The Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB) is the largest limnological research institute in Germany (45 scientists, 40 PhD candidates). IGB is part of the Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V. (FVB), a central unit providing key administrative advice and support for IGB and seven other member institutions. The IGB is the leading centre for research on freshwater ecosystems in Germany. Our mission is to understand and describe the structures, processes and functions within aquatic ecosystems, their relevance for ecological states as well as their dependence on natural factors and anthropogenic stressors. Based on that knowledge we develop new concepts for the sustainable water management of our rivers and lakes. We consider it to be a fundamental responsibility to educate young scientists and to provide scientific advice to politicians, economists and the public.