Predecessor of the Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research was the Institute for Oceanography Warnemünde, which, as a member of the German Academy of Sciences, was for many decades the only Institute for Oceanography in the German Democratic Republic. Since its re-establishment, the activities of the Institute have been particularly focused on the Baltic Sea ecosystem.
The Institute is divided into four sections – Physical Oceanography, Marine Chemistry, Biological Oceanography and Marine Geology. The workgroup Measurement Technology is part of the Physical Oceanography section. Jointly all sections cooperate on a long-term research program.
The Institute for Oceanography Warnemünde is a research institute of the Scientific Association Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, which is funded jointly by the German Federal Government and by the federal state Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. As a co-institute it is part of the University of Rostock. Its male and female professors are teaching there in the departments of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. The professors of the Marine Geology Section are teaching at Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-University in Greifswald.