- 1982 - 1989: Study and diploma in biology at Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg.

- 1989 -1991: Ph. d. about the sponges of Cozumel (Mexico). Six months of field work and data collection by scuba at Cozumel Island, Mexico. Laboratory work, sponge identifications and SEM investigations at the Institute of Paleontology, Erlangen, Germany.

- 1992 – 1995: Postdoc - stipend of the DFG Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, field studies in the Caribbean with SCUBA, including nitrox and trimix dives at the Discovery Bay Marine Laboratory, Jamaica and at the Caribbean Marine Research Center, Lee Stocking Island, Bahamas.

- 1995 – 1998: Position as scientist at the Institute & Museum of Geology & Paleontology at the Georg-August-University, Göttingen, Germany. Field work at the Great Barrier Reef, Australia (Osprey Reef, Lizard Island), the Dravuni Field Station of the University of the South Pacific, Fiji Islands, the Discovery Bay Marine Laboratory (DBML), Jamaica & the Caribbean Marine Research Center, Lee Stocking Island, Bahamas.Participation on a cruise of the RV "Victor Henssen" from the Canary Islands (Spain) to Bremerhaven (Germany).

- 1999 - 2001: Position as scientist at the Institute of Organic Chemistry at the Ludwig-Maximilian-University München, Germany. Several field trips to Jamaica and the Mediterranean. Participation on a cruise of RV l"Poseidon" from Thorshavn, Faroe Islands to Kiel, Germany.

- 2001 – 2004: Position as scientist at Thetis Institute for biomolecular natural resources. Collection and identification of sponges from NE-Atlantic, North- & Baltic Sea, the Mediterranean, the Persian Gulf, Antarctica, Pacific coasts of Chile, Peru and Canada.

- 2004-2010: free lance taxonomist. In June & July 2004 participation on the cruise of the RV Velero IV from Adak Island to Dutch Harbor (Aleutian Islands, Alaska). Identification of the specimens collected on the cruise and of deep sea specimens collected in august with the help of the ROV Jason II on a cruise of the RV Roger Revelle resulting in the discovery of more than 20 new species. Identification of the sponges collected during a cruise of the Greenpeace vessel "Esperanza" in the Bering Sea canyons resulted in the publication of Aaptos kanuux (2008), a new species and first record of the genus in the area. Working through collected specimens a new species of Craniella, Craniella sputnika (2010), was published.

- 2011-2017: All sponges collected during the cruises to the Aleutians are described and pictured in "A guide to the deep-water sponges of the Aleutian Island Archipelago" together with a list of all sponges ever reported from Alaskan seas. This open access publication is a result of the cooperation with Robert Stone and Henry Reiswig (see publications). Since then the discovery of new species from the North Pacific, the Bering Sea & the Gulf of Alaska is still proceeding. Unusual records of taxa never reported from these areas were published in several articles.  For a list of species discovered and described in the literature so far see “new species”


Dr. Helmut Lehnert