Research in the Section of Mammalogy focuses on the phylogeny and systematics of extant and fossil mammals based on comparative anatomy and phylogenetic systematics.

The phylogenetic, palaeobiogeographical and paleoecological questions are studied with an interdisciplinary approach that unites neontological and palaeontological methodologies. Increasingly, molecular data and innovative investigation techniques such as micro-computertomography and 3-D reconstruction are used. 

 Focus of Research  

  • craniogenesis in mammals (particularly rodents)
  • evolution of cynodonts
  • comparative anatomy and morphofunction of the nasal and ear region in extant and fossil mammals (particularly rodents, carnivorans, and lagomorphs)
  • comparative anatomy and morphofunction of the axial skeleton in placental mammals

Selected Projects

  1. Pattern of element loss in the postcranial skeleton of extant and fossil mammals (project within the module „M1: Phenotyping“ of the interdisciplinary large-scale project „Forward Genomics“; funded by Leibniz-Gemeinschaft; PhD candidate: Rebecca Hofmann).
  2. Dr. Rachel Racicot is an Alexander von Humboldt Postdoctoral Research Fellow studying the evolution of hearing and biosonar/echolocation in dolphins and whales. Her project involves iodine staining and CT scanning developmental series of whales to complement her ongoing studies that use the fossil record and osteological specimens from modern groups to understand whale sensory system evolution.