Research diving

Since 1995 sampling with the help of divers has been an important part of the research methods used by the IfAÖ. Our research divers are trained and deployed exclusively according to the regulations for the "Use of Research Divers" (GUV-R). We are one of the few private institutes to be a member of the professional association of KFT (Kommission Forschungstauchen Deutschland).

The focus of scientific diving at IfAÖ is the selective and gentle investigation of sensitive and difficult to access ecosystems. These include, shallow waters near the coast in the North Sea and Baltic Sea, but also lakes or flowing bodies of waters. With the help of our experienced and dedicated scientists in the diving team, we can sample these habitats with low and non-invasive methods while maintaining the highest safety standards. In the coastal sea, as well as in easily navigable waters, we work independently with the institute's own workboat "Aegir". In the field of offshore investigations, e.g. offshore wind turbines, we rely on experienced professional divers.

Key services

Monitoring of natural habitats
  • Mapping of FFH habitats e.g.:
    • Investigations of sandbanks
    • Investigations of seagrass meadows and macrophytes
    • Investigations of reef areas and reef structures
  • Investigations within the framework of the EU Water Framework Directive (EU-WRRL)
    • MarBiT
Monitoring and investigation of underwater construction measures
  • Monitoring and evaluation of renaturation and compensation measures
  • Fouling of underwater structures (offshore wind turbines, pipeline scrape samples)*
  • Installation of measurement systems and experimental setups
    • Installation of temperature measuring lances in the seabed*
    • Installation and analysis of a permanent wood test - (test series on the infestation development of the shipworm Teredo navalis*
  • Assessment of wood structures, B. for infestation T. navalis

*execution with commissioned professional divers

*Ausführung mit beauftragten Berufstauchern

Method equipment
  • Hand-held sediment samplers (open and closed sampling boxes and tubes, sampling boxes of various sizes and volumes for sampling and analysis of soft bottoms)
  • Scraping frames and scraping systems for sampling and analysis of organisms on hard bottoms
  • Collection frames for sampling and analysis of organisms, e.g. according to MarBiT (EU-WRRL)
  • In situ mapping with taxonomically trained personnel
  • Various counting frames for assessing vegetation (e.g. macrophytes, macrozoobenthos)
  • General and specialized photo documentation (e.g., photographing well-defined areas)
  • Video documentation


Anna Dietrich

+49 38204 618-33
E anna.dietrich(at)