An institution of the

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Press releases

Media coverage

Zusammengestellte Logos von Radio-und Fernsehsendern sowie verschieder Zeitungen

Selected articles and reports about the activitites of the Thünen Institute

in the press  (in German)

in TV and radio  (in German)

Fukushima and fish

Questions and answers

(in German)


German Forests are a significant carbon sink

Blick in einen Laubwald

With their ability to withdraw carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere and bind it as a carbon compound, forests play a major role in mitigating the climate change. Calculations by the Thünen Institute show that forests in Germany bind more carbon than they release. This storage capacity, known as “sink”, achieved an average of about 52 million tons CO2 equivalents per year in recent years.  

more (in German)

Kinder bei der Rinderhaltung in Sambia

Workshop in Zambia

On September 22nd, scientists of the Thünen Institute of Market Analysis and colleagues of the Indaba Agricultural Policy Research Institute (IAPRI) meet in Zambia for a workshop to establish convenient tools for identifying the effects of agricultural production on the nutrition status of children in this African state. The aim is to find ways for improving the nutrition of children in rural areas of Zambia.


Die vier Thünen-Institutsleiter Peter Weingarten, Hiltrud Nieberg, Heiner Flessa und Hans-Joachim Weigel

Greening - green washing?

In the current issue of the Thünen magazine “Wissenschaft erleben” four directors of the Thünen Institute comment the greening, a core element of the reform of the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Their assessment: the ecological benefits will stay small.

more (in German)

Ein Traktor pflügt ein Feld

Agriculture in Germany 2023

The reform of the EU Common Agricultural Policy, new trade agreements, global trends: How may these factors influence the German agriculture? A newly released study of the Thünen Institute models various data and gives a projection of the expected trends within the next 20 years. The Thünen Baseline 2013 – 2023 is a valuable tool to analyse different options in agricultural policy.

more (in German)

Forschungsschiff Walther Herwig III auf See

Research Vessel off the coast of West Africa

In June/July, the fisheries research vessel Walther Herwig III was off the coast of West Africa. Within the framework of a German-French-African cooperation, scientists of the Thünen Institute of Sea Fisheries investigated the marine ecosystem which is abundant in fish. Members of the scientific crew came from Germany, Spain, Morocco, Senegal and Mauritania. In an online blog, they portrayed the impressions of the cruise.

online blog (in German)

Sieger bei „Rostock’s Eleven“ ist erneut ein Thünen-Doktorand

Mit seinem Vortrag zur Rolle des Stichlings als Heringslaich-Räuber hat Paul Kotterba, Doktorand am Thünen-Institut für Ostseefischerei, den diesjährigen Rostocker Preis für Wissenschafts-Kommunikation „Rostock’s Eleven“ gewonnen. Damit ist er nach Petr Zajicek (2013), Simon Weltersbach (2012) und Robert Bauer (2011) bereits der vierte Preisträger in Folge aus diesem Institut.

Thünen junior scientist wins „Rostock’s Eleven“ contest

Paul Kotterba, Ph.D. student at the Thünen Institute of Baltic Sea Fisheries, has won the science communication contest “Rostock’s Eleven”. After Petr Zajicek (2013), Simon Weltersbach (2012) and Robert Bauer (2011), he is already the fourth winner working in this institute. 

Ein Roggenfeld im Gewitter

Impact of extreme weather conditions for agriculture and forestry

In a joint project, the Thünen Institute and other research institutions investigate the consequences of regional extreme weather such as heavy rain falls, heatwaves, drought or storms on agriculture and forestry. On a workshop at the Thünen Institute first results were presented and steps of a risk management were discussed.

more (in German)

Heringslogger an der Pier

Demersal fish assemblage has changed during the last century

In the last century, the fish assemblage in the North Sea has changed with respect to species frequency and length structure of the specimens. Fishery activities are an important part of this change. This indicates an investigation carried out by fisheries biologists of the Thünen Institute of Sea Fisheries, recently published in the Journal of Sea Research. The scientists have compared data from the first decades of the 20th century with recent findings.

more (in German)

Ausschuss-Sitzung im Deutschen Bundestag

Thünen Institute analyses “Greening” in the German Bundestag

In a hearing of the Committee on Food and Agriculture of the German Bundestag in Berlin on April 7th, 2014 the president of the Thünen Institute, Folkhard Isermeyer, explained the analysis of the Institute concerning the design of the “Greening" within the framework of the reform of the Common Agriculture Policy.

more (in German)

