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Research and development

In addition to project-related studies we also conduct various research and development projects.

Research projects in the ‘Onshore’ division often address typical ecological issues, e.g. the study that investigates the decline of the Common Buzzard in Schleswig-Holstein. With regard to the ongoing expansion of wind energy use, a three-year project to assess the collision risk of birds with wind turbines and potential associated factors has been completed. A previous project on birds of prey and wind energy funded by the Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMU) was also conducted.

The ‘Offshore’ division is involved in or conducts research projects which often aim to protect marine mammals, particularly harbour porpoises. During the construction of offshore wind farms noise emissions, especially from pile driving of turbine foundations, regularly exceed the sound level at which harbour porpoises may suffer temporary threshold shifts (TTS). To prevent this, sound mitigation measures, such as the Big Bubble Curtain, were developed and tested. Another possibility is to deter porpoises prior to pile driving events from the danger area. So-called WDS (Wireless Detection System) buoys were developed which allow the monitoring the construction area for harbour porpoises in real time. Thus deterrence measures can be synchronised with particularly noise intense construction activities. In both cases BioConsult SH was involved in the testing of the systems and commissioned to assess their effectiveness.

A basic research project in the ‘Offshore’ division aims to contribute to knowledge gaps concerning the ecology of divers (Gaviidae). Animals were tagged with transmitters that enable tracking via satellite. Established movement patterns in wintering habitats and during migratory periods allow to better assess potential effects of offshore wind farms on divers.

The development and implementation of protection concepts are also fields of work as well as the development of evaluation systems for the application of the Water Framework Directive in coastal waters or for the implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive. We are also experienced in the development of monitoring concepts within the framework of the Trilateral Monitoring and Assessment Program (TMAP).