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Geobiology and Biodiversity

Understanding the System Earth demands a transdisciplinary approach focusing on the mutual interactions between the geosphere and the biosphere. Not only did the evolution of the geosphere shape and control biodiversity patterns through time, but likewise the biological evolution has changed, controlled and continues to shape the geosphere. Important biological controls on the planet include geochemical cycles of essential elements (e.g., C, O, P, N, S), climatic change, and modification of the earth's lithosphere (e.g., by carbonate platforms and reefs, sedimentary iron deposits, coal and hydrocarbon-generating rocks). The understanding of the past, present and future of our planet's biodiversity state demands analysis of its geobiological controls.

We attempt to achieve this by:

  • Direct cooperation between research and teaching programs
  • Interdisciplinary knowledge exchange and discussion
  • Sharing of labs, libraries and other resources
  • Investment into new transdisciplinary resources
  • Start up support of new research or teaching projects
  • Integrated continuing education and public relation


Researchers from presently three faculties of the Ludwig-Maximilians-University (geosciences, biological sciences, veterinary sciences), from the Bavarian State Collections of Science, as well as from other institutions collaborate in a multidisciplinary approach (see research section for examples). Presently, input subjects of members include physical anthropology, palaeoanatomy, palaeooceanography, palaeobiology/-ecology, biosedimentology, nano-cristallography, biogeophysics, systematic botany, systematic zoology and ecology, but our research output aims at crossing these borders. We have cooperations with other subjects such as biochemistry and and are also open for new members.

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Techniques and Facilities

Labs of the center include a sophisticated stable isotope lab, 3-D-reconstructional hard- and software, high-resolution digital image and microscopic analysis, underwater remote operating vessels, water analysis equipment, molecular labs and one of the largest botanic, zoological, anthropological, palaeoanatomic and palaeontological collections of Europe, representing a huge biodiversity archive and database, which is accompanied by the large, and scientifically renowned botanic garden of Munich.

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The center provides, and will provide, multidisciplinary course modules to the geological, geoscience and biological courses, such as seminars, excursions and a full set of lectures. We will increase this activity for the newly designed courses of the respective faculties. We particularly aim at interchange between science subjects, inviting biology and geoscience students to join our course modules. We also plan to establish a complete transdisciplinary master course in the future.

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Knowledge Transfer

We perform a wide array of continuing education activities and are open to all other cooperations of knowledge transfer