Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum Frankfurt

Marine Invertebrates II

Nereis sp.

Nereis sp.

The Section MARINE INVERTEBRATES II was founded in 1971. As its first head Dr. Gotthard Richter was appointed, who had been head of the section Meeresbiologie at Senckenberg's marine institute in Wilhelmshaven. During the years 1964-1968 he had been responsible for the founding of the Laboratory for Ecology of the Stazione  Zoologica (Neapel) on the Island of Ischia . Gotthard Richter's research focused on an ecologically rather than a systematically defined group of animals: the pelagic Mollusca (excl. Cephalopoda), studying not only taxonomy but also zoogeography, ecology and functional morphology.

Following Gotthard Richter's retirement in 1990,  Dr. Dieter Fiege was appointed head of the section in August 1990. This change also brought along newly defined tasks and a new focus of research. Curatorial responsibility for a large number of collections of marine invertebrates were shifted from the section Marine Evertebraten I to Marine Evertebraten II and the main field of research became the marine bristle worms (Polychaeta), a major group among the segmented worms (Annelida).

Since 1990 various aspects of taxonomy, systematics, morphology and zoogeography of Polychaeta are studied. As a necessary tool for this research a large number of books and reprints on all aspects of research on Polychaeta has been accumulated. The section library includes also the polychaete libraries of  Dr. Gesa Hartmann-Schröder (Hamburg) and Prof. Dr. Volker Storch (Heidelberg), which they kindly donated to Dieter Fiege. Together with numerous old books on loan from the Senckenberg Library, the section meanwhile houses one of the best libraries on Polychaeta.

In 1990 the collection of Polychaeta was still rather small, since there had never before been a polychaete-specialist working at the Senckenberg Museum. However, through participation in numerous expeditions and projects polychaetes from various geographic areas were - and still are - collected and the collection is growing rapidly.


Fiege, D. (1992): Sektion Marine Evertebraten II . In: H. C. Schroeder-Hohenwarth & W. Ziegler (Hrsg.): 175 Jahre Senckenbergische Naturforschende Gesellschaft. Jubiläumsband II , p. 127-130 [in German].