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Professor Dr. habil. Uwe Kils (born July 10, 1951, Flensburg, Germany) is a marine biologist with a Habilitation from the Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel and venia legendi for Biologische Meereskunde and Fischereibiologie from the Institut für Meereskunde in Kiel. He was initiator and director of the floating laboratory ATOLL. He worked in Antarctica on metabolism and behavior of krill and in the Baltic on predator-prey interactions of juvenile herring and plankton. The development of many new oceanographic instruments and their results earned him scientific prices and an invitation into the USA.

His work was summarized by the faculty testimony for a "Extraordinary Ability" EB1 visa of the invitation of RUTGERS University - Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences onto tenure professorship. For such 4 greencard visa you need a major internationally recognized prize in the same class as the Nobel Prize, cited here as original text (the original can be ordered from RUTGERS UNIVERSITY):

Introduction: Dr. Kils is possibly Europe’s most outstanding young marine scientist. Members of the Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences with experience in oceanography regard him as one of the world’s most innovative individuals working in this field, … We have evidence that he is an inspiring teacher ...

Scholarship: Dr. Kils is a uniquely creative research scientist who is internationally recognized for his in situ studies of aquaculture, predator-prey interactions and behavioral physiology of schooling. These studies are typically placed in the context of bio/physical ocean processes with a variety of organisms ranging from tintinnids, to euphausiids and fish. The development of new optical techniques for studying the behavior and population biology of fish and other life is one of the most important new areas of ocean research, and Kils’ contribution to this area is acknowledged as the best anywhere. He has developed instruments that: 1) are small enough so that they do not interfere with the animals behavior, 2) produce a well-lit image with the resolution of a microscope, and 3) and have a large-enough field and fast-enough shutter speed to record animal’s movements.

Leptocephalus larvae of an ocean eel

He has worked with the top lensmakers in Germany to design on-of-a-kind ecoscopes, which he will bring with him to the U.S. With financial support from the Volkswagen Foundation, he has built a floating laboratory that allows scientists to sense, observe and quantify the interactions of biological and physical processes in the ocean. This highly advanced technology is presently unavailable in this country. Kils has designed a new kind of biosensor to study pollution … He is the only scientist anywhere who has the background to interact equally with four different research clusters in the IMCS: ocean modeling, ocean chemistry, satellite oceanography, and fish and shellfish biology. Together, the instruments and techniques he has developed have provided fresh insights into the ecology of small marine organisms on scales from micrometers to meters and time spans from microseconds to hours.

In addition to his unique and world-leading research on application of optical techniques to fisheries oceanography, we expect Kils .... His work on aquaculture is well-known, and he has advised commercial aquaculture ventures in Germany, Japan, Netherlands and Norway. … He attends workshops and is sought after for advice by the Global Ocean Ecosystem Dynamics Initiative (GLOBEC), which is part of the U.S. Global Change Research Program and is an established international research initiative in oceanography. …

In Germany, his scholarship has been recognized by an exceptional series of prestigious awards. … He received the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize … for one of the best publications of a junior scientist (regardless of field) in West Germany 1979. Subsequently, he received the Bioscience Award of the Volkswagen Foundation, which is given to 30 candidates out of 1000 from all bioscience fields, ... Most recently he was the recipient of the prestigious Heisenberg Fellowship, which is a national award given to about 30 German scientists each year from all of the national and social sciences (this has sometimes been compared with the U.S. MacArthur Award). This award provides an independent salary and freedom from the university administration responsibilities for a five year period.

Another measure of Dr. Kils’ contributions is reflected in the international invitations by his peers to present seminars at a variety of institutions including those in Georgia, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin in the U.S., and in other countries, including Germany, Finland, Norway, France, Canada, United Kingdom and Japan.

His publication record is very good (20 articles published in such journals as Bulletin of Marine Science and Marine Biology Progress Series and one book). His work is cited in recent textbooks on fish biology such as the second edition of T.J. Pitcher’s Behaviour of Teleost fish (Chapman and Hall, 1993). Dr. Kils is perhaps best known for his work on Antarctic krill, which was the subject of his dissertation and is the basis for many of his earliest papers. Because of its value, his dissertation (“The swimming behavior, swimming performance and energy balance of Antarctic krill, Euphausia superba”) was translated into English as a monograph in the BIOMASS Scientific Series. Of particular value are the publications describing the microscale tools for in situ studies of predator-prey interactions and their application to studies of tintinnids and copepod aggregations and resultant predation on them by juvenile herring. His in situ research has significantly advanced our understanding of predator-prey interactions and behavioral physiology of schooling, and the effects of hypoxia, because we now have the tools to investigate these processes with high-resolution imagery at temporal and spatial scales that were not previously possible.

Antarctic krill

Outside reviewers concur in the department’s assessment of Dr. Kils’ scholarship and comment on his innovative approach and the results he has achieved. They acknowledge that he is one of the rising stars in the field …

Teaching: By all accounts, Dr. Kils’ teaching is frequent, innovative and much appreciated by the students. Much of his teaching has been at his own instigation, and at an early age in his career by German standards. He has included Anatomy and Functional Morphology, Aquaculture Technologies, and graduate courses in the areas of Aquaculture, Fisheries Biology, Behavioral Physiology, and Research Techniques. All of these courses, with on exception, were solely developed by him. These classroom and field teaching experiences used state-of-the-art techniques including the extensive application of interactive software programs for analysis of video images and other types of data and are part of a consistent multi-media approach.

… In all instances and at all levels, he is an inspiring teacher. This is clear from letters and evaluations and it is the opinion of all the IMCS faculty. …

Service: At the university level, Dr. Kils has contributed in numerous ways. He has served by providing important advice on the construction of new laboratories and two new research vessels for the Institut für Meereskunde, one of the largest oceanography and fisheries research institutions in Europe. Beyond the university level, he has provided important scientific advice to government ministries and industries such as the Kiel Port Authority … The innovative techniques he has developed for research and teaching extend to public education with adaptations of real-rime in situ video imagery for public lectures and displays at public aquaria and other venues of public education. His video production experience includes documentaries on pollution, Antarctic ecology and herring biology in the North Sea, which have been frequently aired on German television and elsewhere in Europa. …

This faculty testimony was signed by Prof. Dr. Kenneth Able, Prof. Dr. Joan Ehrenfeld, Prof. Dr. Frederick Grassle, Prof. Dr. Judith Grassle, Prof. Dr. Dale Haidvogel, Prof. Dr. James Miller, Prof. Dr. Karl Nordstrom, Prof. Dr. Norbert Psuty, Prof. Dr. Clare Reimers, Prof. Dr. Gary Tagon - vote 10/0

This faculty report was based on eight international letters of recommendation: Prof. Dr. Sayed el Sayed (USA), Prof. Dr. Rudi Strickler (Shaw distinguished Professor, USA), Prof. Dr. Gunnar Sundness (Norway), Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. habil. Gotthilf Hempel (Germany), Prof. Dr. habil. Wassermann (Germany), Prof. Dr. habil. Fritz Thurow (Germany)

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