The GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel is among the largest non-university research institutions in the field of marine sciences in Germany (950 staff, incl. 450 experienced scientists and about 200 doctoral candidates). It is a member of the Helmholtz Association, Germany’s largest non-university scientific organisation. The centre’s mandate is the inter- and multidisciplinary investigation of all relevant aspects of modern marine sciences, from sea floor geology through physical, chemical and biological oceanography to marine meteorology. Research is conducted worldwide in all oceans. The main research topics are grouped in four divisions: Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics, Marine Biogeochemistry, Marine Ecology, and Dynamics of the Ocean Floor. Its publication record and research grant funding is leading in these fields. GEOMAR cooperates closely with national and international research institutions and with a number of SMEs active in marine technology and science. Although GEOMAR’s mandate is to carry out basic science studies on the oceans, the centre strives to link basic knowledge to applied issues including gas hydrate, volcanic and seismic hazard, marine substances and onshore aquaculture research. This scientific breadth and the state-of-the-art infrastructure, particularly adapted for deployments in the open ocean and the deep sea, gives GEOMAR a unique profile and a central collaborative role within the German and international marine science community.