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Institute for Natural Resource Conservation | Graduate School   

Kiel University

Institute for Ecosystem Research




Research groups/ Projects










Dieter Piepenburg

Prof. Dr. Dieter Piepenburg

Institute for Ecosystem Research

Research group: Polar Ecology

Location: GEOMAR, Hohenbergstr. 2, room 206

Postal address: c/o GEOMAR – Benthosökologie
Duesternbrooker Weg 20, D-24105 Kiel

Phone: +49 (0) 431 600-1264

E-Mail: dpiepenburg(at)



  • Marine biology
  • Benthic ecology of polar seas
  • Biology of echinoderms, especially brittle stars (Ophiuroidea)
  • Benthic carbon flux
  • Use of multivariate statistics and imaging methods



Since 2014 Senior scientist at the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research Bremerhaven extlink

Since 2013

Adjunct Professor (Biological Oceanography) at the Institute for Ecosystem Research of Kiel University

2006 – 2013 Adjunct Professor (Biological Oceanography) at the Institute for Polar Ecology of Kiel University

2002 – 2014 Senior scientist of the Mainz Academy of Sciences, Humanities and Literature

1991 – 2002

Assistant Professor at the Institute for Polar Ecology of Kiel University

1988 – 1991

Post-Doc at the Geological Institute of Kiel University zurueck



1997 Habilitation (no equivalent in American academic system) Biological Oceanography, Kiel University (Germany)
Thesis: Brittle Stars (Echinodermata: Ophiuroidea) in Benthic Ecosystems of Arctic Seas: Synopsis [in English]

1988 Doktor (equivalent of PhD) Marine Biology, Kiel University (Germany), Advisor: G. Hempel
Thesis: On the Composition of the Benthic Fauna of the Western Fram Strait [in German]

1984 Diplom (equivalent of MSc)
Biology, Kiel University (Germany), Advisor: W. Nellen
Thesis: On the Occurrence of Fishes and their Food in selected Gullies of the Frisian Wadden Sea [in German]

1978 – 1984 Study of Biology at Kiel University (Germany) zurueck


PUBLICATIONS (last ten years)


See Google Scholar extlink for more publications!

  Peer reviewed publications



Sswat M., Gulliksen B., Menn I., Sweetman A. K., Piepenburg D. (2015) Distribution and composition of the epibenthic megafauna north of Svalbard (Arctic). Polar Biology 38:861-877.

doi: 10.1007/s00300-015-1645-8 extlink




Dorschel B., Gutt J., Piepenburg D., Schröder M., Arndt J. E. (2014) The influence of the geomorphological and sedimentological settings on the distribution of epibenthic
assemblages on a flat topped hill on the over-deepened shelf of the western Weddell Sea (Southern Ocean). Biogeosciences 11:3797-3817.

doi: 10.5194/bg-11-3797-2014 extlink


Gutt J., Piepenburg D., Voß J. (2014) Asteroids, ophiuroids and holothurians from the southeastern Weddell Sea (Southern Ocean). ZooKeys 434:1-15.

doi: 10.3897/zookeys. 434.7622 extlink


Smirnov I. S., Piepenburg D., Ahearn C., Juterzenka K. v. (2014) Deep-sea fauna of European seas: An annotated species check-list of benthic invertebrates living deeper than 2000 m in the seas bordering Europe. Ophiuroidea. Invertebrate Zoology 11:192–209




Link H., Chaillou G., Forest A., Piepenburg D. (2013) Multivariate benthic ecosystem functioning in the Arctic–benthic fluxes explained by environmental parameters in the southeastern Beaufort Sea. Biogeosciences 10:5911–5925.
doi: 10.5194/bg-10-5911-2013 extlink

  Link H., Piepenburg D., Archambault P. (2013) Are Hotspots Always Hotspots? The Relationship between Diversity, Resource and Ecosystem Functions in the Arctic. PLoS One 8:e74077.
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0074077 extlink

