Max Planck Society
Max Planck Institut for Biogeochemistry

About Us

The Earth System

The Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry is dedicated to the study of global cycles of essential elements on Earth, their interactions among the biosphere, atmosphere, geosphere and the oceans, and their interrelation with the physical climate system.

The institute was founded on September 1, 1997, by the Max Planck Society as the third Max Planck Institute in Jena. From July 1998 until October 2002 the institute's scientific work had been carried out in laboratories and offices rented from Carl Zeiss GmbH. The institute then moved into its new building on the Beutenberg Campus. The Science Campus is home to several academic and for-profit research institutions and offers together with the Friedrich-Schiller University Jena excellent potential for local scientific cooperations.

Biogeochemical research is highly interdisciplinary and international. Scientists from all over the world are attracted to our institute and our research is often conducted in remote and exotic locations worldwide.

Our detailed brochure (pdf, 15.4 MB)
Retrospect 1997-2007 (pdf)

Facts & Figures


As a member of the German Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science, the institute is jointly funded by the German government and the State of Thuringia. Approximately 15 - 20% of the overall institute's funding is successfully acquired from competitive third-party grants.


In 2016, the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry hosts approximately 220 staff, including 62 scientists and some 50 PhD students, the latter organized in our international IMPRS gBGC graduate school. 37% of our scientists and 42% of our PhD students are of foreign nationality, originating from 27 different countries (see map below).

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