The Institute of Oceanography, University of Gdansk is the only university-level institution in Poland which educates the oceanography students at all educational levels (first, second and third tier studies), and conducts multidisciplinary scientific research in the coastal zone of shelf seas.

Research is mainly focused on the southern Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Gdansk, but it also deals with the polar regions.

By conducting extensive research, the Institute acquires and broadens the basic and applied knowledge that is necessary for supporting the sustainable use and protection of marine environment.

The realized research themes focus on topics such as:

  • Biodiversity of flora and fauna in marine biocenoses occurring in the temperate (particularly in the coastal areas of southern Baltic) and cold zones (Antarctica and the Arctic);
  • The influence of natural and anthropogenic factors on the condition of marine ecosystems, including the assessment of toxic cyanobacteria blooms; toxic effect of selected xenobiotics; the present condition, diseases and pathological changes in animals; and the occurrence of non-native species;
  • The taxonomic, population, behavioral, ecophysiological, biochemical and genetic studies of Baltic plants and animals;
  • The biology and ecology of Baltic marine mammals, and the restitution of grey seal in the Polish coastal zone;
  • Socioeconomic valuation of marine biodiversity, estimation of ecological value, and designing the decision support systems for managing the environment;
  • Developing the methods for analyzing satellite data, and creating the corresponding ground-based database for the Baltic Sea; 
  • Elaboration and further improvement of remote acoustic and optical methods for investigating the marine environment;
  • Modeling (a 3D model) of eco-hydrodynamic processes in the sea, and the long-term forecasting of sea level in the Baltic Sea and the changes in the Gulf of Gdansk ecosystem;
  • Application of GIS in oceanography;
  • The structure and development of the coast and seafloor in the southern Baltic; geodynamics  of coastal zone and the coastal protection from abrasion;
  • Seismic stratigraphy and sedimentology of Baltic seafloor along the Polish coastline, including accumulation and abrasion in the open-sea area of the Vistula Lagoon;
  • Diatom-based reconstruction of paleoecological conditions in the Gulf of Gdansk and the Vistula Lagoon, and the application of diatom indicators to assess marine transgression and the late-glacial and Holocene changes of sea level in South Baltic;
  • Hydrogeology of coastal zone and seafloor in the Gulf of Gdansk: modeling the underground inflow of water into the sea during the Quaternary, Paleogene, Neogene and Cretaceous Periods;
  • Spaciotemporal distribution of the chemical composition of atmospheric air, water and sediments in the southern Baltic Sea in relation to natural, anthropogenic and climatic factors;
  • The influence of physical, biological and chemical processes on the organic matter transformation in the environment. Phototransformation of organic matter;
  • The chemical composition of sediments and nutrient fluxes (C, N, P, Si, Fe), changes in their composition, and the accumulation of these compounds in post-dredging pits, harbors, trawling areas, etc. Persistent organic pollutants in sediments and their toxicity;
  • Factors determining the riverine outflow of contaminants into the sea;
  • Mercury in the atmospheric air and water, and its biomagnification in the food chains of the Baltic Sea;
  • Accumulation of persistent organic pollutants in various elements (water/sediment/organisms) of the coastal sea zone.