Marine Botany

In general the Marine Botany is engaged in work about photosynthetic eukaryotic unicellular organisms (protists), especially phytoplankton but also microphytobenthic taxa. Focus are dinoflagellates and diatoms, benthic raphidophytes and in future also coccolithophorids (haptophytes).

The research is about taxonomy and systematics. On the one hand it is the goal to understand character evolution within selected phylogenetic lineages and to work out a natural classification in consideration of molecular phylogenetic data. On the other hand documenting the biodiversity, i.e. species diversity, of individual geographic areas is of interest (e.g. German Bight, Madeira, Elba). We are working with the morpho-species concept.


Dinoflagellates are the emphasis. The “Centre of Excellence for Dinophyte Taxonomie” (CEDiT) is part of the Marine Botany field. The type collection of the CEDiT is part of the Herbarium Senckenbergianum.

current projects:
– Taxonomy, systematics and character evolution within the dinophysoid dinoflagellates
– Taxonomy and systematics of the genus Prorocentrum

long-term projects:
– Taxonomy, systematics, phylogeny and biogeography of benthic dinoflagellates
– Phylogeny and systematics of dinoflagellates in general