Professor Karin Lochte has been Director of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research since 2007. The Alfred Wegener Institute, which forms part of the Helmholtz Association, coordinates polar research in Germany and provides important infrastructure for national and international Arctic and Antarctic research, for example the research icebreaker Polarstern. In addition to her work for the Alfred Wegener Institute, Professor Lochte has been Vice-President of the Helmholtz Association since 2009, where she coordinates the research field “Earth and Environment”.
Professor Lochte studied biology, chemistry and philosophy at the Technical University of Hannover. She then completed a Master of Science in the field of marine biology at the Marine Science Laboratories in Bangor (UK). After completing her PhD in 1984, she worked as a post-doc at the Institute of Marine Sciences of the University of Kiel (from 1985 to 1990) and as a research assistant at the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven (1990-1994). After completing the habilitation procedure, she became the head of the Biological Oceanography department of the Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research in Warnemünde in 1995. Five years later, she was appointed head of the Biological Oceanography research division of the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences at the University of Kiel.
Professor Lochte is a member of numerous national and international boards, scientific committees and research funding organizations. For example, she was a member of the Scientific Council, which advises the Federal Government and the Länder governments on questions related to the structural and content-related development of universities, science and research and is now chair of the Scientific Commission of Lower Saxony. She is also a delegate of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research and chairperson of the Board of Governors of the Jacobs University.