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Dr Hauke Flores

Hauke studied Biology in Hamburg. Even then, he began following in the footsteps of his seafaring father, and joined an expedition to the Celtic Sea in the North Atlantic to research zooplankton. In the course of completing his diploma thesis, he discovered his fascination with the polar regions, and soon took part in an expedition to the Antarctic. He’s never lost that interest, and at the AWI he’s surrounded by others who share his enthusiasm.

For meereisportal.de, Hauke shares his expertise to help portray the sea-ice ecosystem. After all, in the polar regions, a great deal of life goes on below the ice, and precisely this habitat will be lost as the sea ice dwindles. Through his work, he hopes to raise awareness for the consequences that even the smallest changes in the food web can have for this habitat.

Which observations that you’ve seen during your work do you find the most troubling?

We often lack long-term data because the areas we’re researching used to be covered with ice much longer. In terms of the populations of certain specially adapted fish species, drastic losses can already be recognised, because their environment is changing so radically. We have to assume this will have far-reaching consequences, even if they’re not immediately apparent.

How can more interest in the sea-ice habitat be generated?

Thanks to documentaries, to some extent the public is already being supplied with information and impressive images. But of course, it takes quite a bit of time to produce a documentary. Consequently, the research community needs more interfaces with the public, so that we can effectively reach them.

What part can meereisportal.de play in disseminating scientific information?

The portal offers precisely such an interface, providing first-hand information from and close contact to the researchers. Of course, users have to have a certain degree of interest in the topic, and that limits the target group somewhat, but by offering this source of information, we can also serve as a multiplier and expand into further areas, like journalism.

My dream expedition would be …

To explore possible signs of life beneath the ice on Europa, a moon of Jupiter.

Picture of Dr Hauke Flores

Dr Hauke Flores