  Teichert S., Woelkerling W., Rüggeberg A., Wisshak M., Piepenburg D., Meyerhöfer M., Form A., Freiwald A. (2013) Arctic rhodolith beds and their environmental controls (Spitsbergen, Norway). Facies.
doi: 10.1007/s10347-013-0372-2 extlink


Brown T. A., Belt S. T., Piepenburg D. (2012) Evidence for a pan-Arctic sea-ice diatom diet in Strongylocentrotus spp. Polar Biology 35(8):1281-1287.
doi: 10.1007/s00300-012-1164-9 extlink

  Piepenburg D., Bölter M. (2012) Polar Regions. In: Gibson D. (ed) Oxford Bibliographies in Ecology extlink. Oxford University Press, New York. Launch May 2012.
doi: 10.1093/OBO/9780199830060-0060 extlink

  Teichert S., Woelkerling W., Rüggeberg A., Wisshak M., Piepenburg D., Meyerhöfer M., Form A., Büdenbender J., Freiwald A. (2012) Rhodolith beds (Corallinales, Rhodophyta) and their physical and biological environment at 80°31’N in Nordkappbukta (Nordaustlandet, Svalbard Archipelago, Norway). Phycologia 51(4):371-390.
doi: 10.2216/11-76.1 extlink

  Forest A., Tremblay J., Gratton Y., Martin J., Gagnon J., Darnis G., Sampei M., Fortier L., Ardyna M., Gosselin M., Hattori H., Nguyen D., Maranger R., Vaqué D., Marrasé C., Pedrós- Alió C., Sallon A., Michel, C., Kellogg C., Deming J., Shadwick E., Thomas H., Link H., Archambault P., Piepenburg D. (2011) Biogenic carbon flows through the planktonic food web of the Amundsen Gulf (Arctic Ocean): A synthesis of field measurements and inverse modeling analyses. Progress in Oceanography 91(4):410-436.
doi: 10.1016/j.pocean.2011.05.002 extlink

  Link H., Archambault P., Tamelander T., Renaud P. E., Piepenburg D. (2011) Spring-tosummer changes and regional variability of benthic processes in the western Canadian Arctic. Polar Biology 34: 2025-2038.
doi: 10.1007/s00300-011-1046-6 extlink


Piepenburg D., Archambault P., Ambrose W., Blanchard A., Bluhm B., Carroll M., Conlan K., Cusson M., Feder H., Grebmeier J., Jewett S., Lévesque M., Petryashev V., Sejr M., Sirenko B., Wlodarska-Kowalczuk M. (2011) Towards a pan-Arctic inventory of the species diversity of the macro- and megabenthic fauna of the Arctic shelf seas. Marine Biodiversity 41: 51-70.

doi: 10.1007/s12526-010-0059-7 extlink

  Piepenburg D. (2009) As time goes by: Polar Biology over the years 1982–2008. Polar Biology 32: 3-7.
doi: 10.1007/s00300-008-0557-2 extlink

  Fleischer D., Schaber M., Piepenburg D. (2007) Atlantic snake pipefish (Entelurus aequoreus) extends its northward distribution range to Svalbard (Arctic Ocean). Polar Biology 30: 1359-1362.
doi: 10.1007/s00300-007-0322-y extlink

  Piepenburg D. (2005, erschienen 2006) The seafloor fauna in a changing Arctic – a review of its past, present and future. Polarforschung 75: 63-76

  Schmid M. K., Piepenburg D., Juterzenka K. v., Petryashov V. V., Golikov A. A., Spindler M. (2006) Trophic pathways and carbon flux patterns in the Laptev Sea. Progress in Oceanography 71: 314-330


Steffens M., Piepenburg D., Schmid M. K. (2006) Distribution and structure of macrobenthic fauna in the eastern Laptev Sea in relation to environmental factors. Polar Biology 29: 837-848.

doi: 10.1007/s00300-006-0122-9 extlink

  Piepenburg D. (2005) Recent research on Arctic benthos: common notions need to be revised. Polar Biol 28: 733-755.
doi: 10.1007/s00300-005-0013-5 extlink

