The world’s reserves of phosphorus, an essential element, are limited. Without radical changes to the way phosphorus is extracted and used, there are likely to be geopolitical distribution problems. Low resource use efficiency, the absence of closed-loop material cycles and the resulting environmental pollution currently present a major problem for the use of phosphorus and its compounds throughout the economy. When large quantities of unused phosphorus enter the material cycles of ecosystems, it can lead to over-fertilisation, which brings the whole system out of balance. One example of the effects of high volumes of phosphorus entering ecosystems are the blue algae blooms seen in the Baltic Sea in the summer months.

The overarching aim of the interdisciplinary collaboration within the Leibniz ScienceCampus in Rostock is to use its topic-based network to develop the scientific basis for more sustainable phosphorus management. The ScienceCampus pools existing expertise in various aspects of research into phosphorus, its diverse chemical compounds and specific modes of action in agricultural and environmental ecosystems, as well as in technical and industrial processes. Key focus areas of the research are "P in the environment", "efficiency and sufficiency of phosphorus utilisation, phosphorus recycling, "P in catalysis and synthesis", "P in molecular Biology" and, as a cross-sectional research topic, "P governance".

Prof. Ulrich Bathmann
Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemünde (IOW)
T +49 381 5197 100
Dr Dana Zimmer
Leibniz ScienceCampus Rostock
T +49 381 5197 3471