Studying the evolutionary history of body plans and phenotypes across larger geological timescales has always been one of the MfN’s research foci. This theme links paleontological and neontological data, developing both extinct and extant organisms as model systems.
Our approach to evolutionary developmental biology applies and integrates a wide spectrum of different methods in modern imaging techniques, molecular biology, study of collections and phylogenetic analysis. The identification of evolutionarily significant phenotypic traits plays a central role in our science and provides a strong connection to other Museum für Naturkunde science themes, such as biodiversity dynamics or genomics and speciation. The special focus in our work is around non-model organisms.