  Piepenburg D., Müller B. (2004) Distribution of epibenthic communities on the Great Meteor Seamount (NE Atlantic) mirrors water-column processes. Archive of Fishery and Marine Research 51: 55-70

  Pivovarov S., Hölemann J. A., Kassens H., Piepenburg D., Schmid M. K. (2004) Laptev and East Siberian Seas. in: Robinson A. R., Brink K. H. (eds) The global coastal ocean, Vol. 14: Interdisciplinary regional studies and syntheses, part A. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, pp 1107-1133 zurueck

  Non-peer reviewed publications
  Piepenburg D., Gutt J. (2014) Klimabedingte ökologische Veränderungen in den Bodenfaunen polarer Schelfmeere. in: Lozán J. L., Graßl H., Notz D., Piepenburg D. (Hrsg) Warnsignal Klima: Die Polarregionen. Wissenschaftliche Auswertungen, Hamburg, pp 152-159

  Bölter M., Hempel G., Piepenburg D., Spindler M. (2013) Das Institut für Polarökologie der Christian-Albrechts-Universität und die Polarforschung in Kiel. Polarforschung 83(1):1–15

  Piepenburg D., Werner I., Hagen W. (2013) Biologie der Polarmeere: Dreißig Jahre biologische Meeresforschung am Institut für Polarökologie (IPÖ) in Kiel. Polarforschung 83(1):17–33

  Schroeter B., Piepenburg D. (2013) Die Zukunft des Lebensraums „Polarmeer“. Unterricht Biologie 384(37): 25-33

  Fortier L., Darnis G., Robert D., Link H., Geoffroy M., Forest A., Wold A., Archambault P., Piepenburg D., Hop H., Falk-Petersen S. (2012) Food webs. in Barber D. G., Tjaden T., Leitch D., Barber L., Chan W. (eds) On The Edge: From Knowledge to Action. University of Manitoba Press, Winnipeg, Canada, pp 79-94

  Piepenburg D., Werner I., Auel H., Peter H. U. (2011) Der Rückgang des polaren Meereises und seine ökologischen Auswirkungen. in: Lozán J. L., Graßl H., Karbe L., Reise K. (Hrsg) Warnsignal Klima: Die Meere – Änderungen und Risken. Wissenschaftliche Auswertungen, Hamburg, pp 208-213

  Hempel G., Piepenburg D. (2010) Nord- und Südpolarmeer im Klimawandel: Ein biologischer Vergleich. Biologie in unserer Zeit 40(6): 386-395

  Piepenburg D., Bluhm B. A. (2009) Arctic seafloor life, Glasnost and Global Change. in: Hempel G., Hempel I. (eds) Biological studies in Polar Oceans – Exploration of Life in Icy Waters. NW-Verlag, Bremerhaven, pp 133-141

  Lozán J. L., Graßl H., Hupfer P., Piepenburg D. (2006) Warnsignale aus den Polarregionen – Ein Überblick. in: Lozán J. L., Graßl H., Hubberten H. W., Hupfer P., Karbe L., Piepenburg D. (Hrsg) Warnsignale aus den Polarregionen – Wissenschaftliche Fakten. Wissenschaftliche Auswertungen, Hamburg, pp 11-18

  Piepenburg D., Gutt J. (2006) Marine Bodenfauna der Arktis und Antarktis. in: Lozán J. L., Graßl H., Hubberten H. W., Hupfer P., Karbe L., Piepenburg D. (Hrsg) Warnsignale aus den Polarregionen – Wissenschaftliche Fakten. Wissenschaftliche Auswertungen, Hamburg, pp 126-132

  Piepenburg D. (2006) Am Grund des Ozeans. in: Hempel I., Hempel G., Schiel S. (Hrsg) Faszination Meeresforschung – Ein ökologisches Lesebuch. Hauschild Verlag, Bremen, pp 156-165 zurueck

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