05 November 2018

Collaborator of the Month: Thomas Brey

For 25 years now, Dr. Thomas Brey has been a Senior Scientist at the Alfred Wegener Institut (AWI), Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research (BremerhavenGermany). Currently, he is also the Head of Biosciences Division and Deputy Head of the Helmholtz Institute for Functional Marine Biodiversity in Oldenburg. 

Piqued by his interest in marine benthic invertebrates, he completed his PhD thesis, “The impact of physical and biological factors on structure and dynamics of the sublittoral Macoma-community in Kiel Bay,” from 1986 to 1988.  He then started his post-doctoral fellowship at  AWI in 1989, and, after heading several working groups, became the head of section “Functional Ecology” in 2009 [1].

His current research interest revolves around building geo-referenced marine ecological information systems, with focus on marine benthic invertebrates of Polar Seas, climate change, population dynamics, trophic ecology, mollusk sclerochronology, and scientific management among others [2,3]. As of 2018, he has written over 190 publications and overseen 46 PhD theses, 38 MSc and Diploma theses, and 15 BA theses.

Thomas Brey has been a SeaLifeBase collaborator since 2009 and has contributed population dynamics data, specifically substantial data on mass conversion factors

Early 2018, through a funding from the Alfred Wegener Institut, FishBase and SeaLifebaseglobal biodiversity information systems on all marine fish and non-fish of the world—have started to improve the coverage of marine biodiversity of the Polar Seas.Led by Thomas Brey, the project started in January 2018 and, as of August 2018, around 892 references were used to assign fish and other marine metazoans. With the teams' effort and support from collaborators, 7,025 species have been documented in the region and made available through FishBase and SealifeBase: 497 bony fishes, 21 sharks, 199 vertebrates, at least 6186 invertebrates, and 78 plants. This has been a good start, since, to date, more than 8,000 marine species have been estimated in Polar Seas.

[1] Alfred Wegener Institut. Retrieved from https://bit.ly/2SfPkxy
[2] ResearchGate. Retrieved from https://bit.ly/2q8gTvM
[3] Google Scholar. Retrieved from https://bit.ly/2z4wY9W