Dr. Christian Wild (born 1974) is a renowned German biologist and geographer, and a professor at the University of Bremen. He specializes in the study of coral reefs, focusing particularly on ecosystem engineers—organisms like stony corals that significantly impact habitats and resources for other creatures in the same ecosystem.
Wild's academic journey began at the University of Mainz and the University of Bremen, where he studied biology and geography. He later pursued his doctoral project at the Department of Biogeochemistry at the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen from 2000 to 2003. After completing his doctorate, he worked as a consultant for UNESCO's Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission in Paris, advising on coral reef-related issues. He led an Emmy Noether Young Investigators Group at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich from 2006 to 2010, funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). In 2010, he secured his professorship at the Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Ecology (ZMT) in Bremen, later transitioning to the University of Bremen.
Wild's research involves examining the biological, geochemical, and physical factors that influence coral reefs. He conducts comparative studies with different ecosystem engineers and investigates interactions between various reef organisms. Additionally, Wild evaluates the impact of stress factors like water warming, acidification, overfishing, nutrient input, and sedimentation on the services provided by coral reef ecosystems. Much of his work includes interdisciplinary field studies at various reef locations in the Indo-Pacific and the Caribbean, supplemented by lab experiments at ZMT's seawater facilities.
Furthermore, Wild has dedicated efforts towards understanding the release and composition of organic material by marine organisms. Following studies that showed the potential control of key processes in the coral reef ecosystem by organic substances, especially slime and sugar, his work aims to delve deeper into this intriguing area.
As an educator, Wild teaches in the Master's program at ZMT and the Department of Biology/Chemistry at the University of Bremen, helping shape the next generation of biologists and geographers.