History and functions
The section within the Department of Palaeontology and Historical Geology was instituted in 1967 with focus on fossil Cnidaria. The head of the section at that time, Dr Rudolf Birenheide, was a specialist on fossil corals, in particular from the Devonian.
With the present head of the section, Dr Eberhard Schindler in 1995, the focus of the research changed (see introduction).
Within Senckenberg, the section takes care of the departmental library which holds more than 78,000 titles. Since 2004, the head of the section is the chairman of the scientific board (Wissenschaftsausschuss, WA – elected member since 1996) of Senckenberg; since 1990 he is an active member in German ‚Subkommission für Devon-Stratigraphie‘ (SDS) and since 1995 in the international ‚Subcommission on Devonian Stratigraphy‘ (SDS) as well. From 1996 – 2003 and from 2012 – 2019 he was the chairman of the German SDS, and from 2004 – 2015 voting (titular) member of the international SDS.