Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin

Original name(s)
    Institution Address

    Königin-Luise-Straße 6-8
    14195 Berlin-Dahlem

    Main areas of taxonomic expertise

    • Algae
    • Amaranthaceae
    • Araceae
    • Asteraceae
    • Cactaceae
    • Campanulaceae
    • Chenopodiaceae (Chenopodium)
    • Diatoms
    • Eriocaulaceae
    • Macrofungi
    • Gentianaceae
    • Nyctaginaceae
    • Nymphaeaceae
    • Polygonaceae (Coccoloba)
    • Ranunculaceae
    • Thalictrum
    • Tropical bryophytes
    • Lichenised Fungi

    Type of organisation

    Institution Address

    Königin-Luise-Straße 6-8
    14195 Berlin-Dahlem

    Director Representative

    Prof. Dr.Thomas Borsch


    Structure Chart

    url :
    file : bgbm_organigramm.pdf

    Governing & Executive bodies

    The Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin-Dahlem (BGBM) is a so-called Zentraleinrichtung (central unit) of Freie Universität Berlin. The BGBM is managed by its director and is organized in four departments:

    • Department 1 – Research and Biodiversity Informatics
    • Department 2 – Biological Collections
    • Department 3 – Science Communication
    • Department 4 – Administration and Scientific Services

    The preservation of the Garden and of the living plants’ collections, along with the maintenance of the technical infrastructure and the buildings is carried out by the so-called “Gemeinschaftsbetrieb” (joint operational management).




    Staff fields

    staff total166.0
    scientific staff (permanent)5.0
    scientific staff (non permanent)22.0
    scientific staff post doc (non permanent)7.0
    scientific staff collections (permanent)5.0
    staff collection managers technicians (permanent)57.0
    staff administrative (permanent)63.0
    staff exhibitions (permanent)3.0

    General Description

    What we study – Our research program

    Exploring the Earth’s plant diversity is a highly topical research field with countless new discoveries. Building upon the ground-breaking work of Carl L. Willdenow, Adolf Engler and Ignatz Urban as well as long-standing international partnerships, the Botanic Garden Berlin holds a crucial position in the global network of botanical institutions.

    Our research is to a large extent based on our scientific plant collections. Taxonomic research, through which plants are identified, described, named and classified, is a central element of our daily work. Furthermore, we study the phylogenesis of plants and the mechanisms of their evolution. We focus our research on the following model groups of flowering plants and microorganisms: AsteralesCaryophyllales and Diatoms.

    Besides this, our research activities are focused on particular regions of the world, where we carry out inventories and investigations of plant diversity together with our local partners. The results of our activities include contributions to Floras, identification guides (including genetic ‘Barcodes’) and concepts for the conservation and sustainable use of plant diversity. Our focal regions are: Europe and Mediterranean area including the Caucasus and Cuba and the Caribbean region.

    It is essential to link information about organisms and specimens in the collections, to secure this data sustainably and to make widely accessible and usable. This is the main task of Biodiversity Informatics. To develop efficient software solutions and services that help to process knowledge on biodiversity in a “taxonomically intelligent” way is one of the major tasks of this research and development group.  Thereby, we make our collections accessible and work together with our international partners in order to make information on biodiversity available to everyone.

    How we conduct our research – Modern research infrastructure

    Our research infrastructures and expertise links collections with information resources and up-to-date laboratory technology:

    • The scientific collections of living and preserved plants as well as our library represent a comprehensive resource for research.
    • In the greenhouses and outdoor beds of the botanic garden it is possible to grow plants for research purposes and to carry out experiments in a controlled environment.
    • Our laboratories support all up-to-date methods for analyzing the genome of plants as well as their morphological and anatomical features (light and electron microscopy).
    • Comprehensive databases on biological diversity are developed, updated regularly and made available online.
    • Our IT service supports not only our Biodiversity Informatics group but helps to link and coordinate all of our research and collection activities.

    For bachelor, master and PhD students we provide research and training opportunities on evolution, systematics and diversity of plants, in cooperation with the Freie Universität Berlin’s Department of Biology, Chemistry and Pharmacy (Working group of Prof. Borsch, Institute of Biology / Botany(link is external)). Our research infrastructures, our long-term research programs and international partnerships provide an excellent professional learning environment.

    Link of the Research page : Research page

    Link of the Annual report :

    Research Fields

    • Anthropology / Physical anthropology (46.20.00)

    Research Initiative

    Activities and outreach with Universities

    BGBM is involved in several courses of the Institute of Biology at Freie Universität Berlin. Within the bachelor programme, we cover the lecture “Das Pflanzenreich” (the plant kingdom) and supervise the courses „Bestimmungsübungen“ (plant determination) and „Grundpraktikum“ (basic course) of the “Modul Botanik”.

    In the master programme „Evolution und Biodiversität II“ we provide courses in the “Modul Evolution und Biodiversität II”. Furthermore dissertations and other theses are supervised.


    Activities and outreach with other public
    BGBM takes place in the so-called “ecological year” programme and offers two internships in cooperation with Botany School (see below) and Stiftung Naturschutz Berlin and

    Several internships for students are available.



    Gesche Hohlstein
    +49 (0)30 838 50134

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