Tasks and function of the LIB

The Leibniz Institute for the Analysis of Biodiversity Change (LIB) is dedicated to research into biological diversity and how it changes, the findings from which have illuminating relevance for society as a whole. To better understand current mass extinction of flora and fauna, scientists look for correlations and causes of – often – human-made change. The goal is to find solutions for the conservation of ecosystems and species in order to preserve the basis of life as we currently know it.

The LIB is one of the eight natural history research museums of the Leibniz Association. It comprises the Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig – Leibniz Institute for Animal Biodiversity (Museum Koenig), Bonn, and the former Centre of Natural History (CeNak) of the University of Hamburg, which were merged into the LIB on 1 July 2021 following a decision of the Joint Science Conference (GWK). The CeNak serves as the basis for the construction of a new, innovative research museum of the LIB in Hamburg – the Evolutioneum.

The LIB comprises more than 15 million collection objects, primarily from the field of zoology, but also from geology-palaeontology and mineralogy. Using state-of-the-art technologies, researchers study the changes in biodiversity based on this valuable, historical object database in order to answer relevant questions of our society for the future. Through the collection objects, they can describe changes, some of which are human-made, and model future development scenarios. As an integrated research museum, the LIB promotes innovative research. Documentation, indexing and the expansion of the collections are important goals of this research infrastructure.

At the LIB, scientists around the world work in international networks to document and analyse the diversity of species, including endangered species, their evolution and ecology, and underlying genetic processes. In doing so, they look back into the history of the earth, reconstruct the development of species and analyse the current influence of us humans on the environment.

The LIB transfers fundamental and constantly newly acquired knowledge into society. In exhibitions, events, scientific conferences, publications and other educational and communication formats, it gets to the bottom of essential questions. Cooperation with schools, universities and other institutions in the fields of education, politics, conservation and culture is an important part of its tasks. The LIB provides access to various service facilities such as libraries and gene databases. As an international institution, the LIB promotes the study of its collections by external researchers.


A self-introduction by the LIB

The Leibniz Institute for the Analysis of Biodiversity Change (LIB) is an amalgamation of the Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig (ZFMK), Bonn, and the Centre of Natural History of the University of Hamburg. With Prof. Dr Bernhard Misof as General Director and Adrian Grüter as Managing Director, the LIB currently employs around 219 members of staff, 135 of these in Bonn and 84 in Hamburg.

The LIB includes museums in Bonn and Hamburg, which act as a public window to our research work. The Museum Koenig in Bonn and the Zoological, the Mineralogical and the Geological-Palaeontological Museum in Hamburg offer visitors insights into the 15 million objects of the extensive natural science collections and promotes the exploration of the various facets of nature and the linkage of interdependencies.

In accordance with the currently applicable charter, the Foundation Board of the ZFMK is responsible for the legality, expediency and economic efficiency of the Foundation’s activities and holds comprehensive rights to information. Chairman of the Foundation Board is Dr Michael H. Wappelhorst, Ministry for Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia.

To the external staff directory in Bonn
To the external staff directory in Hamburg

News about the LIB

  • Museums, Special exhibitions

    Special photo exhibition “Seasons” of the Naturfototreff Eschmar at the Museum Koenig

    From Jan. 20-Aug. 21,22, the exhibition “Seasons” presents a pictorial yearly journey through nature’s potpourri.

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  • ©DNAqua-Net
    LIB, Research

    Comprehensive practical guide for DNA-based methods published

    International research network DNAqua-Net presents guidelines for the application of DNA-based biomonitoring tools.

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  • © LIB
    Faces of the LIB, LIB

    Faces of the LIB: Johanna Hollensteiner

    She is responsible for events at the LIB in Hamburg. When not engrossed in planning here, she is drawn to travel the world.

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