I want to excite you about the marine world.  I believe that experience, science and story-telling will lead the way to a symbiotic partnership between us and the environment.

Prof. Dr. Annika Guse, Heidelberg, Cell Biologist, Coral Symbiosis Researcher, Diver

I believe that art could help profoundly to make urgent social issues tangible and that interdisciplinarity is the way to solve them.

Dr. Stephanie Guse, Vienna, Artist and Water Lover

The Mediterranean informs our present, but it also has a past that is exciting and influences our lives to these very days. Let‘s cooperate to ensure that it also has a future!

Prof. Dr. Nikolas Jaspert, Heidelberg, Historian and Mediterraneanist Researcher, Diver

Colours and scents, plants and beasts, people and culture – the Mediterranean fills me with deep love and admiration. I would like to share this affection through words and images, so all of us will set out to protect this irreplaceable treasure.

Kristina Heldmann, Berlin, Illustrator, Author, Nature Lover

Bringing together arts, sciences and humanities leads us to a deeper understanding of both nature and culture in the Mediterranean region. Moreover, it’s a great opportunity to learn about off-the-beaten-track approaches to preserve this unique living environment.

Tobias Just, M.A., Heidelberg, Director Marsilius Kolleg

The sea is not just a place inhabited with life. It contains histories and futures, memories and traces. It is the lived experience of many. I believe that through co-creation we can reveal such experiences and act on the ecological and social urgencies of the Mediterranean.

Dr. Roos Gerritsen, Heidelberg, Anthropologist, Storyteller, Wanderer

The marine world is full of wonders and never ceases to amaze. Let’s discover and experience the underwater environment together through art and science.

Drs. Kirsten Krans, Groningen, Marine Biologist, , director dance platform Random Collision

It is easiest for us to protect the things we know and love. Therefore, I am excited to properly introduce you to the fascinating ecosystem that is the Mediterranean Sea.

Malu Antrobus-Thorweihe, Heidelberg, Conservation Ecologist, Environmental Educator, Diver

Everyone has the potential to make a difference, act sustainably and protect ecosystems. Be active and passionate, like we are for the beautiful Mediterranean Sea.

Dr. Silvia Urbansky, Heidelberg, Molecular and Developmental, Biologist, Terrascaper, 3D enthusiast

Fabian Gasperl, BA, Vienna, Photographer

To me, communication between general public and academic research is a constituent base of a prospering society. To stay in touch, the arts may provide a much needed universal language during times of increasing social and scientific challenges.

Prof. Dr. Steffen Lemke, Heidelberg, Evolution Biologist

Reconnect people to nature, let them fall in love with their environment, because humans most likely will protect what they love.

Utz A.-Thorweihe, Heidelberg, Actor, Founder Europeans for Climate Association

Curiosity doesn’t kill the cat. Curiosity leads us to the most amazing experiences and it is the engine that moves humanity forward to explore and discover the beauty of nature. It is with curiosity – and a great deal of creativity – that I wish to bring you in an amazing journey in the Mediterranean Sea, where biodiversity, culture and arts meet.

Dr. Marzia Sidri, Heidelberg, Biologist, Project Manager and Mediterranean Enthusiast

Art is an important means of communication transporting images, emotions, and stories. This is the task the artistic side of the project embarks on: to provide space for a joint intervention of artists and researchers, in which issues of the Mediterranean are placed within vicinity of the public to be interacted with in a variety of ways.

Paula Marschalek, BA MAS, Vienna, Art Historian, Cultural Manager,, Networker

Alejandro Sánchez Alvarado, developmental biologist and executive director Stowers Institute, Kansas City

Alejandro investigates how regeneration of tissues, for example after wounding, works at the molecular and cellular level. By doing so, he contributes to understanding how organisms grow and develop.

Alejandro is a science pioneer with a unique ability to inspire. He is able to transform molecular knowledge into amazing stories of biology, exciting science nerds and lay people alike. His art of communication and establishing social connections will build bridges between disciplines, languages, and people coming from very different realities, a vital aspect of the project. Website

Malu Antrobus-Thorweihe, wild life manager, Heidelberg

Malu is a advocate for nature by heart. She studied applied ecology, has extensive experience in nature conservation work in South Africa and is currently involved in various environmental projects and events in and around Heidelberg. 

As a lecturer, Malu is involved in leading workshops of the Europeans for Climate Association founded by her father Utz Antrobus-Thorweihe. Her vast practical knowledge in the context of nature conservation, how to integrate conservation with economy and superb communication skills will be key to connect the team with local participants. 

