The Biologische Station Helgoland (BAH) is located on Heligoland and is a research and training centre. Heligoland is the only German island located in the open sea, a small and remote island approximately 70 kilometers from the mainland. The rocky intertidal and the 35 square kilometer large submarine cliff landscape are home to the richest flora and fauna of the German coast. Since 1892, scientists have been investigating this unique environment; since 1998, the Biologische Station Helgoland belongs to the Alfred Wegener Institute. 

The research topic are: Marine Aquaculture, in situ Ecology, microbial Ecology, food webs, long-term observations, micro plastics and the Restore Project (European Oyster). BAH's mission is to:

  1. Promote research and training on the biology of marine organisms and ecosystems
  2. Provide access for staff and non-resident researchers, to the ecological and biological resources of the site
  3. Carry out long-term observations of the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of the coastal environment
  4. Carry out research ranging from genes to the marine environment.
This includes the study of biological processes in marine organisms, the study of the marine environment and the way it shapes ecosystems, populations and organisms, and the functional and evolutionary processes that structure marine biodiversity. The research places the responses of individual organisms and species to these stressor in terms of physiology, ecology and evolution, into a population and community context.



  • Rocky intertidal ecosystem
  • Submarine cliff


Ecosystem access

  • Coastal research vessels (On-site service)
    • off Helgoland waters
  • Sampling equipment (On-site service)
    • for intertidal rocky shore and beaches, mussel beds, subtidal sediments
  • Scuba diving facilities (On-site and remote service)
    • Intertidal rocky shore, mussel and oyster beds, kelp forest
    • Orders can be placed for the scientific dive team to collect further material from the sublittoral


Biological resources

  • Species collected upon request (On-site and remote service)
    • Echinoderms, ascidians, bryozoans, copepods, plankton samples, water sampling, fish, macro zoobenthos and macroalgae

Experimental facilities

  • Aquaria and tanks (On-site service)
    • Running unfiltered seawater, temperature constant rooms with aquaria, both open and closed systems
      (capacities: maximum 300 L each)
  • Dry labs (On-site service)
    • Equipped with unfiltred running seawater, binoculars, and microscopes, freezing device, lab bench (3m), personal computer
  • Wet labs (On-site service)
    • Equipped with unfiltred running seawater, binoculars, and microscopes, freezing device, lab bench (3m), personal computer, fume hood




Biologische Anstalt Helgoland
Postfach 180
27483 Helgoland
Liaison officer: Eva-Maria Brodte ( ), cc to:

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