Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum Frankfurt


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We will experience the variety of mammalian life-forms and specifically address biodiversity patterns of this group across space and time. The conference covers a broad spectrum of research, spanning from the past origins of mammalian diversity, the present distribution of genetic variation within species, the taxonomical, morphological, physiological, and behavioural diversity of living mammals to the future fate of this unique group and our strategies for its preservation in a world of rapid environmental change.

In line with the motto of the conference we are happy to anounce the following key notes adressing:

PAST: Michael Hofreiter - University of York - "Old bones and new tricks: evolutionary genetics using ancient DNA"

PRESENT: Philip Stephens - Durham University - "Data on mammalian diversity: limitations and opportunities"

FUTURE: Herbert H. T. Prins  - Wageningen University - "The future of mammal diversity"

Book of abstracts is published in Mammalian Biology Volume 77 Suppl PDF Download 


Preliminary Program with list of presentations  PDF Download 


Around the conference
Icebreaker party in the beautiful ambience of the dinosaur hall see Venue
Special guided tour in the Senckenberg Natural History Museum More information
Conference dinner situated in the whale and elephant hall see Venue
A city sightseeing tour on board of the Ebbelwei-Express More information
Post conference excursion to the nearby UNESCO world heritage site Messel Pit  More information




Key note speaker

Michael Hofreiter

Michael Hofreiter

Department of Biology 

University of York

Michael Hofreiter is Professor for Evolutionary Biology and Ecology in the Department of Biology at the University of York. He studied biology at the Ludwig Maximilian’s University in Munich from 1993 till 1999, when he finished his Diploma thesis on vegetation reconstruction using ancient DNA from Pleistocene ground sloth faeces. In 1999 he moved to Leipzig, where he did his PhD at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (MPI EVA) working on the evolutionary history of the extinct cave bear. After graduating in 2002, he stayed at the MPI EVA as a postdoc working on various aspects of ancient DNA research. In 2005, he started the Independent Max Planck Research group “Molecular Ecology” at the MPI EVA, which he headed until 2010. In 2009, he moved to the University of York, where he is currently situated.
His work ranges across the fields of zoology, evolutionary biology and molecular ecology with a focus on the application of ancient DNA analyses to address questions ranging from phylogenetic studies over population genetics to studies investigating the genetic basis of adaptation and functional differences between extant and extinct species. He has published several key papers in the field of ancient DNA, including the still valid model for damage in ancient DNA, the first palaeogenomics paper, the first publication of a complete mitochondrial genome of a Pleistocene species and the first functional genetics study using ancient DNA. Prof. Hofreiter’s pioneering research has received widespread recognition and has lead directly to a significant number of wholly new directions in the study of ancient DNA, underpinning the blossoming of this research area during the last decade.


Philipp Stephens

Philip Stephens

School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences

University of Durham

Phil Stephens graduated from Bristol University with a BSc. in Zoology, took an MSc. in Conservation Biology at the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology and gained his PhD in population ecology from the University of East Anglia (2002). Following postdoctoral research in the UK and USA, he took up a lectureship at Durham University in the UK, where he is now a Senior Lecturer in ecology.  He is an editorial board member of the Journal of Applied Ecology and of Endangered Species Research, and a member of the review panels for the Royal Society (International Travel), NSERC (Canada) and the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology. Recent work on predator-prey relationships and population viability has captured media interest, and he has been invited to contribute to policy through, for example, workshops on the future of the Arabian leopard in Oman.

Phil Stephens’ principal interests are in how evolved traits shape the fates of individuals and how those fates sum to determine the dynamics of populations. These interests inform research on evolution, behaviour and conservation more broadly.  A particular interest in mammal ecology and behaviour has involved research on species from marmots and meerkats to tigers and wolves, associated with studies in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, Russia and North America.  Questions range from how to make sense of (often very noisy) data on mammal abundance and population dynamics, through explaining strategic decisions on reproductive investment or dispersal, to how the nature of individual decisions can affect predictions about future population dynamics.

Herbert H. T.  Prins

Herbert H. T. Prins

Resource Ecology Group

Wageningen University

Herbert Prins is full professor in Resource Ecology, Wageningen University, the Netherlands, since 1991. He also is the Chairman of the Graduate School "Production Ecology & Resource Conservation". He has represented The Netherlands and the European Union at meetings of the Convention on Biological Diversity. Additionally he has or had board memberships of the (European) Tropical Biology Association, (Executive) Netherlands Nature Conservancy, Van Tienhoven Foundation, Netherlands Committee for International Nature Conservation and others. His previous positions were: research fellow of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences while conducting research in Tanzania, parks research management specialist for the World Bank in Indonesia, and research fellow for the Netherlands Foundation for the Advancement of Tropical research (WOTRO) in Tanzania. Memberships of several IUCN commissions include: IUCN Species Survival Commission, Netherlands Committee IUCN, Member IUCN Committee on Ecosystem Management, IUCN Asian Cattle specialist group, and the Machakos Wildlife Forum, Kenya. He has conducted consultancies in Indonesia, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Mozambique, and Canada. With regards to scientific publishing, Herbert Prins has authored or co-authored 220 scientific publications, 30 popular scientific publications, and 30 reports. He has co-edited 5 books, and has written 1 book. About 25 PhD students are being tutored regularly and 69 students already received their doctorate after his supervision. Furthermore, 4 BBC films and 1 National Geographic film were based on Prins’ fieldwork.