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German-Israeli-Palestinian Marine Research Launched

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
14 June 2010, at 1:00am

GLOBAL - International cooperation is a regular and vital practice in the field of marine sciences. Nevertheless, a collaboration by German, Israeli and Palestinian scientists appears exceptional. Such a joint effort has been initiated by the research project, TRION, funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) with a volume of 700k.

In addition to scientific investigations in the Red Sea, the project aims also to support the peace process in this politically unstable area. The project is coordinated by the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences (IFM-GEOMAR) in Kiel, Germany.

For marine scientists, the Red Sea is an interesting region: here, a new ocean is born, a fragile ecosystem with a high biodiversity is found and large mineral resources exist at the sea floor.

Nevertheless, because of the political boundary conditions, conducting research in this area is not always easy. In a new and unique research project, marine scientists from the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences (IFM-GEOMAR), Kiel, Germany are aiming for international awareness in addition to progress in science.

In the framework of the “TRION” Project funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) with a volume of 700 k€, a new method for temperature reconstructions (as well as for issues related to ocean acidification and continental weathering inputs) will be tested on corals in the Red Sea. “Corals are important climate archives for a better understanding of natural climate variability”, project coordinator Professor Dr Anton Eisenhauer from IFM-GEOMAR explains.

“Together with our Israeli and Palestinian colleagues we have developed a new method for isotope analysis that we now like to test using the corals of the Red Sea”, Dr Eisenhauer continued.

Beside the scientific goals, the project also aims to support the peace process in this politically unstable area and to promote international awareness. German, Israeli and Palestinian scientists, PhD candidates and students will collaborate for research and education.

In particular, student courses are planned in the framework of the Integrated School of Ocean Sciences (ISOS) of the excellence cluster “Future Ocean” in Kiel, Germany. In addition, German and Palestinian students and scientists will spend time in Israel. “We want to establish a network that enables ‘trustful research’ despite all political problems. Thus, through such a joint platform research can possibly make a small contribution for a better international understanding”, Professor Eisenhauer summarises.

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