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 (poster). 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 Ranunculus (buttercups), Salix (willows), Xanthium (Asteraceae), and Rutaceae (the citrus family). Find out more about our current research projects.

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).

Members of our department at the annual congress of the German Botanical Society (DBG) 2023

Public outreach

Want to learn about the evolution of sex? Listen to the Heredity Podcast, in which Prof. Hörandl presents recent research about this topic.

Systematic Botany goes Hollywood...
Three out of four of our DFG funded projects are part of the priority program "Taxon-OMICS" (SPP1991). Within this program, short videos are produced to expand the scientific outreach. Learn here about the research project of our PhD student John Bradican.

Another of our diverse DFG projects is presented by our PhD student Eleonora Manzo. Enjoy the video about the "nasty Xanthium plants".

Welcome to lectures and courses in winter term

From October onwards we started this years winter term. Our department is responsible for several lectures, courses and seminars for beginners as well as advanced students.

The main part is module "B.Bio.103 "Systematik und Evolution der Pflanzen" which includes a lecture and a practical microscopy course.

Micrasterias sp.
life cycle of mosses

In this course we show the development of land plants starting from cellular algae, mosses, ferns to higher land plants like investigating the ovaries of angiosperms. In the second part we focus on plant anatomy, from cells to plant tissues up to plant organs like leaves, stem and root.

Dissection of a root

Outlook: In summer term we provide insights into the plant diversity of central Europe
Being outside and discover the plant biodiversity in the surroundings of Göttingen

If you are interested in our courses and seminars click here and/or check uniVZ.

Prof. Elvira Hörandl
Tel.: +49 (0)551 39 27843
Termine n. Ü.

Dr. Marc Appelhans
Tel.: +49 (0)551 39 28220
Termine n. Ü.