Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin

Museum; Botanical Garden

Original name(s)
    Institution Address

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

    Type of organisation

    Institution Address

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

    Museum; Botanical Garden (State)

    Director Representative

    Prof. Dr.Thomas Borsch


    +49 30 838 50133

    Structure Chart

    Staff fields

    scientific staff collections permanent: 5.0.scientific staff non permanent: 22.0.scientific staff permanent: 5.0.scientific staff post doc non permanent: 7.0.staff administrative permanent: 63.0.staff collection managers technicians permanent: 57.0.staff exhibitions permanent: 3.0;staff total: 176.0

    Membership fields

    Full member

    General Description

    Link to: Research page

    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.


    Research Fields

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

    Research Initiative

    On-line outreach activitie : : [['No']]
    other outreach activitie : : [["A variety of educational activities are offered. Exhibitions, self-guiding trails, talks, workshops, special tours or mushroom advice service are mainly part of adult education. Guided tours for groups address nearly all target groups from adults to schools. Special school programmes are run in cooperation with Botany School (i.e. special teacher training centre in cooperation with Berlin Senate Administration for Education: Botanikschule and Fortbildungszentrum für Bildung für nachhaltige Entwicklung = Education for Sustainable Development Training Centre).\nIn addition to programmes that focus on botany, nature conservation, renewable resources or climate change other school programmes are based on the theory of Education for Sustainable Development, e.g. 'Fruits of the Tropics', “The World of the Oil Palm”, “Coffee” in which students learn about the connections between everyday life and conditions of employment related to crop cultivation, plants and ecology, conventional and fair trade, as well as product and food. The programme 'Fruits of the Tropics' runs in cooperation with the German Development Service (DED, now GIZ) and the Centre for Developmental Education and Information EPIZ. BGBM’s educational work in collaboration with both training centres was awarded by the German UNESCO Commission for Education for Sustainable Development for 2009 till 2010 and 2011 to 2012 as official Decade Projects. This recognition is to reward examples of good practice and create models worthy of imitation for other projects (German Commission for UNESCO, 2011). More"]]
    Non academic trainings : : [['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\nSeveral internships for students are available.']]
    Academic trainings : : [['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”.\nIn the master programme „Evolution und Biodiversität II“ we provide courses in the “Modul Evolution und Biodiversität II”. Furthermore dissertations and other theses are supervised.']]
    General description : : [['BGBM trains gardeners (gardener for ornamental plants and perennial plants) in a three-year vocational training programme.']]


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