Hands passing relay baton on rowing.
PRESS RELEASE | 20.05.2021

Ulrich Bathmann and Katja Matthes elected to the board of the DAM

Alliance grows by three new member institutions and two strategic partners

Berlin, 20 May 2021  At today’s digital General Assembly of the German Marine Research Alliance (DAM), the member institutions elected Ulrich Bathmann, director of the Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemünde (IOW), and Katja Matthes, director of the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, to the DAM’s Executive Board. The Executive Board manages the association DAM e.V. and draws up its conceptual strategy, which has to be approved by the General Assembly and the Administrative Council.

Ulrich Bathmann
©IOW/D. Gohlke

Ulrich Bathmann of the IOW, who is also a professor of Earth System Research at the University of Rostock, emphasised that, “The DAM is a powerful organisation dedicated to the future issues facing society in German marine research, which channels the entire spectrum of marine science expertise existing in this country – at universities, the Helmholtz institutes, the Leibniz institutes, the Max Planck institutes, and in departmental research and museums. This unique coalition sets the DAM apart internationally. I am proud and confident that I will be able to contribute constructively to the future development of the DAM.”

Katja Matthes, member of the Executive Board
Katja Matthes, Director of the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel and new member to the DAM’s Executive Board. | Photo: picture alliance / dpa / Axel Heimken

“I am delighted with the trust placed in me,” said Katja Matthes, the director of GEOMAR. “As a board member of the German Marine Research Alliance, I would like to work with my colleagues to continue to develop the DAM as an effective science policy instrument for German marine research and to promote an active dialogue with stakeholders in science, politics, and society. Beyond this, I would like to support the development of sustainable solutions based on marine research within the framework of the DAM, so that we can tackle the major challenges of the future, such as climate change.”

Michael Bruno Klein, chairman of the board of the DAM, congratulated Katja Matthes and Ulrich Bathmann on their election: “Today you have received strong support for the important tasks that lie ahead in your new office: the strategic development of German marine research over the coming decades. The DAM serves as a framework within which we want to establish closer connections within politics, business and civil society and come up with solution-oriented results and potential courses of action. Both of you intend to be actively involved in this process and I look forward to your input and our collaboration!”

Ulrich Bathmann and Katja Matthes succeed Peter Herzig, former director of the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Kiel, and Karin Lochte, former director of the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), both of whom are retiring from the board as of today’s General Assembly.

Michael Schulz, deputy chairman of the DAM board, thanked the two deserving founding members who have served on the board since July 2019: “Your efforts during the important start-up phase were instrumental in getting the DAM up and running. You knocked on many doors to achieve this, and solicited the support of the federal government, the northern German states and the scientific community. You used your abundant experience to help shape the Alliance and consolidate marine research. For that, our heartfelt thanks go out to you!”

Continuing on course for growth: Three research institutions join the DAM 

The General Assembly approved the admission of three further members: the Federal Waterways Engineering and Research Institute (BAW), the Fraunhofer Society for the Advancement of Applied Science and the Johann Heinrich von Thünen Institute, Federal Research Institute for Rural Areas, Forestry and Fisheries. With them, the DAM has now increased in size to encompass 22 member institutions. The BAW is joining as an associate member, the other two as full members.

“The DAM is a protagonist in marine research as a space for solutions and applications, aiming to strengthen the sustainable management of coasts and seas. We are now better equipped than ever to fulfil this aspiration,” said Michael Schulz. “With the Fraunhofer Society, we have been joined by the largest organisation for applied research and development services in Europe. With the Federal Waterways Engineering and Research Institute, we are bringing on board the expertise of this departmental research institution for transport hydraulic engineering and special-purpose shipbuilding. And as a further departmental research institution with specialised marine institutes for fisheries ecology, marine fisheries and Baltic fisheries, the Thünen Institute is a relevant, indeed indispensable, research partner with whom we are better placed to address the important concerns of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food.” In addition, these public authorities could use their experience in implementing a knowledge base for action to effectively assist the DAM in knowledge transfer.

Our members and partners: DAM connects 22 member institutions
Our members and partners: DAM connects 22 member institutions and two strategic partners | Picture: Carolin Rankin

Strategic partners with know-how in development policy and sustainability research

The German Development Institute (DIE) and the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) were confirmed by the General Assembly as strategic partners of the DAM.

“In view of its focus on knowledge about sustainability and transformation and having its own research group on ocean governance, the IASS is an ideal partner for the DAM,” explained Michael Bruno Klein. “The research carried out by the DIE also looks into transformation processes and comes up with concrete proposals for action for decision-makers,” he continued. “The DIE is an excellent partner when it comes to providing policy advice. Both institutes are very well connected with policymakers and civil society, on the national and international level, and offer the DAM tremendous strategic added value.”

Press photographs of the members of the DAM Executive Board for editorial coverage can be downloaded here


Eva Söderman
Head of Press and Public Relations / Political Communication
German Marine Research Alliance (DAM)
Phone +49 (0)30 804 945 66

Header Image: Hands passing relay baton on rowing. Photo: 2016 ChaiyonS021/Shutterstock

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