The study of fossil vertebrates and invertebrates profits from the rich fossil lagersätten of Baden-Württemberg to a special degree. Currently, scientific excavations in the Germanic Trias (Vellberg, Trossingen), the White Jurassic of Nusplingen as well as in the lower Miocene Randecker Maar are in focus. Combining the fossil yield of these and previous excavations (e.g. Miocene of the Ulm-Region, oligocene karst fillings, lower Oligocene of Rauenberg/Frauenweiler, Jurassic of the Alb, Keuper of Kupferzell), as well as the findings from the Holzmaden protected area and the encompassing collections, allow for research in the systematics, phylogeny and distribution history of numerous fossil organisms. Research emphasis is on changes in the ecosystems of Triassic vertebrates, the study of the Nusplingen marine ecosystem and of the flora and fauna of the 17 million year-old lake sediments of the Randecker Maar and the 13 million year-old lake sediments of the Steinheim Basin. Structures in fossil plants give information about plant taxonomy as well as the climate of past times, including paleoatmospheric CO2 content.
Our biomimetic research serves to better understand functional principles of plant structures and tries to make use of those principles in technical applications.
The unique and outstanding amber collection and other collections of fossil insects are the basis for descriptions of new insect taxa and knowledge of their phylogeny, distribution history and paleoecology.