Biological Field Stations

A Pivotal Infrastructure for Global Environmental Research

We are facing global challenges such as climate change, land-use alteration, biodiversity loss, and the formation of novel ecosystems and communities. Understanding the causes and consequences support from global monitoring programs and shared research infrastructure are required.

Biological field stations constitute a global network for long-term environmental monitoring and research, education, and public information.

They are found in all biomes and focus on marine, terrestrial, and freshwater systems alike. They offer a unique opportunity to improve our understanding on pressing environmental and social challenges and therefore deserve utmost support to fulfill their pivotal role at the regional and the global scales.

Based on a comprehensive inventory, scientists of the German Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB) and the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, NY, identified more than 1200 contemporary BFS, located in 120 countries. The Global Database on Biological Field Stations was established through an extensive web research and contains information on the station’s research domain (terrestrial, freshwater, marine), their location, year of establishment, and affiliation.

Our goals:

  • providing detailed information on biological field stations;
  • showing the global distribution of such important research infrastructures;
  • promoting the exchange between scientific activities (e.g. educational programs, datasets, projects);
  • increasing the visibility and importance of each station.

Related publication:

L. Tydecks, V. Bremerich, I. Jentschke, G. Likens, K. Tockner (2016): Biological Field Stations: A Global Infrastructure for Research, Education, and Public Engagement. BioScience (link)



The Global Database on Biological Field Stations is maintained by the Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries
(, Berlin, Germany.

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This work was supported by the European Union under the 7th Framework Programme - Contract No. 226874 (BioFresh).

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