Professor Hildegard Westphal, Director of the ZMT.