Utz Antrobus-Thorweihe, founder of Europeans for Climate Association, Heidelberg

With a background as an actor, Utz is an electrifying consultant for his mission as an initiator of culture change and sustainable development. He founded the Europeans for Climate Association who provide help to companies and individuals to become climate neutral.

With Utz’ help, we will conceptualize the start-up business ideas arising from the project. Utz’ enthusiasm for a climate friendly future will inspire the group and local participants. We also love his idea to create a live performance featuring the story of The Blue Orange during the Symbiosis Studio in 2022.

Andreas Bergmann, industrial designer, Berlin

Andreas’ super power is to create dynamic and vibrant communication spaces like TV studios. Building up on his expertise to design broadcast stations such as Deutsche Welle, he will be leading the conceptualisation and realisation of the Symbiosis Studio. Website

Javier Espinosa, painter, Águilas

Javier is an artist and diver. He transforms his passion about the underwater world into vibrant paintings like the lately opended public mural at the Centro de Interpretacion del Mar-Aquarium (CIMAR) at Águilas.

His passion for the sea makes him perfect to contribute to this project and we are looking forward to experience and learn with Javier about the spirit of sea and arts. Website

Katrin Funcke, illustrator, Berlin

Katrin is an award winning illustrator recognised by ’American Illustrationʽ and ’Art Directors Clubʽ, Germany. Apart from her fashion portraits she is known for her weekly column ’Diagnosisʽ on seldom diseases in the German Stern magazine. Website

We admire Katrin for being a tireless artist who is always looking for elegant expressions of complex topics. Together, we practised Thinking Hands for years and her analytical approach to unfamiliar and difficult topics is an essential quality to make this project a success.

Roos Gerritsen, anthropologist, Heidelberg

Roos is a researcher, innovator and integrator. She carried our interdisciplinary science projects in India, wrote books and curated exhibitions. Her passion is food and she relentlessly uses the power of eating and cooking together to achieve societal integration for example of refugees and migrants. 

Currently, Roos is the community coordinator of Über den Tellrand in Heidelberg. Moreover, she is developing innovative methods to assess quality of life, another vital expertise for our project. Website

Tanja Granzow, anthropologist, Heidelberg

Tanja works at the Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies (HCTS), Heidelberg University, Germany. Her main interest is to analyze the relation between man and the sea focusing on a comparative approach between Haiti and Cuba. She will contribute her in depth knowledge in this area and scientific methods to shed light on the role of the fisherman in Águilas in society as the basis to develop novel future perspectives for this profession.  Website

Lorena Elvira Gutierrez, student of culture and media education, Ludwigsburg

Lorena studies at the Paedagogic Academy Ludwigsburg and has previous experience in organizing cultural events. Born in Germany, but grown up in Mazarrón, the neighbouring town of Águilas, she is bilingual and an expert on local culture and traditions. 

Lorena is particularly interested in the actual meaning of the Mediterranean Sea for the senior people in Águilas and how this influences the next generation and their future way of living in partnership with the ocean. 

Kristina Heldmann, illustrator, Berlin

Kristina writes and illustrates stories focusing on family life, the environment and sustainability. Her latest book „Ohne Eis kein Eisbär“ on global warming was published in 2020. Website

Kristina’s illustrations are unique, full of colors and resemble artistic paintings. She brought our logo, The Blue Orange, and the story behind, to life. She cares deeply for nature and is highly empathic, which makes her a great team player. 

Nikolas Jaspert, historian, Heidelberg

Nikolas is an expert for mediaeval history at Heidelberg University, focussing on the Mediterranean and Iberian region. Born in Australia and married to a Spaniard, he always has been attracted to the influence of the seas on human culture in Spain and beyond. 

In addition to his historic perspective, he will accompany the project with authoring a book about ocean treasures and their value in society throughout times. This book will be funded by the Opus Magnum Programm of the Volkswagen Stiftung. Website

Tobias Just, administrative director Marsilius- Kolleg, Heidelberg

As the administrative director of the Marsilius-Kolleg, the Center for Advanced Studies at Heidelberg University, he lives and breathes interdisciplinarity. He studied sociology, leads a choir and is actively engaged in community work in Heidelberg. 

Contributing his amazing social skills, high level of empathy, love for music and professional experience to build bridges, Tobias functions as a natural integrator and match-maker between seemingly unrelated topics and diverse people.

