The Leibniz Institute for the Analysis of Biodiversity Change

is a research museum of the Leibniz Association

Biodiversity Informatics



In biodiversity informatics at the ZFMK we deal with everything that has to do with information about the occurrence, distribution and appearance of biological organisms.

For this purpose data models and tools are developed and used to enable the collection, further processing and use of data in a broader context. One focus is on sustainability, i.e. the long term perspective for the data and the semantics of the data, i.e. the meaning. The aim is to make the information available in an interdisciplinary, transparent and reusable way. We commit ourselves to the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge and strive to provide all information according to the FAIR principles.

Biodiversity informatics allows to answer the following questions:

  • Changing distributions over time
  • Niche modeling
  • Online species catalogues
  • Reliable taxonomic catalogues
  • Complex biological interactions (e.g. health, food security, environmental quality, national security)

The three focal points of biodiversity informatics at the ZFMK are:

  • Research on biodiversity data and Open Knowledge
  • Digitisation of Natural Science Collections
  • Development of infrastructure

The core of the research is the structuring of "Big Data" and the presentation of morphological phenotypes. This is pursued in the project "eScience-Compliant Standards for Morphology - the MDB Prototype" ( and

The Diversity Workbench suite ( is used as a central data management framework for the digitisation of scientific collections. The digital collection catalogues are published on the house's own collection portal, GBIF, and Europeana. Entire data sets from e.g. publications are published with their own DOI via GFBio.