COL supports, promotes and coordinates oceanographic and limnological education and research opportunities.

Image: Thorsten,


Are you considering studying (paleo)limnology or (paleo)oceanography?

Oceanography is the study of the oceans, and takes an integrated systems-based approach with an understanding that physical, biological, chemical and geologic processes interact together in the oceans.

Paleoceanography deals with the history of the oceans in the past with regard to circulation, chemistry, biology, geology, climate and patterns of both sedimentation and biological productivity.

Limnology studies inland water bodies including lakes and ponds, rivers, springs, streams and wetlands from a biological, chemical, physical and geological point of view. As with oceanography, an integrated approach is important in understanding these interconnected systems.

Paleolimnology can be defined as the multidisciplinary science that uses the physical, chemical and biological information preserved in aquatic sediments to track past changes in inland waters and their catchments, such as climatic change, eutrophication, acidification, pollution, soil erosion.

Ocean modeling describes the use of computers to simulate the behavior of the Earth's oceans to explore their mysteries and better understand their role in shaping the Earth's climate and environment. Key questions are how the ocean moves, how heat and nutrients are distributed within it, how ocean biology responds to past and future climate changes, and how the ocean interacts with the atmosphere and other parts of the Earth system.

Check the links page to find the different Swiss institutions proposing Bachelors in Earth and Environmental Sciences as well as the different research groups active in oceanography, paleoceanography, limnology and paleolimnology. These bachelor curricula open up the door to Master and PhD studies in (paleo)oceanography and (paleo)limnology, which can be carried on at: