The collections range from protozoans (Foraminifera) to more highly evolved worms (Annelids). Research activities contribute to the Senckenberg Research Field Biodiversity and Systematics.
As a parasitologist I am interested in all kind of parasites ….
starting with intracellular protozoic parasites through to parasitic arthropods … and their hosts!
That is why I was biomonitoring the endangered species Hirudo medicinalis (European medicinal leech) in Saxony/Germany for one thing and for another thing I’m taking part in a mapping project to investigate the mosquito populations of Germany, with focus on invasive species that might spread diseases.
Non-parasitic – but extraordinar – invertebrate species also can arouse my interest …
2012 – 2013 – 2014 …
As a co-worker of an the well known Onychophora research project directed by Dr. Georg Mayer, University of Leipzig and the most notably Ivo de Sena Oliveira, Andreas Weck-Heimann was able to focus on the disregarded morphological diversity of velvet worms (Onychophora) by use of the scanning electron microscope ZEISS EVO 50 in operation at the Senckenberg Institute in Dresden since 2006 .
In 2012 we identified a new species and genus from Costa Rica Principapillatus hitoyensis gen. et sp. nov. , Velvet Worm – Onychophora.
Publication: Oliveira IS, Franke FA, Hering S, Schaffer S, Rowell DM, Weck-Heimann A, Monge-Najera J, Morera-Brenes B, Mayer G (2012) Unexplored Character Diversity in Onychophora (Velvet Worms): A Comparative Study of Three Peripatid Species. PLoSONE 7: 12.
And here comes next new Velvet Worm from Vietnam in 2013 …
Publication: Oliveira IS, Schaffer S, Kvartalnov PV, Galoyan, EA, Palko IV, Weck-Heimann A,, Geissler P, Ruhberg H, Mayer G (2013) A new species of Eoperipatus (Onychophora) from Vietnam reveals novel morphological characters for the South-East Asian Peripatidae; Zoologischer Anzeiger – A Journal of Comparative Zoology, Available online 8 February 2013
Another new Onychophora species has been described in 2014
Publication: Oliveira IS, Lacorte G, Weck-Heimann A, Cordeiro L M, Wieloch A, Mayer G (2014) A new and critically endangered species and genus of Onychophora (Peripatidae) from the Brazilian savannah – a vulnerable biodiversity hotspot. Systematics and Biodiversity, (12/11/2014, 1-23)