Gisela Klammsteiner, jazz singer and social designer, Lienz

As a creative generalist Gisela travels the world engaging in social (art) processes. Currently she is the CEO in the family-owned geriatric care company ’ISL‘, introducing and practicing feel good managementʽ

She is a perfect to join us as project manager because one of our highest priorities is to make the participants feel comfortable and inspired, the foundation for creating a catalyzing environment and enable interdisciplinary teamwork. Website

Kirsten Krans, marine biologist and director of dance platform Random Collision, Groningen

Kirsten lives interdisciplinarity and using arts to increase human well-being and societal change. As a choreographer working with the public, she transforms feelings into body movement providing unique experiences to everyday people. 

She is the coordinator of the Studium Generale at Groningen University, brings art to hospitals to explore the power of art and culture to human well-being. She stands for applicability and throughout the project, Kirsten will bridge arts, science and local participation and thus contributing as a corner stone to our unique approach. 

Michael Lehner, product designer and art educator, Berlin

Michael creates objects for private and public spaces that are elegant, yet invite to play and to touch. Check out his Wackelschaf/Wobble Sheep

Michael has an incredible sense for materials and communication skills. With ease, he creates atmospheres to make everybody feel connected and inspired. With Andreas Bergmann, he will co-develop nicht the Symbiosis Studio.

Steffen Lemke, evolutionary biologist, Heidelberg

Steffen investigates the molecular principles of novelty and innovation, the foundation for the biodiversity which surrounds us. He is based at the Centre for Organismal Studies (COS), Heidelberg University, Germany, has expertise in Thinking Hands and unique skills to generate enthusiasm for the act of discovery and understanding. 

Naturally drawn the wonders and beauty of nature and married to an artist, he will play a vital role to bridge science and arts to trigger new ideas and inventions. Website

Stefan Michaelsen, designer, Essen

Transfering structures and stories into stunning graphics is Stefan’s key focus. For example, in 2020 he designed an exhibition for the centre of nature conservation Alfsee.

We love his consequently structured approach and his design of The Blue Orange logotype and art booklet. Moreover, he is experienced in collaborative creation and Thinking Hands making him ideally suited as an artistic moderator os in the Symbiosis Studio. Website

Daniela Mühlbauer, choreographer and dancer, Vienna

Daniela is a dancer and choreographer working with ensembles of Viennese theatres like the Burgtheater. Lately, she expanded her body work and became a Nuad Yoga guide to help her clients better balancing everyday life, body work and relaxation.

Her sensibility for expressing moods and ideas through performance, and her professionality in stage productions make her a perfect match for us to embody the idea of symbiosis by artistic means.

Jose Martinez Navarro, Owner Dive Center Buceo Estela, Águilas

Pepe has been running the local dive center for over 20 years. He knows the marine world around Águilas by heart and is the leader of various local environmental initiatives to protect the Mediterranean ecosystems. 

Born and raised in Águilas, Pepe knows the local situation like no other. He has in depth knowledge about all ongoing recreational and economically-relevant activities around the sea, as well as about existing conflicts of interest. During the project, he will be the lead for organizing activities to experience the sea from distinct viewpoints and contribute his vast expertise as the basis for creating ideas and solution specifically geared to Águilas.

Sardor Rakhimov, athlete, Heidelberg

As a former ATP tennis player, Sardor is aware of the importance of coordinating mind and body to achieve a high-level performance. Born in Uzbekistan with work experiences as a tennis trainier in China, Russian and Germany, he an expert in adapting physical training to distinct cultures. 

Sardor focuses on integrating sports performance with personal attitude, mental states and well-being. His personal style and distinct view on the multiple benefits of (physical) experiences, will be an important driver to integrate a highly diverse group of people. 

Iñaki Ruiz-Trillo, evolutionary biologist, Barcelona

Iñaki is an ICREA research professor at the Institute of Evolutionary Biology (IBE-CSIC). In his research, he investigates the origin of multicellularity, a key step for biological innovation, diversification and thus evolution.

Iñaki is a natural explorer and explainer. His ability to create and use simple words and images, combined with his ease to connect people is stunning. Accordingly, Iñaki will be key to enable the participants and the locals to reach their full innovative potential with ease while at the same time experiencing joy and togetherness. Website

Aaron F. Straight, cell biologist, Stanford

Aaron is a research professor and chair of biochemistry at Stanford University. His lab studies the organization and function of genomes using an array of distinct molecular approaches. 

Aaron is a sharp scientist, inevitably drawn to the big questions of life and scientific challenges. In combination with his playfulness, energy, empathy and love for people and their peculiarities, he is a born generator of integrative ideas while simultaneously bringing fun, excitement, enthusiasm and future optimism his surroundings. Website