Palaeontology & Historical Geology
Palaeozoic brachiopods, their morphology, taxonomy, phylogeny, biostratigraphy, palaeobiogeography and mode of life are the main scientific focus.
The brachiopods (‘lamp shells’ or ‘arm-footers’) represent a discrete phylum of bivalved marine animals comparable with the bivalves but not related to those. Species of brachiopods have settled upon the sea floor since the Early Cambrian (540 million years before present) to the present day.
Further research interests: palaeoecology, events and stratigraphy of the Devonian in Europe and North Africa; microstructures and isotopes of brachiopod shells.
One of the world-wide largest brachiopod collections (almost 1 Mio. specimens) is curated in the section, moreover the collections of fossil Mollusca (Cephalopoda, Gastropoda, Bivalvia, Scaphopoda), Porifera, Palaeozoic Bryozoa, Hunsrück Slate and the Stratigraphic and Regional Collection Lower Devonian, as well as the X-Ray Archive Wilhelm Stürmer.