Our main research is on the systematics and taxonomy of Palaearctic lymnaeid freshwater snails (Gastropoda: Basommatophora: Lymnaeidae). The shells of many species, especially members of the genus Radix, show a high intraspecific variability. This may blur the species limits and makes identification using shell morphology nearly impossible. Lymnaeid freshwater snails are important intermediate hosts in the life cycles of many pathogens (for example in fasciolosis, bilharziosis, opistharchiasis). Therefore, reliable identification is important not only to malacologists but also to parasitologists. Anatomical features of the reproduction system seem to be the most reliable characters for species differentiation. The morphological survey of this internal character complex is corroborated by molecular studies to clarify species limits.

Mantle pigmentation of freshwater snails of the genus Radix

A more locally based part of our research is the monitoring of land- and freshwater molluscs in Saxony. In cooperation with Dr Heike Reise from the SMNG and amateur malacologists, we are collecting and providing data on the occurrence and distribution of the various species (see As most parts of Saxony had not been surveyed earlier, it continues to be a challenging task to explore these areas and collect specimens for investigation. In doing so, 23 species new to the Saxonian fauna were discovered between 1996 and 2013. 

European red slug (Arion rufus)
Faucet snail (Bithynia tentaculata)
Capped orb mussle (Musculium lacustre)