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Dr. Martina Bauchrowitz
(Public relations LakeLab)

Phone: +49 (0)151 40 38 09 62

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Friday, 29.06.2012

LakeLab in Lake Stechlin officially inaugurated

Awarding the prize to the "selected location 2012" at the inauguration: Stefan Volovinis, "Land of Ideas" – Antje Uhlig, Deutsche Bank – Prof. Mark Gessner, IGB – Prof. Klement Tockner, IGB – Ministerialrat Reinhold Ollig, BMBF (left to right).

The Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB) in Berlin inaugurated its new LakeLab in Lake Stechlin today. IGB intends to use this unique research infrastructure to find out how lakes will respond to climate change.

"Climate change poses one of the biggest challenges society will face over the next century", IGB director Prof. Klement Tockner said at the inauguration. Its effects on inland water bodies will be equally drastic.


The researchers have therefore set up the LakeLab as a way to see into the future of lakes, to estimate the effects of climate change on them. They will do this by simulating environmental conditions that can be expected to occur over the coming decades – such as higher temperatures of the deep water. The 24 experimental cylinders are essentially large, outdoor test tubes – they isolate off 24 lake basins, each nine metres in diameter and twenty metres deep.


Research in the natural environment

Project head Prof. Mark Gessner explains the advantages of the facility: "Unlike laboratory experiments that model grossly simplified water conditions, the experiments at the LakeLab take place in the natural environment and account for the complexity of the ecosystems." The facility is harmless to the lake – only a tiny portion of the lake water, about 0.05 percent, is isolated in the enclosures, and no foreign substances or organisms are introduced.


Thanks to generous funding, primarily from the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) and many committed partners, the floating research platform was built in record time. Reinhold Ollig, head of the BMBF division Resources and Sustainability, explained why his office was so deeply committed: “We are especially interested in practical research on sustainability. The LakeLab is now a real opportunity to conduct such research."



Most innovative approach in climate impact research

150 guests from science, politics and administration came to the inauguration at Lake Stechlin, including the president of the Leibniz Association, Prof. Karl Ulrich Mayer. Research on climate change and biodiversity is an extremely high priority at the Leibniz Association, Mayer states. "The LakeLab underscores this with its worldwide unique and innovative research approach," he says. As a scientific infrastructure, the LakeLab is also open to be used by scientists from around the world to conduct projects of their own.


For Dr. Jutta Koch-Unterseher, representative of the Berlin Senate Administration for Economy, Technology and Research, IGB's LakeLab is "not one lab among many, rather an innovative project that will shine like a scientific beacon". She describes it as a great asset for IGB as well as the national and international knowledge landscape.



Selected landmark in the "Land of Ideas" 2012

The idea of the LakeLab equally impressed the jurors of the competition "365 Landmarks in the Land of Ideas", which was jointly held by the Deutsche Bank and the landmark initiative "Germany – Land of Ideas". The jury selected the LakeLab from more than 2000 suggestions as one of the 365 "selected landmarks". Antje Uhlig of the Deutsche Bank presented the official award at the inauguration. In her congratulatory speech, she declared: "Thanks to the comprehensive experiments in Lake Stechlin, the effects of climate change can be countered while it is still early. The LakeLab accordingly stands for innovative research from Germany and our ecological future."



Dr. Martina Bauchrowitz
LakeLab Media Relations
Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries – IGB
Tel: 033082 6990 oder 0151 4038 0962


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