Description of the Entity
The Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) is a foundation under public law and a member of the Helmholtz Association. As a scientific institution, AWI carries out research in the Arctic and the Antarctic as well as coordinating German polar research efforts, while also conducting research in the North Sea and adjacent coastal regions in Germany. AWI researchers explore many aspects of the Earth system – from the atmosphere to the ocean floor – in order to grasp the climate-related processes on our planet. The Institute’s work is characterised by a high degree of international and interdisciplinary collaboration in the fields of bio-, geo- and climate sciences. AWI also offers cutting-edge laboratory equipment and high-performance supercomputers for the national and international research communities. AWI researchers are engaged in education and training of young researchers, students, pupils or trainees and also aim to serve as an advisory function for political decision-makers and society at large. AWI researchers have participated, and in some cases led, in the preparation of several of the IPCC’s annual Assessment reports. The Institute coordinates the Helmholtz Initiative for research on regional climate change (REKLIM) and is a member of the Helmholtz Earth System Knowledge Platform (ESKP). The German Advisory Council on Global Change’s (WBGU) administrative office is affiliated with AWI.
Role in the Prodigio Project
AWI’s role in the project is related to the chemical fingerprinting of organic matter in natural and artificial environments. The department of Ecological Chemistry at AWI focuses on the structural and functional complexity of chemical constituents, their role in biological-chemical interactions and their role in maintaining the integrity, diversity and stability of microbial communities and elemental fluxes. The focus is on the structural-functional relationships of key primary metabolites and natural products.
Boris Koch is a PhD, is a senior scientist and head of division biosciences (since 2019) and department of ecological chemistry (since 2017) at AWI and full professor at the University of Applied Science Bremerhaven (Germany) in the field of biotechnology. His main interests include the biogeochemical cycling of marine dissolved organic matter and the role of chemical compounds in species interactions. He was president of the German Society of Marine Research (2013-2017) and Coordinator of the field of Physics/Chemistry within the priority program “Antarctic research” of the German Science Foundation (2013-2018). He published 80 peer-reviewed scientific papers (SCI) including Science, Nature climate change, ISME, Earth-Science Reviews. H-index 33 (google scholar).