A new graduate school has been established in Kiel and Plön in cooperation of Kiel University, the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Plön and the Helmholtz Centre of Ocean Research Kiel (GEOMAR). It is called ‘International Max-Planck Research School for Evolutionary Biology’ (IMPRS) and deals with evolutionary biology.
The IMPRS gives PhD students the opportunity to exchange new ideas as well as their research results in an interactive forum. The new graduate school also coordinates advanced training courses, an international series of lectures and annual symposia. The IMPRS offers up to 42 PhD scholarships with a time span of six years each: the Max Planck Institute provides 24 of these, Kiel University 16 and the IFM-GEOMAR offers two.
The IMPRS is under the direction of the following professors: Diethard Tautz, Manfred Milinski (both Max-Planck-Institut), Thorsten Reusch (IFM-GEOMAR) and Hinrich Schulenburg (Kiel University). The mutual interest of all involved institutions are bundled in the field of evolutionary biology. In the course of the past years Kiel and Plön have developed to top locations in the area of evolutionary and biological research in Germany. The way was cleared for this when several professors and group leaders whose work focuses on evolutionary biology were appointed to participate. The fact that evolutionary biology is well expanding in Kiel and its surroundings also becomes obvious when considering that the Max Planck Institute in Plön was renamed and now additionally contains the term ‘Evolutionary Biology’.
The Volkswagen Foundation has rewarded the new graduate school’s activities in Kiel and Plön by funding the working groups’ research projects in the field of evolutionary biology.
Evolutionary biology is currently experiencing a major renaissance in the area of natural sciences - after about 150 years when Charles Darwin’s magnum opus was published. An important reason for this is the realization that complex patterns or molecular processes can only be understood as a whole when their evolutive origin is known. An example of such complex properties are the considerable molecular signal pathways which have to be activated in order to successfully fight germs.