Department of Systematics, Biodiversity and Evolution of Plants (with Herbarium)

Welcome to our department!

"Plant systematics" is one of the oldest disciplines at the University of Göttingen and is being taught there since the founding of the university in 1735.

The major research topics of our Department are evolution, phylogeny and taxonomy of flowering plants. Our mission is to understand the patterns and processes of diversification of plants in space and time. We focus on evolutionary processes at the population and species level, and on interspecific relationships within genera. The role of reproductive and evelopmental biology for plant evolution is an important focus of our research. By analyzing asexual reproduction in plants we try to understand the evolutionary paradox of predominance of sex in nature. Our major model systems are kursiv>Ranunculus (buttercups), Salix (willows) and Rutaceae (the citrus family).

The Department is equipped with modern molecular, karyological and computer laboratories. We host an internationally renowned Herbarium (GOET) of about 800.000 specimens (including over 14,000 types) and research collections of living plants (c. 2.000).

Department members 2019

+++ NEWS +++ Corona-Virus +++ NEWS +++

Informationen zum Lehrbetrieb und Termine dieses Semesters finden Sie im Stud.IP bei den einzelnen Lehrveranstaltungen. Persönliche Sprechstunden sind bis auf weiteres nicht möglich. Bitte kontaktieren Sie die Lehrenden per email. Abgaben von Hausarbeiten oder Protokollen bitte nur per email als pdf oder word-Files. Bitte beachten Sie die allgemeinen emails des Präsidiums und regelmäßigen Updates der Homepage.

Information about the lectures and dates of this winter term is in the Stud.IP in the respective folders. Personal meetings are currently not possible. Please contact the teaching staff via email. Also homeworks and protocols should be sent exclusively as pdf or word files. Please pay attention to the general information and emails of the President's office.

Development of new techniques to extract DNA from herbarium collections

Historical collections like herbaria harbour treasures of natural history. Some of the historical plants in the herbarium of Göttingen are more than 300 years old. In the ongoing research projects of Salvatore Tomasello and Natascha Wagner, the two scientists try to make usage of these treasures by extracting DNA from old herbarium material and make it thus available for new molecular techniques. The oldest sample included in their study is almost 200 years old. Because the samples are that old the procedure is rather difficult. Anyway, they hope to reveal good results from their experiments.

Dr. Salvatore Tomasello samples old leave material

Curator discovers original herbarium voucher of Carl von Linné in Göttingen

A rare and spectacular discovery made curator Dr. Marc Appelhans, when he digitized the historical collection of Jakob Friedrich Ehrhart (1742–1795). The dried plant specimen of „Holcus odoratus" is more than 200 years old. At the bottom of the herbarium sheet he found a tiny "h.L.“: „herbarium Linnaeus“. Linné was one of the most important researchers in biology and founder of the binominal nomenclature of nature. The Linnean Society confirmed the find as an original Linné voucher. Find out more (in German)

Curator Dr. Marc Appelhans in the Göttingen Herbarium

Prof. Elvira Hörandl
Tel.: 551 39 7843
Termine n. Ü.

Dr. Marc Appelhans
Tel.: 551 39 22220
Termine n. Ü.