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Katharina Bunk

IGB in corona minimum mode

In order to slow down the spread of the coronavirus resp. the disease COVID-19, research operations at Berlin research institutions were switched to emergency presence mode on 20 March 2020. What does this mean at IGB?

Empty corridors at IGB’s main site in Berlin at Lake Müggelsee. | Photo: IGB

For IGB, operating in emergency presence mode means that all research activities beyond home office have been discontinued and only those employees who maintain the absolute minimum on-site operations are allowed to enter our sites in Berlin and Brandenburg. And this, of course, only in compliance with the prescribed hygiene rules and infection protection measures, which include not meeting each other and only a single person in a closed room.

The key personnel on-site take care of the water supply in the aquarium hall, look after and feed our sturgeons, perches and toads, or sustain algae and bacteria cultures that are important for our future research. In order not to jeopardise our valuable long-term data series, some monitoring trips to maintain measuring probes and collect the data are still carried out, but in very reduced form and with only two people that keep the safety distance – here, teams of two are important for safety on the water.

We have cancelled the usually very busy field research season in spring and summer, large-scale experiments with international guest scientists, and our lectures and public events. Evaluating the data of completed experiments, however, can be done remotely, thanks to the efforts of our IT team. Thus, last week many employees started working at their desks at home, and analyse data, write research papers or attend conferences via video stream. IGB remains very active, but has reorganised its work dramatically within days.

The entire IGB is currently working closely together – digitally – to ensure the health and safety of everyone. Despite the considerable constraints for our research, we are happy to set a good, socially distanced example.

Stay healthy!

For IGB employees, the intranet provides daily updated information on emergency presence at IGB.

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