Martin Visbeck is head of the research unit “Physical Oceanography” at GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel and Professor at Kiel University. His research interests revolve around the ocean’s role in the climate system with an emphasis on observing and understanding climate change and climate variability. Martin’s interest in the development of integrated ocean observations led to the coordination of the large-scale EU project AtlantOS that aims to better coordinate in-situ observations of the Atlantic Ocean with the participation of European and international partners. As the speaker of the German excellence initiative ‘The Future Ocean’ in Kiel, he is involved in integrated marine sciences bringing together different disciplines to work on marine issues. More recently, he has been heavily engaged in promoting integrated marine science in support of sustainable development of the ocean. Through his active participation in several national and international advisory committees, Martin Visbeck is involved in strategic planning and decision-making processes about the ocean at a national, European and global level.