Department of Invertebrates I
This department’s most important research topics include species diversity, the variety of external characteristics (morphology), and the ecology and evolution of organ systems among various animal groups more generally known as worms. Our researchers use morphological methods, including various microscopic procedures, as well as methods from molecular biology. As part of its research on the evolution of organs, the Department concentrates in particular on the evolution of the musculature and the central nervous system. Research focuses on roundworms as well as less well-known groups such as hairybacks, priapulids, and in particular horsehair worms. This includes the analysis of known and new species, morphological (incl. development) and ecological (life-cycle) investigations, and questions relating to family relationships. Research involves close cooperation with researchers from Argentina, the United States, and France. Thanks to this research and taxonomic investigations on further groups, researchers have been able to describe more than forty new species.