History of the section
The unit was founded in 1966/67 as Section Palaeozoology IV of the Geological Department. Dr. Rolf Werner led this section from the beginning until 1994. In 1996, a reorganisation of the Geological Department led to its actual name Palaeozoology III.
Before 1994, research was concentrated on stratigraphy and facies of the Lower and Middle Devonian of the Eifel Region. This has been a classic field studied by geologists from Senckenberg and the Geological Institute of the University of Frankfurt (Rud. Richter, G. Solle, E. Happel, Th. Reuling, A. Glinski, H. Schmidt, K. Krömmelbein, W. Struve, R. Birenheide, W. Ziegler, G. Plodowski, G. Becker, R. Werner, K. Weddige et al.). On the recommendation of Rudolf Richter, a first trench was excavated near Wetteldorf (Prüm Syncline, Eifel region) for a formal definition of the international Lower/Middle Devonian boundary in the 1930s, but the material was destroyed during WW II. Under the auspices of Senckenberg and the guidance of Rolf Werner, a new trench was excavated in the 1970s. The international stratotype (GSSP) of the Lower/Middle Devonian boundary near Wetteldorf was proposed in 1982 and ratified in 1985 – the material of all the field campaigns is stored in the section Palaeozoology III and available for subsequent research.
In 1995, Ulrich Jansen has become head of the section. The research focus of the section changed to brachiopods and an increasingly international approach. The Fossil Brachiopod Collection, previously curated in Wolfgang Struve’s section came under the care of the Section Palaeozoology III.
In 2018, the section moved from the former building in the Kuhwaldstraße to the new building (‘Jügelhaus’) in the Mertonstraße/Senckenberganlage, with a reorganisation of parts of the section’s collections.