Ramona Mattmüller


I am a marine biologist and bio-acoustician interested in the biodiversity and distribution patterns of marine mammals in polar seas. During my PhD I am analyzing polar ocean (Southern Ocean and Arctic Ocean) passive acoustic monitoring data to investigate the influence of the three soundscape components (biophony, geophony, and anthrophony) on the acoustic environment. Further I will study the spatio-temporal patterns of the marine mammal diversity via their acoustic behavior. I am particularly interested in the impact of anthropogenic noise on polar ocean soundscapes and its impact on the soundscape and (acoustic) ecology of marine mammals (communication behavior, habitat use, and distribution patterns). If you want to gain a little glimpse into my research and listen to polar ocean sounds you can check out this website from the AWI Ocean Acoustics Group, or this presentation on YouTube (in German).

Previous Research and Other Interests

During my master’s studies I investigated the vocal behaviour of fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) off Elephant Island, Antarctica, as well as the acoustic marine mammal diversity within the Weddell Sea. For my master’s thesis I switched poles and investigated the acoustic marine mammal community off Southeast Greenland.

As an intern I took part in a dive behaviour study on humpback whales in Iceland, and in a long-term baleen whale monitoring study at Mingan Island, Quebec, Canada.

I am also keen on gelatinous zooplankton, particularly comb jelly and jellyfish. Hence, I studied the growth rate of polyps of the ‘moon jellyfish’ (Aurelia aurita) under different environmental conditions and investigated the consumption rate of the comb jelly ‘sea gooseberry’ (Pleurobrachia pileus) off Helgoland, during my bachelor thesis.


Prof. Dr. Joseph I. Hoffman, Animal Behaviour, University of Bielefeld
Dr. Ilse van Opzeeland, Ocean Acoustics Group, Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven, and Helmoltz Institute for Functional Marine Biodiversity, Oldenburg

Curriculum Vitae

  • Sept 2021-Present: PhD Student, Animal Behaviour, Universität Bielefeld, and Ocean Acoustics Group, Alfred-Wegener-Institute Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Science (AWI) Project: COMPOSES – COMparing Polar Ocean SoundscapES, investigating the influence of anthropogenic noise and changing sea ice conditions on the noise budgets and marine mammal communities of two polar regions (DFG (SPP1158) funded project)
  • 2016-2019: M.Sc. Marine Biology, University Bremen, Germany Thesis: “Marine mammal acoustic presence in relation to sea ice concentrations off Tasiilaq, Greenland”. In cooperation with AWI and the Greenland Climate Research Centre (GCRC), Nuuk, Greenland
  • 2012-2016: B.Sc.: Biology (Major in Marine Biology), University Bremen, Germany Thesis: “Growth of Aurelia aurita polyps dependent on temperature and salinity”
  • 2011: Abitur (Major in Biotechnology), Tübingen, Germany

Work/Research/Fieldwork experience

  • 2020-2021: Bioacoustician, Ocean Acoustics Group, AWI, Analysing passive acoustic monitoring data (PAM) of the Arctic Fram Strait for acoustic marine mammal presence
  • 2019: Student research assistant GCRC, Nuuk, Greenland, PAM equipment and mooring preparation, recovering and deploying PAM recorders off the coast of East Greenland, Vessel based survey and taking photo-ID of humpback whales in Godthåbsfjord, Nuuk, Greenland
  • 2018: Internship, Mingan Island Cetacean Study, Longue-Point-de-Mingan, Québec, Canada, Vessel based survey and data recording of fin, humpback and blue whales, analysing photo-IDs of fin, humpbacks, blue whales; informing museum visitors about marine mammals; preparing information sheets.
  • 2018: Internship, University of Iceland, Collecting behavioural data and photo-ID of humpback whales in Eyafjörður, Akureyri, Iceland, using whale watching vessels as observing platform.
  • 2016-2017: Student research assistant, Ocean Acoustics Group, AWI, Analysing PAM data for Antarctic blue whale calls and general marine mammal presence in the Weddell Sea; PAM equipment preparation during Weddell Sea expedition PS103.
  • 2015: Student research assistant, Shelf Sea system Ecology, Biological Institute Helgoland, AWI, Plankton sample fixation, Jellyfish polyp maintenance, analysis of gelatinous zooplankton samples


Mattmüller RM, Thomisch K, Van Opzeeland I, Laidre, KL, Simon M (2022) Passive acoustic monitoring reveals year-round marine mammal presence of Tasiilaq, Southeast Greenland. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 151, 1380-1392. https://doi.org/10.1121/10.0009429

Burkhardt E, Van Opzeeland I, Cisewski B, Mattmüller R, Meister M, Schall E, Spiesecke S, Thomisch K, Zwicker S, Boebel O (2021) Seasonal and diel cycles of fin whale acoustic occurence near Elephant Island, Antarctica. Royal Society Open Science, 8, 201142. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.201142

Amorim K, Mattmüller RM, Algueró-Muñiz M, Meunier CL, Alvarez-Fernandez S, Boersma M, Morais P, Teodósio MA (2018) Winter river discharge may affect summer estuarine jellyfish blooms. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 591:253-265. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps12356

(Report) Spiesecke, S., Mattmüller, R., Zwicker, S., Monsees, M., Graupner, R., Boebel, O., Thomisch, K., Van Opzeeland, I. (2017). 3.2.1. Ocean acoustics. In Olaf Boebel. The Expedition PS103 of the Research Vessel POLARSTERN to the Weddell Sea in 2016/2017. Berichte zur Polar-und Meeresforschung= Reports on polar and marine research (pp. 55-78).


(Poster) Burkhardt E, Boebel O, Ciesewski B, Mattmueller, RM, Meister M, Schall E, Spiesecke S, Thomisch K and van Opzeeland I. (2018). Fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus) acoustic presence off Elephant Island, Antarctica, European Cetacean Society conference, La Spezia, Italy, 8 April 2018 – 10 April 2018.

(Talk) Mattmüller RM, Thomisch K, Boye TK, Van Opzeeland I, Simon M. (2019). Marine mammal acoustic presence in relation to sea ice concentrations off Tasiilaq, East Greenland, World Marine Mammal Conference, Barcelona, Spain, 6 December 2019 – 12 December 2019.

Contact Details

Ocean Acoustics Group,
Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research,
Building G, Klußmannstr. 3d, 27570 Bremerhaven, Germany

e-mail: Ramona.mattmueller[at]awi.de
phone: +49(471)4831-2839
researchgate: Ramona Mattmueller

AWI: Ramona Mattmueller