Expedition in the Sargasso Sea

In March/April, the fisheries rresearch vessel Walther Herwig III was cruising in the Sargasso Sea (West Atlantic). Aboard an international research team under leadership of the Thünen Institute of Fisheries Ecology investigated the reproduction biology of the European Eel, which is an endangered species in Europe. You can follow up the impressions of this cruise and the research efforts in an online blog.

more (in German)

Ausschnitt der Titelseite zum Jahresbericht

Annual Report 2013 online

The annual report 2013 of the Thünen Institute is now online. It provides information on the tasks of the 14 institutes and lists the scientific publications of this year. In addition, the report includes information on the structure, the consulting services, events, scientific collaborations as well as the Thünen-member’s teaching activities at universities.

Annual report 2013 (PDF, in German)

Blick in einen Buchenwald

German forests in better condition

In 2013, the condition of the forests in Germany has increased. This is revealed by the yearly published German Forest Condition Survey. Beeches, spruces and oaks have a better health status. The Thünen Institute of Forest Ecosystems generates the survey, based on the data of the German federal states.

Information provided by the BMEL (in German)

Information provided by the Thünen Institute

Ein Wissenschaftler bereitet die Bildanalyse von MDF-Fasern vor

Higher quality by image analytic software

Medium density fibreboards (MDF) belong to the most important wood-based panels worldwide.  The quality of the utilised wood fibre still is determined on a low technical level. In cooperation with several partners, the Thünen Institute of Wood Research is developing a new image analytic software to provide better and more objective quality patterns.


Bauernhof mit Windkraftanlage

Rural areas are profiting from the energy transformation

Farmers as energy farmers: As to the Renewable Energy Sources Act especially sparsely populated rural counties receive considerably more payments per inhabitant for renewable energy than cities. This is one core result of a recent study of the Thünen-Institute.


Die Parlamentarische Staatssekretärin Maria Flachsbarth im Thünen-Institut

State Secretary visits fisheries research institutes

On January 27, 2014 the new Parliamentary State Secretary Maria Flachsbarth visited the fisheries research institutes of the Thünen Institute and the Max Rubner Institute in Hamburg-Altona. The scientists informed her of current research topics as well as of practical aspects of the scientific work.

more (in German)

Logo der Grünen Woche

Legal timber trade – positive for consumers and environment

A huge variety of more than 600 timber species is actually traded worldwide - not always with a legal base. Which species are protected? Can I sell Grandma's old Rosewood cupboard without incuring a penalty? At the International Green Week in Berlin, the biggest food and agriculture fair, Experts of the Thünen Institute showed how to determine wood species, they presented exotic wood samples and informed about legal regulations.

Thünen Centre of Competence on the Origin of Timber

Schwein im Schweinestall

Pigs: Correlation of livestock size and animal health?

A master thesis, supervised by the Thünen Institute and the University of Göttingen, has investigated the pig production concerning livestock size and animal health. With some surprising results.

more (in German)

Forschungsschiff Walther Herwig III

20 years „Walther Herwig III“

On December 16, 1993 the ship launching ceremony of the Fisheries Research Vessel "Walther Herwig III" was conducted. Since this day the vessel cruises in the North Sea, the Baltic Sea and the Atlantic Ocean for scientific purposes.  A short video looks back on this event, 20 years ago.


Maisstengel und der umgebende Boden

Soil Metagenomics – die Gene der Böden

On December 11-13, 2013 the Thünen Institute hosted the 2nd Symposium on Soil Metagenomics. About 250 experts from 30 counties participated in the conference. The objective of the symposium was to connect bioinformatics to microbial ecology research.

Website of the symposium

Press release (in German)

Gebäudeansicht Institut für Ostseefischerei

Institute of Baltic Sea Fisheries has a new director

Since December 2013 the Thünen Institute of Baltic Sea Fisheries has a new director. Dr. Christopher Zimmermann has followed Prof. Dr. Cornelius Hammer, who took over a new position as vice-president of the ICES.

more (in German)

Forschungsschiff Walther Herwig in grönländischen Geswässern, im Hintergrund ein Eisberg.

