Senckenberg Research


Senckenberg Centre for Human Evolution and Palaeoenvironment (HEP) University of Tübingen, Germany






The Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung (SGN), in particular Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. Volker Mosbrugger and Prof. Dr. Friedemann Schrenk, has been participating jointly with the University of Tübingen (Profs. Conard and Hochschild) since 2008 in the long-term project entitled “The Role of Culture in Early Expansions of Humans” (ROCEEH), which is being supported by the Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften (Heidelberg Academy of Sciences) over a 20-year period. In order to put this cooperative project on a sound footing, Senckenberg and the University of Tübingen agreed in October 2009 to found the Senckenberg Centre for Human Evolution ans Palaeoenvironemt. Presently, seven jointly funded working groups of the Department of Geosciences are included in HEP-Tübingen:

The seven Tübingen working groups are distributed between two locations within the town of Tübingen. The Early Prehistory and Quaternary Ecology Group as well as the Palaeoanthropology Group, Palaeogenetic and Geoarchaeology are located in the Zentrum für naturwissenschaftliche Archäologie (Centre for Natural Sciences in Archaeology) on Rümelinstraße, while the Terrestrial Palaeoanthropology Group, Micopalaeontology and Biogeology can be found at the Institut für Geowissenschaften (Department of Geosciences) on Sigwartstraße, which results in these working groups having different postal addresses.

The following sections of Senckenberg in Frankfurt participate in this cooperative project:

In addition, the staff members especially from the ROCEEH Project at Senckenberg and at the University of Tübingen are naturally included in this cooperative project. Last but not least, there are also direct cooperative projects with sections of the Research Branch for Quaternary Palaeontology in Weimar.

The HEP-Tübingen studies various aspects of biological and cultural evolution of humans as well as the development of climate and environment during the entire Cenozoic Era. The cooperation between Senckenberg and the University of Tübingen involves not just the pure sciences, but teaching responsibilities as well, and maintenance of the diverse palaeontology, archaeobotany, and archaeozoology collections at the University of Tübingen. These collections remain the respective property of the University or State of Baden-Württemberg, but they are cared for in Tübingen with support from Senckenberg staff in accordance with collection guidelines applicable to Senckenberg. An important goal of this is the digitisation of the collections using SeSam, through which this important inventory will be made accessible electronically to the public internationally through the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBiF).

The managing director is since 2013 .
The coordination of the project is currently the responsibility of .