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 is listed as a PESI (‘Pan-European Species directories Infrastructure’, focal point for Romania ( AquaEcology has a close co-operation with the myNature Association based on long-term contracts.

The mybiOSis environment is part of the 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.

EU fundings

EFRE funding: new company building

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.

EFRE funding: Project MembraFi - automatised membrane filtration

AquaEcology has started a co-operation project in August 2019 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 natural 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, and by means of the EFRE fund for regional development. 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.

EFRE funding: Project Legiomer - fast analysis of Legionella

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

Biological Analyses

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.