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Our mission

Based on a variety of modelling efforts and the knowledge of key actors, we will explore possible adaptation measures and derive recommendations on governance in order to reduce the risk of tipping point impacts on the regional economy and increase the resilience of Peru's coastal communities.

Work and study with us

The interdisciplinary orientation of the project offers students and doctoral students from various disciplines the opportunity to write their thesis in one of the relevant fields. The DAAD's PROMOS programme offers support for research stays as part of the Bachelor's or Master's thesis.

Discover // Engage

Find further publications about our research!

Succesful stakeholder day during final Symposium of Humboldt Tipping project in Lima, Peru

Succesful stakeholder day during final Symposium of Humboldt Tipping project in Lima, Peru

Bringing together society and science

They were welcomed and introduced to the event by Dr. Cornelia Andersohn, representative of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), Prof. Marie-Catherine Riekhof, coordinator of the Humboldt Tipping project, Edward Barriga, representative of the Peruvian project partner Instituto del Mar de Peru (IMARPE), Prof. Gerardo Damonte, Peruvian project partner of the Group for the Analysis of Development (Grade) and Armando Rosado from the Ministerio de Producción Peru. Prof. Gerardo Damonte moderated the event.

In the morning, relevant scientific results were presented in a compact format. Posters on the different work packages were also shown and the five short films created during the project were presented.

The afternoon was equally dedicated to dialogue and exchange: by means of targeted workshops on 1) Adaptation strategies in a changing world: how models can help us improve management, 2) The future of industrial fisheries in Peru and 3) Governance of artisanal fisheries, there was a lively discussion with all the invited guests from different sectors on the research results, integration into practice and future use of the accumulated know-how of the last four years. Participants discussed new scienetific insights on tipping points in the HUS, on-going challenges and possible future scenarios. The need for more possibilities to exchange in a setting similar to the HT-stakeholder day emerged as one conclusion for a possible way forward.

Despite the great diversity of different actors, and correspondingly different interests, all participants found the event very valuable and purposeful. This was a special characteristic of the event and we want to thank all participants to make this possible.

Final Symposium “Humboldt Tipping” in Lima, Peru

Final Symposium “Humboldt Tipping” in Lima, Peru

Looking back and glancing into the future after 4 years of research in the Humboldt Upwelling system

The first two days of the symposium are dedicated to scientific exchange on the project results. These will be presented internally by the different work packages. Together with the Peruvian partners of IMARPE and GRADE, we will work on future perspectives - How can we carry on the research from 4 years of collaboration within the Humboldt Tipping project even without further funding? In which research lines do we need to invest further? What have we learnt and what have we already been able to implement? Which knowledge gaps do we still need to close in the future?

The third day of the symposium is dedicated to the exchange with the stakeholders. Here, relevant results will be presented in a shorter format. In addition, there will be posters of the various work packages and the five short films produced in the course of the project will be shown.

The afternoon will also be dedicated to dialogue and exchange, with targeted workshops with all invited guests from different industries to discuss the research results, the integration into practice and the future use of the collected know-how from the past four years.

This day will bring together stakeholders from artisanal fisheries and their fishing associations from the north and south of the country, industrial fisheries, NGOs, local politics, the Ministries of Environment and Economy, mariculture associations, the Society for International Cooperation, national parks, schools and educational institutions as well as universities and the tourism sector. The event brings together stakeholders from across the country and from a wide variety of backgrounds and is designed, among other things, to promote dialogue and understanding among and for each other.

The results from the targeted workshops will feed back into research and eventually be able to make a socio-political contribution in the form of policy briefs. Thus, the Final Symposium is a preparation for a project conclusion but at the same time also a look into the future and an important step towards understanding such a globally important system as the Humboldt upwelling area and its sustainable management.

New research paper about the Peruvian Upwelling System published in Biogeosciences

New research paper about the Peruvian Upwelling System published in Biogeosciences

Mixed layer depth dominates over upwelling in regulating the seasonality of ecosystem functioning in the Peruvian upwelling system

