Biological Institute Helgoland

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Biological Institution Helgoland (BAH) is a marine biological research and service facility on the North Sea island of Helgoland . In addition to the station on Sylt, it is one of the two research stations of the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) in Germany. The Center for Scientific Diving (AWI-CSD) is attached to the station.

BAH logo on the chimney of the research vessel Heincke


The icon of Heligoland biology: Taken in 1865 on the way to Heligoland: standing from left to right: The biologists Anton Dohrn , Stettin; Richard Greeff , Bonn; Ernst Haeckel , Jena, seated in front: Matthijs Salverda (1840–1886), Delft and Pietro Marchi, Florence
Biologists of the interwar period at the end of 1927 bowling with academics (mostly from the building administration) center, standing with vest and bow tie, Wilhelm Mielck , director of the institute. Sitting on the right in a white pullover Arthur Hagmeier , his successor from 1934. Front 2nd from left with pipe Adolf Bückmann , director from 1953 to 1962, among others

Marine research on Heligoland is older than the station: in 1835, the natural scientist Christian Gottfried Ehrenberg on Heligoland demonstrated that the glow of the sea around the island is caused by the single cell Noctiluca scintillans . Johannes Müller recognized the potential of the island for his research and founded plankton research on Heligoland in 1845. Many descriptions of the local flora and fauna were created here and the term plankton itself was first introduced here. The biology of fish in the North Sea and bird migration were examined. The painter Heinrich Gätke became famous as an ornithologist.

After Heligoland came to the German Empire from British ownership, the Royal Prussian Biological Institute was founded on Heligoland in 1892. The first director was Friedrich Heincke , his successor from 1921 Wilhelm Mielck . The branch in List on the island of Sylt was established in 1924. In the Third Reich, the institute provided the local group leader and other leading employees of the NSDAP Helgoland. Arthur Hagmeier was director from 1934 to 1953, Helmuth Hertling from 1921 to 1939 assistant and custodian of the institution. After the bunker systems on Helgoland had been blown up , work could temporarily continue in the branch station on Sylt. As director, Adolf Bückmann rebuilt the work on the island in 1953 and created a so-called head station in Hamburg. In 1959 the BAH was reopened. In 1981 another institute building was set up as the new headquarters in Hamburg. The research ship Heincke also belonged to the institute .

After the BAH had been subordinate to the Federal Ministry of Education and Research for 20 years , it became part of the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) Foundation in 1998 .

With the construction of the aquarium in 1902, the biological institute showed its connection to the German fortress Helgoland, and they enjoyed working with the navy. The eagle with a quote from Goethe on the front was intended to illustrate the close connection between German imperialism and biological research to visitors to the island 12 years after Heligoland was annexed. The building was equipped with "machine guns and other close combat equipment" during World War I.
The building from 1936 now occupied almost the entire northeast beach, which was previously characterized by tourism. It showed the importance that biology had in the 3rd Reich. "National Socialism is applied biology" was said at the time. Bold blueprints were developed and implemented with the help of the regime. Extensions were planned in 1944.
To their regret, after the lost war in 1959, the Biological Institute had to move to a more modest place below the rock, outside the original lowlands. The aquarium on the left (photo from 2007)
In 1976, with the environmental movement, there was again a social movement that was biology-friendly. The again representative building in a prominent place opposite the landing stage was called eco-laboratory, there is again a tower like 1902. The reconstruction of the aquarium is planned today (2019). The importance of science in the social discussion about climate change should be used. The visitors should experience themselves as scientists.


Water tower for the seawater supply of the eco-laboratories (2013)
The Arthur Hagmeier guest house in the Oberland

The Biological Institute Helgoland maintains research laboratories, marine biological material supply facilities for research and teaching institutions (diving group, animal dispatch), course rooms with sea water supply that are unique in Germany for student and school excursions and academic training, as well as one of the longest plankton long-term studies in the world. In the Center for Scientific Diving annual training course for certification as tested is a research diver instead.

Marine biology students can also gain practical experience there as student research assistants, just like today's Leibniz Prize winner and Bremen professor Nicole Dubilier at the time.

Web links

Commons : Biologische Anstalt Helgoland  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Cf. Robert J. Richards, The Tragic Sense of Life, Chicago and London 2008, page 118 and D. Zissler, Five scientists on excursion - a picture of marine biology on Helgoland before 1892, in: Helgoländer Meeresuntersuchungen (Helgoland Marine Research) Vol. 49, pp. 103-112, 1995
  2. Location - AWI. In: Retrieved May 3, 2016 .
  3. ^ Eckhard Wallmann: A colony becomes German - Heligoland between the world wars. Bredstedt 2012.
  4. Petra Werner, The founding of the Royal Biological Institute on Helgoland and its history up to 1945. (= Helgoland marine investigations. Volume 47 Supplement). Hamburg 1993, pages 62 and 68
  5. Petra Werner, The founding of the Royal Biological Institute on Helgoland and its history up to 1945. (= Helgoland marine investigations. Volume 47 Supplement). Hamburg 1993, page 76f
  6. Erik Hagmeier, From the history of the Biological Institute Helgoland (BAH), (= Helgoland marine investigations. Volume 52 Supplement). Hamburg 1998, page 32

Coordinates: 54 ° 10 ′ 40.2 ″  N , 7 ° 53 ′ 29 ″  E