Reinhold Hanel

Thünen Institute of Fisheries Ecology

Reinhold Hanel is Director of the Thünen Institute of Fisheries Ecology in Bremerhaven, Germany since 2008. He received a PhD in Marine Ecology from Innsbruck University, Austria, in 2001, was a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Physiological Chemistry of the University of Würzburg and Junior Professor for Fisheries Biology at the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences at Kiel University. He is Associate Professor at Kiel University, 1st Vice President of the European Inland Fisheries and Aquaculture Advisory Committee (EIFAAC) of the FAO, German Delegate to the FAO Committee on Fisheries (COFI), the FAO COFI Subcommittee on Aquaculture and German representative to the EIFAAC/ICES/GFCM Working Group on Eels (WGEEL). His main research interest is in changes in ecosystem structure and function and their impacts on the management of living aquatic resources. Management concepts also become protection concepts when it comes to preserving sensitive migratory fish species or protecting genetic diversity in aquatic stocks.

The Thünen Institute of Fisheries Ecology is nationally and internationally one of the leading institutions in European eel research. Nationally, it is responsible for the monitoring of yellow and silver eel condition in all German river basin districts within the Data Collection Framework (DFC). In addition, Reinhold Hanel initiated the re-establishment of research on oceanic life stages of freshwater eels in the Sargasso Sea. As a participant in the international Galathea expedition in 2007 and as Chief Scientist of four international scientific surveys on board R/V Walther Herwig III in 2011, 2014 and 2017 as well as on board R/V Maria S. Merian in 2015, he significantly contributes to a better understanding of the oceanic conditions defining the eel spawning grounds, of temporal shifts in abundance of eel early life-history stages as well as of the migration behavior of matured silver eels released in open ocean conditions. Recent eel related research initiatives include the projects AalPro (Artificial Reproduction of the European Eel) as well as the development of hyperbaric swimming tunnels with respirometer function as part of the AUTOMAT project funded through the innovation program of the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the project SPEER (The swimming physiology of the European eel under regulable hyperbaric conditions) funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). He further coordinates the EelConSenSus project, a study on “The European eel biology, migration and sustainable management” financed by the Directorate-General for Internal Policies of the European Parliament.