02. August 2017 Royal insights into ocean science

William and Kate met young researchers in Hamburg, Foto: Hannah Sehan, British Embassy

William and Kate met young researchers in Hamburg

During their visit to Germany, the Duke and the Duchess of Cambridge, William and Kate, met with early career marine scientists – among them Marian Hu from Kiel University and Judith Elger from GEOMAR - to inform themselves about ocean research in Germany.


Visiting the International Maritime Museum (IMM) Hamburg on 21st July William and Kate met young researchers working on marine science topics in Kiel, Bremen and Hamburg as well as representatives from the BMBF involved in Germany's Science Year 2016*17 Seas and Oceans, for which the UK is the partner country. The royal couple expressed their particular wish to learn more about ocean research since the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge both have a personal interest in marine conservation dating back to their university days. Prince William studied geography at St. Andrews, Scotland, and graduated in June 2005 with a 2:1 Master of Arts (Honours) studying the coral reefs of Rodrigues in the Indian Ocean. He also went on a field trip to Norway to see the Jostedalen ice cap - the largest in mainland Europe.

The royal couple arrived in the early afternoon and had one hour scheduled to meet with marine researchers at the masters, doctoral and postdoc level from Hamburg, Bremen and Kiel, respectively. Marine science in Kiel was represented by Marian Hu and Judith Elger, postdocs at Kiel University and GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel. Each presenter had only a few minutes to provide an over view on their research topic. Although the schedule of William and Kate, who came to Germany with their two children, was tight, they were very interested in the research projects of the young researchers, and discussed ocean currents, methane hydrates, microplastics and ocean acidification with them. Their visit shed a bit of royal glamour on ocean research thereby attracting public attention to the importance of ocean research and marine conservation. "Meeting Kate and William was a particular challenging and exciting experience," said Marian Hu, who presented his work in the Cluster of Excellence 'The Future Ocean' in Kiel on the effects of ocean acidification on marine organisms. "It was really important to provide clear and well thought out answers, since the time was extremely short, multiple aspects of marine research were presented and everything will appear in black and white in the press a few hours later," Hu said. The royal couple actively engaged with the young researchers about the research they are carrying out and their experiences with studying and working in Germany. They also learned how the German scientific community has worked with the German Science Year 2016*17 Seas and Oceans, an initiative spearheaded by the German research ministry to raise awareness and engage the public in marine conservation. With the UK as partner country, the Science Year is also an opportunity to celebrate the close cooperation of Germany and the UK in marine research and to build up further ties for the future.

Links (recent publication about the visit of William and Kate, Duke and the Duchess of Cambridge)