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Culture 2000

European Union


Research- and Technology Centre Westcoast (FTZ)

The Research- and Technology Centre Westcoast (FTZ) at Büsum is a branch of the Christian-Albrechts-University in Kiel, which unites several disciplines of coastal North Sea research. Its foundation in 1988 made possible a considerable expansion of interdisciplinary, applied and regionally oriented research on the Wadden Sea and the bordering coastline. With about 40 employees the centre focuses on 7 main scientific fields:

  • Coastal Ecology/Environmental Research and Technology
  • Applied Physics/Marine Technology
  • Coastal Geology/Coastal Engineering
  • Coastal Geography
  • Coastal Archaeology/Landscape History and Development
  • Soil Ecology
  • Ecology of Birds and Mammals

Applied projects provide a basis for decisions regarding the sustainable management of the coastal region and instigate the developments of locally relevant, innovative technologies. Besides international research projects, basic research in ecology and the historical development of the coastal realm represent an important backbone of the institute. To accomplish its tasks, the institute has two buildings at its disposal with a total of 24 laboratory units, 2 technology hangars with a purpose-built flume, and isotope laboratory and a dissection room.

A small but technologically sophisticated research vessel with a capacity to lodge up to 6 scientists is available to explore shallow coastal waters. An essential basis for the scientific activities at the Centre is its equipment with large devices, such as a flow cytometer and a pontoon with telemetric data transmission.

The interdisziplinary expertise in the centre allows us to address scientific problems in a cooperative manner across varius working groups. Recent and future examples for such multidisciplinary cooperation between these working groups are:

  • the "Blue Box Project", a contribution to the GOOS program (Global Ocean Observing System), aims at the developement of an automatic multiparameter measuring system for ferries and other ships of opportunity

  • the future project "Factors Controlling Porpoise Habitat", which analyses the causes, consequences and protection strategies for locally enhanced abundances of nrbour porpoises along the German North Sea Coast

  • the Interreg-II-Project "LANCEWAD" (Landscape and Cultural Heritage of the Wadden Sea) deals with an inventury of the landscape characteristics and cultural heritage of the Wadden Sea region with the aim of evaluating the qualities of the landscape at the heritage in order to develope proposals for their sustainable management

  • the "Physiostat Project", which focuses on the developement of a laboratory-scale bioreactor with a physiological control unit for the production of biosubstances from marine phototrophic microorganisms.


design: Kai M. Wurm
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