Successful research cruise

The fisheries research vessel „Walther Herwig III“ is back home after a 5 weeks research cruise to Greenland. Good weather conditions facilitated the research programme. A cruise report presents impressions and first estimations.

more (in German)

Ein Kunde vor der Gemüsetheke vergleicht die Preise

About one quarter of consumer food expenditures for farmers

About one quarter of each Euro, consumers spend on food in Germany, goes to the farmers. Thus, farmer’s share of consumer expenditures remains at high level in 2012. These are calculations of the Thünen Institute of Market Analysis.

more (in German)

Eule als Logo der Nacht des Wissens

Night of Knowledge

The "Night of Knowledge" in Hamburg was a big success. In the evening of November 2nd, many people visited the research institutes of the town. The Bergedorf campus, wood science site of the Thünen Institute and the University Hamburg, attracted more than 1,500 visitors with a colourful and interesting programme. 

more (in German)

TRANC Messgerät im Gelände

New method for measuring reactive nitrogen

Reactive nitrogen compounds in the lower atmosphere play an important role for our climate. The Thünen Institute of Climate-Smart Agriculture optimized a new measurement system (TRANC) for the determination of total reactive atmospheric nitrogen. The new technique helps to improve the understanding of interactions between terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere.


Großaufnahme eines Karpfens

50 years research site Ahrensburg

From breeding research on strawberries to research on aquaculture: The Thünen research site Ahrensburg near Hamburg has an interesting history. On October 14, 2013 Thünen scientists commemorated the 50 years anniversary of fisheries research at this site.


Luftbild des Thünen-Standorts Hamburg-Bergedorf

Thünen forest research with new structure

The Thünen forestry research has a new structure. The former Thünen Institutes of World Forestry and of Forest Economics have merged to the new Institute of International Forestry and Forest Economics. The new structure shall lead to synergies and shall enhance the scientific consulting services.


Logo der Arbeitsgemeinschaft Stabile Isotope

Stories stable isotopes can tell...

Experts from different fields of science (e.g. Agriculture, Biology, Chemistry, Geology, Climate Research) met at the Thünen Institute from 30.09 - 02.10. to participate in this year's annual meeting of the German Association of Stable Isotope research (GASIR). These scientist all have in common that they use stable isotope analysis in their work to answer questions in their field of research. A major focus of the meeting is on methodological approaches, but other topics also are of interest. The conference was hosted by the Thünen Institute of Climate-Smart Agriculture.

more (in German)

Die Thünen-Stele vor dem Forum

Ranking lists economists of the Thünen Institute as top

The Thünen scientists Folkhard Isermeyer, Peter Weingarten, Hiltrud Nieberg and Matthias Dieter belong to the top 50 economists for the German policy. This is the result of a ranking published in the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ).  The Thünen Institute was the only scientific institution with four experts within the top 50.

to the ranking list (in German)

2 Baumscheiben

Centre of Competence on the Origin of Timber gains in importance

Parallel to the new EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) the Thünen Institute has established its Centre of Competence on the Origin of Timber in March, 2013. The experts are able to determine all traded wood species, even in wood products, and to investigate their origin in many cases. In the last months the centre is requested increasingly, not only from German authorities, companies and private persons, but also from those of several EU countries. The Thünen Centre of Competence cooperates with the wood inspectors of the German BLE as well as with environmental authorities.


Ein Bus, der für Dieselkraftstoff Reklame fährt.

Diesel fuel R33 is examined in a broad fleet test

Diesel fuel R33 is a fuel that is composed by one third of biogenic components. Before this new fuel can be introduced into the market, it is going to be extensively road-tested in a big fleet test with about 280 vehicles (cars, trucks and buses). The Thünen Institute of Agricultural Technology takes part in this project, which is led by the Coburg University of Applied Sciences and Arts.


Dr.-Ing. Dr. h. c. Jürgen Hesselbach Präsident der Technischen Universität Braunschweig und Dr. Folkhard Isermeyer Präsident des Thünen-Instituts unterzeichnen der Kooperstionsvertrag.

Cooperation agreement signed

On August 15, 2013 the presidents of the Thünen Institute and the Technical University of Braunschweig, Prof. Isermeyer and Prof. Hesselbach, have signed a cooperation agreement.  This agreement shall facilitate the cooperation concerning academic teaching, examination of students and joint research projects.  In 2012, 14 Thünen scientists were engaged in teaching at the University, and 13 students of the university finished their Ph.D., Master or Bachelor thesis in the Thünen Institute.

Eine Wildschweinbache mit ihren Frischlingen

Increasing populations of hoofed game in Central Europe

Populations of wild boar, deer, fallow and red deer are increasing dramatically not only in Germany, but in nearly all states of Central Europe. In an interview Dr. Frank Tottewitz, expert at the Thünen Institute for Forest Ecosystems, pointed out the reasons of this trend.

more (in German)

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