Marine Invertebrates I
The section was founded in 1966 by the director of the Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum Prof. Wilhelm Schäfer. Dr. Manfred Graßhoff was working first as assistant, then from 1969 until January 2001 as head of the section. The main research objectives under M. Graßhoff were the taxonomy of octocorals, the evolution of coelenterates, and general aspects of evolution and phylogeny.
Until 1990 the section comprised the invertebrate collections and libraries, except for the molluscs and arthropods. Since the position of head of the arachnology section was left vacant from 1969 until 2002, this collection was also managed by the staff of the invertebrate section.
With the establishment of the sections Marine Invertebrates II (head: Dr. D. Fiege) in 1990 and Marine Invertebrates III (head: Dr. J. Scholz) in 1999, the section Marine Invertebrates I became responsible for the sponges, the cnidarians, the ctenophores, and the tunicates. Since February 2001 Dr. Dorte Janussen is the new head of this section, the research being now focussed on taxonomy, phylogeny, and biogeography of sponges.
The section Marine Invertebrates I is responsible for the following four collections (all recent): Porifera (sponges), Cnidaria, Ctenophora, and Tunicata.