Center for Ocean Life (COOL)—a Villum-Kahn Rasmussen Centre of excellence for the study of life in a changing ocean (38960 & 39501)

Project Details


Our goal is to develop a fundamental understanding and predictive capability of marine ecosystems through the use of novel trait-based approaches and models.

The Centre is organized around three main research activities:
- Identification and mechanistic description of the traits and trade-offs required to characterize the main Darwinian missions (feed, survive, reproduce) of the various life forms in the ocean through experimental and theoretical work, as well as analysis of literature data.
- Models: scaling of individual behavior to population and ecosystem dynamics through the development of trait-based models.
- Testing model prediction by comparing to observed trait patterns in the ocean.
The Centre involves biologists, physicist, chemists, and mathematicians and has a very strong training component through the supervision of master students, and about 30 PhD and postdoctoral fellows as well as by offering PhD summer schools and organizing international workshops. The Centre in addition host many visiting students and scientists.

The Centre is lead by DTU Aqua and funded by the Villum Kahn-Rasmussen Foundation (Velux Foundations) as well as through various national and European fellowship programs (Research Council, H.C. Ørsted Fellowship programme, Marie Curie, Carlsberg Foundation, etc).

Research area: Oceanography
Research area: Marine Populations and Ecosystem Dynamics
Research area: Marine Living Resources
Research area: Ecosystem based Marine Management
Effective start/end date01/01/201230/06/2023

Collaborative partners

  • Technical University of Denmark (lead)
  • Michigan State University (Project partner)
  • University of Bergen (Project partner)
  • Kiel University (Project partner)
  • University of Copenhagen (Project partner)
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Project partner)
  • University of Oxford (Project partner)
  • Roskilde University (Project partner)


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