This “seasonal paradox” triggers the following questions: (1) what are the unique characteristics of the Peruvian upwelling system, compared with other EBUSs, that lead to the out-of-phase relationship, and (2) how does the seasonal paradox influence ecosystem functioning? Using observational climatologies for four EBUSs, the authors diagnose that the Peruvian upwelling system is the only one to reveal that intense upwelling coincides with deep mixed layers. They then apply a coupled regional ocean circulation biogeochemical model (CROCO–BioEBUS) to assess how the interplay between mixed layers and upwelling regulates the seasonality of surface chlorophyll in the Peruvian upwelling system. The author´s model reproduces the “seasonal paradox” within 200 km off the Peruvian coast. They confirm previous findings regarding the main contribution of mixed layer depth to the seasonality of chlorophyll, relative to upwelling. Deep mixed layers in austral winter cause vertical dilution of phytoplankton and strong light limitation, impacting growth. The effect of advection, though second-order, is consistent with previous findings for the Peruvian system and other EBUSs, with enhanced offshore export opposing the coastal build-up of biomass. In addition, the authors find that the relatively colder temperatures of upwelled waters slightly dampen phytoplankton productivity and further slow the build-up of phytoplankton biomass. This impact from the combination of deep mixed layers and upwelling propagates through the ecosystem, from primary production to export and export efficiency. The findings emphasize the crucial role of the interplay between mixed layer depth and upwelling and suggest that surface chlorophyll may increase, along with a weakened seasonal paradox, in response to shoaling mixed layers under climate change.

Original publication open access: 

Xue, Tianfei , Frenger, Ivy , Prowe, A. E. Friederike , Jose, Yonss Saranga und Oschlies, Andreas (2022) Mixed layer depth dominates over upwelling in regulating the seasonality of ecosystem functioning in the Peruvian Upwelling System. Open Access Biogeosciences (BG), 19 . pp. 455-475.

DOI 10.5194/bg-19-455-2022.

The article is accessible at the following link:

New book chapter published on "Adaptations to climate variability in fisheries and aquaculture (...)"

New book chapter published on "Adaptations to climate variability in fisheries and aquaculture (...)"

Adaptations to climate variability in fisheries and aquaculture social-ecological systems in the Northern Humboldt Current Ecosystem: challenges and solutions

The book chapter focuses on three marine social-ecological systems to identify weaknesses and leverage points for adaptation and resilience. The findings were that (1) the Peruvian artisanal fishery and aquaculture sectors urgently need an institutional framework for adaptation to future environmental changes; (2) bottom-up adaptation strategies require institutional support, tailored to socio-ecological specificities; and (3) additional research on socio-ecological tipping points and their effects for human-nature interactions and societal repercussions is necessary. These finding may be useful in other systems undergoing similar challenges.

Original publication: 

Romagnoni G., Kluger L., Tam J., Wolff M. 2022. Adaptations to climate variability in fisheries and aquaculture social-ecological systems in the Northern Humboldt Current Ecosystem: challenges and solutions. In: Human-nature interactions. Exploring nature’s values across landscapes. Misiune I., Depellegrin D., Egarter Vigl L. (Eds). Springer Nature. Open access.


  • In book: Human-Nature Interactions (pp.389-403)

The whole book is open access and the above mentioned chapter is accessible from the following link:

New short film online about coastal fisheries in Peru

New short film online about coastal fisheries in Peru

Understanding the interactions between humans and the ocean

But, climate change, environmental instability and an increasing demand for seafood are putting this system under pressure. Scientists warn that - in the long term - the ocean off the coast of Peru could lose its productivity and richness, as well as its ability to provide services to our society. In the end, the nets of fishers could be left empty and Ceviche, the famous Peruvian national dish, may look completely different.

Find the movie on our youtube channel in a Spanish, English and German version:

For further information please contact:

Dr. Frederike Tirre

Center for Ocean and Society

Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
Neufeldtstraße 10
24118 Kiel

A successful fieldwork campaign in Peru!

A successful fieldwork campaign in Peru!

Together with Sara Doolittle Llanos, María Garteizgogeascoa, Isabel Gonzáles and Prof. Gerardo Damonte from WP7, the team reached out to local stakeholders involved in several types of fisheries in the bays of Sechura and Independencia, and carried out social-ecological timeline workshops. The purpose of these workshops was twofold: First-hand accounts by artisanal fishers of the most impactful and transformative events in the bays throughout the last decades are fundamental to interpret the data the modelers are currently working with and to help contextualize any remaining uncertainties, as well as to point towards relevant questions for future research. Additionally, this type of workshop is central to the Humboldt Tipping project goals of knowledge exchange between scientists and other involved stakeholders. After all the information is analyzed, it will be returned to the stakeholders in a preferred format and contribute to the elaboration of a policy brief for decision makers.

In the final stretch of the fieldwork phase, the team traveled to IMARPE’s head office in Lima to present an overview of the preliminary results of the Humboldt Tipping project as well as the current state of WP5 and WP6 models, and to personally invite members of IMARPE to our project’s Final Symposium, taking place in Lima 26-28th September. More info on that soo