The Leibniz Institute for the Analysis of Biodiversity Change

is a research museum of the Leibniz Association

Scientific Animal Keeping Facility



In addition to the live animals shown in the exhibition (Freshwater – life in flow), the ZFMK houses a scientific animal keeping facility. Lower vertebrates (fishes, amphibians, and reptiles) and various invertebrates are kept and bred for research purposes in modern terrarium and aquarium units. Captive animals enable us to investigate topics which are hard to study in the wildlife, and thereby deliver important insights into e.g. ethology, reproductive biology, larval development, and functional morphology. These observations complement collection-based research and field work on taxonomic and evolutionary questions. Furthermore, this research contributes to species conservation by collecting data useful for conservation breeding programmes or the protection of wildlife populations.


The research focus in our aquaria is on South-East Asian fishes from Sulawesi. Ongoing projects investigate functional and eco-morphology of an adaptive radiation of sailfin silversides, in particular their jaw apparatus and different feeding habits, and the evolution of the unique reproduction strategy in Sulawesi rice fish using different strains.


In amphibians, our research focusses on developmental biology of tropical frogs. Ongoing projects concern larval development, comparative larval morphology, and bioacoustics.



Contact Person

Head of animal care

Timo Ansprechperson

Timo Hartmann
Animal Keeper

Tel.: +49 228 9122-274
Fax: +49 228 9122-212
E-Mail: t.hartmann [at]


Scientific management of animal husbandry

Claudia Koch Ansprechpartnerin

Dr. Claudia Koch
Radiation Protection Officer
Animal Welfare Officer

Tel.: +49 228 9122-234
Fax: +49 228 9122-212
E-Mail: c.koch [at]