Taxonomy and Systematics
We study the diversity of organisms and their evolution in space and time; the collections are a fundamental basis in this regard. Moreover, we study biogeography and compare the structure and function of organisms, including all structural levels such as genomes, cells, tissues, metabolism, and anatomy/morphology, considering both extant organisms and fossils in the process. Based on these data, we delineate species and explore their internal relationships (among populations or morphs). On this basis, we further explore the geographic distribution of species and their subunits and search for common patterns. Eventually, we reconstruct the phylogenetic relationships among species and group them within higher taxa, and we analyze the evolution of structures and their functions as well as the distributional history of taxa (bio/phylogeography). We use modern and classic methods as appropriate, and much of our research is based on the collections. With our basic research we provide the knowledge of biodiversity, which we pass on to the scientific community and society, thereby also laying the foundation for all further exploration of biodiversity in RFs II and III. Yet, at all levels we also use the results of our research to develop direct applications. We generate and transfer taxonomic knowledge to the scientific community and society.