Name:              Mehdi Ghodrati Shojaei
Institute:          Alfred Wegener Institute
Department:    Functional Ecology
Phone:             +49 (0) 471-4831-1707
Web link:         AWI Profile

PhD-project title: Developments in German Bight benthic ecology driven by climate change and anthropogenic utilization

The long-term (decades) prediction of environmental and ecological change in Arctic and north-Atlantic systems with emphasis on change in ecosystem function represents a major scientific task with strong socioeconomic relevance.

The main challenge in predicting ecological change is the development of prognostic capabilities for forecasting future states of Arctic and north-Atlantic marine ecosystems. The principal obstacle is the non-deterministic nature of ecosystem dynamics that hampers the application of standard modeling tools across the whole food web.

We propose an alternative macroecological approach that develops scenarios of future ecosystem structure from properties of organisms themselves and from properties of the community. How are organisms interlinked by means of trophic and non-trophic interactions and how are organisms and interaction patterns affected by abiotic factors? This approach is spatially (and temporally) explicit, i.e. all physical, oceanographic and ecological data are linked and structured by means of a Geographical Information System (GIS).

Start of doctoral thesis: 11th February 2012

Thesis Committee:

Supervisor : Prof. Dr. Thomas Brey

Co-Supervisor : Dr. Lars Gutow

Further members : Dr. Jennifer Dannheim

Committee Meetings: 10.10.12


Helmholtz Research School on Earth System Science, Annual Retreat 2012, Bremerhaven, “Deutsches Auswandererhaus“, Poster Presentation: Ghodrati Shojaei, M et al., “Developments in German Bight benthic ecology driven by climate change and anthropogenic utilization“ 30 November, 2012.


Shojaei, Mehdi Ghodrati; Brey, Thomas; Gutow, Lars; Dannheim, Jennifer (2013): Fuzzy coding of biological traits of macrobenthic species in the German Bight. doi:10.1594/PANGAEA.813419