The Biologische Station Helgoland (BAH) is located on Heligoland and is a research and training centre. Heligoland is the only German island located in the open sea, a small and remote island approximately 70 kilometers from the mainland. The rocky intertidal and the 35 square kilometer large submarine cliff landscape are home to the richest flora and fauna of the German coast. Since 1892, scientists have been investigating this unique environment; since 1998, the Biologische Station Helgoland belongs to the Alfred Wegener Institute. 

The research topic are: Marine Aquaculture, in situ Ecology, microbial Ecology, food webs, long-term observations, micro plastics and the Restore Project (European Oyster). BAH's mission is to: 1) Promote research and training on the biology of marine organisms and ecosystems 2) Provide access for staff and non-resident researchers, to the ecological and biological resources of the site 3) Carry out long-term observations of the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of the coastal environment 4) Carry out research ranging from genes to the marine environment and includes the study of biological processes in marine organisms, the study of the marine environment and the way it shapes ecosystems, populations and organisms, and the functional and evolutionary processes that structure marine biodiversity. The research places the responses of individual organisms and species to these stressor in terms of physiology, ecology and evolution, into a population and community context.


  • Rocky intertidal ecosystem
  • Submarine cliff


Ecosystem access

  • Research vessels 
    • Aade and Uthörn
    • Inflatable boat
  • Diving facilities

Orders can be placed for the scientific dive team to collect further material from the sub littoral


Biological resources

The proximity to the Helgoland rocky intertidal means that guest scientists can easily collect biological material for their studies.

  • Echinoderms, Ascidians, Bryozoans, Copepods, Macroalgae and Fish


Experimental facilities

  • Tanks 
  • Microplastics lab
  • Four guest laboratories with freshwater and seawater supplies, scales, refrigerators, drying ovens and a fume hood, microscopes and binoculars


Technology platforms

  • Imaging
    • Microscopy and Fourier Transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy lab



  • Datasets​​​​​​​
    • Time series of phytoplankton, zooplankton and physico-chemical parameters



Supporting faciltites

  • Taxonomic literature available 
  • Two guest houses (to host up to 70 visitors), common rooms, kitchens (for self-catering).


Biologische Anstalt Helgoland
Postfach 180
27483 Helgoland
Liaison officer: Eva-Maria Brodte (, cc to:

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