The ecological institute AquaEcology was founded in September 2002 as partnership organised under the Civil Code (BGB company) by Dr. Claus-Dieter Dürselen (M.Sc./Ph.D. Biology) and Thomas Raabe (M.Sc. Chemistry) in the city of Oldenburg in Lower Saxony. In 2009, the institute was converted into a limited partnership with a limited liability company as general partner (GmbH & Co. KG).
AquaEcology offers analytical and supportive services all around the aquatic ecology. The work field comprises the pelagic and the benthic areas in marine and limnic systems. This includes rivers and lakes as well as estuaries, coastal waters, and the open sea.
Besides universities and research institutes working in the aquatic ecology field, the German Federal Environmental Ministry, the Federal Ministry of Education and Science, the environmental ministries of the federal states and the environmental departments of the municipalities are customers. They conduct intensive and often long-lasting monitoring programmes in the aquatic environment and use the analytical and advisory capacity as With regard to the assessment of ecosystem compartments according to the Water Framework Directive (WFD) and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), the company contributes to the conception and operationality of models and portals that can be used for the respective reporting on the national as well as on the EU level.
In the scientific field, the institute offers various software modules based on Internet portals that can directly be used from all over the world: For the counting of organisms, in particular for the monitoring of phytoplankton, zooplankton and macrozoobenthos distributions, there is a new, web-based software, the counting programme OrgaCount. This programme is available either as server supported network system or as stand-alone version on a mobile device. All applications derive from the basic software biodivDP, an information and database system for biological data that has a prominent example in the phytoplankton database Plankton*Net.
For ecological assessment procedures according to the European Water Framework Directive (WFD) as well as the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), specific software modules have been developed within the mybiOSis environment. These modules allow detailed analysis of the scientific literature with regard to specific objectives as well as subsequent assessment of anthropogenic impacts on the marine ecosystem including also cumulative effects.
The database and software system of mybiOSis is developed and hosted by the non-governmental organisation myNature Association being located at Timisoara, Romania. The portal mybiosis.info is listed as a PESI (‘Pan-European Species directories Infrastructure’, http://www.eu-nomen.eu/portal/) focal point for Romania (http://www.eu-nomen.eu/portal/urls.php). AquaEcology has a close co-operation with the myNature Association based on long-term contracts.
The mybiOSis environment is part of the mybiosis.info database repository and a product of a more than 10 years development that started with a focus on inventory and monitoring of species in Romania. However, the taxonomic and geographic scope is global, meaning that the mybiOSis infrastructure serves information about species and habitats anywhere in the world. Furthermore, new applications with regard to biodiversity analysis and environmental assessment are developed within mybiOSis. User interfaces of the portals can be adjusted according to individual requirements and facilitate the emulation of different computer operating system desktop environments (Windows, Mac, Linux), which enhances the instant usability of the system.
The tender of AquaEcology also addresses private companies and local communities: Industrial enterprises planning changes in their process wastewater discharges or other interferences with the aquatic system need expert's reports to prove the environmental sustainability of the measures. Municipalities and operators of natural swimming baths have to perform comprehensive checks on their bathing waters, and they are looking for restoration measures in order to regain a good ecological status. AquaEcology offers different concepts specially adapted to various aquatic systems.
Based on the high qualification and on the comprehensive expertise of the personnel in the field of aquatic ecology, the institute offers professional teachings in the form of lectures, workshops and practical courses for scientific institutions and companies, also in English.
Only recently, AquaEcology has erected a new company building with modern office and laboratory facilities in the north of Oldenburg. The new building was funded by financial means of the EU - EFRE fund for regional development - as well as of the Land of Lower Saxony (NBank) and will further enhance the performance of the company.
In August 2019, AquaEcology has started a co-operation project with the German company Steinbeis-Innovationszentrum - Verfahrenstechnische Anwendungen im Maschinenbau - in Braunschweig. This project has the titel "Development of an automated system for the enrichment of microorganisms in nautral waters and aqueous samples". It is funded by the NBank within the frame of the innovation funding programme for research and development of Lower Saxony. Both project partners are working on a system that allows a standardised and automated membrane filtration of drinking and natural waters. The enriched sample will automatically be transferred into an eluate that can be directly analysed for selected microorganisms by using suitable analytical methods.
In August 2020, AquaEcology has decided on a new location in Bremerhaven. Since then, the company is co-operating with the Bremerhaven University of Applied Sciences (BIAMOL) on the development of an on-site analysis system for the fast and reliable detection of Legionella in drinking and process waters. The compact ‘case analysis system’ will be a simple-to-use system and allow complete on-site analysis including evaluation of the results at any location. Plant operators such as water suppliers, evaporation coolers, paper factories as well as contract laboratories will be enabled to have fast checks on keeping the Legionella limits in water and can – in case of emergency – take respective decontamination measures.
The research project is supported by the BIS Wirtschaftsförderung Bremerhaven with financial means of the EU - EFRE fund for regional development - and with funds from the ‘Programm zur Förderung anwendungsnaher Umwelttechniken PFAU’ (research programme for promoting application-oriented environmental technology) of the Bremen Senator for Climate Protection, Evironment, Mobility, Urban Development and Housing. The duration of the project will be about 2 years.
Team und Locations
Currently, AquaEcology has got 15 employees. Part of this team are biologists and chemists as well as microbiologists and a geologist.
The main office of the institute resides in Oldenburg (Lower Saxony). Further offices are located in Hamburg and Bremerhaven. All offices are connected to high-speed Internet nodes. Furthermore, the company is provided with modern laboratory facilities.
Main office Oldenburg (Niedersachsen): Steinkamp 19, D-26125 Oldenburg, +49-441-55978-530
Managing director and head of office Dr. Claus-Dieter Dürselen, M.Sc./Ph.D. Biology
Office Hamburg: Tarpenring 13, 22419 Hamburg, +49-40-5390-4244
Managing director and head of office Thomas Raabe, M.Sc. Chemistry
Office BRIG Bremerhaven: Stresemannstraße 46, 27570 Bremerhaven, +49-471-3069-8710
Head of office: Andreas Benkens
Job opportunity: New chances in a small team
We are looking for new team members for our department 'biological analyses', also as part-time workers or as maternity returners. You should bring along some experience in the determination and counting of biological organisms, preferably in the field of marine phytoplankton or zooplankton. We offer flexible working times and the possibility of advanced trainings.
If you are interested, please write us an e-mail or just call us in the office. We are looking forward to meet you.
Your AquaEcology team.