Prof. Dr. Matthias Glaubrecht
1984–89 studies of biology and geology-palaeontology in Hamburg; 1994 doctorate in Hamburg; 1994–95 research associate at the Zoological Institute and the Museum of the University of Hamburg; 1996 visiting research fellow at the Australian Museum Sydney; 1997–2014 curator for malakozoology at the Museum of Natural History in Berlin; 2006–2009 head of the research department at the Museum of Natural History Berlin and member of the board of directors; 2010 habilitation at the Humboldt-University Berlin; since 2010 visiting professor at the Silpakorn-University in Bangkok; since 2014 professor for animal biodiversity at the University of Hamburg and founding director of the Center for Natural History (CeNak).
Prizes and grants: Werner and Inge Grüter-Prize of the Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft, 1996; Bscher-Media Prize of the Humboldt-Universitätsgesellschaft, 2006.
- Das Ende der Evolution. Der Mensch und die Vernichtung der Arten, Munich 2019.
- Adelbert von Chamisso. Reise um die Welt (ed.), Berlin 2013.
- with Nils Seethaler, Barbara Teßmann und Katrin Koel-Abt (eds.): The potential of biohistory: Re-discovering Adelbert von Chamisso’s skull of an Aleut collected during the ›Rurik‹ Expedition 1815–1818 in Alaska, in: Zoosystematics and Evolution 89/2 (2013), pp. 317–336.
- with Wolfgang Dohle (eds.): Discovering the alternation of generations in salps (Tunicata, Thaliacea): Adelbert von Chamisso’s dissertation »De Salpa« 1819 – its material, origin and reception in the early nineteenth century, in: Zoosystematics and Evolution 88/2 (2012), pp. 317–363.
- Naturkunde mit den Augen des Dichters. Mit Siebenmeilenstiefeln zum Artkonzept bei Adelbert von Chamisso, in: Korrespondenzen und Transformationen. Neue Perspektiven auf Adelbert von Chamisso, in: Marie-Theres Federhofer und Jutta Weber (eds.), Göttingen 2012, pp. 51–84.
- Evolution in action. Case studies in adaptive radiation, speciation, and the origin of biodiversity (ed.). Special volume from the SPP 1127 »Radiations – Genesis of Biological diversity« of the DFG, Heidelberg – Berlin 2010.
Why are There So Many Species?
In the field of the natural sciences, notions of force - understood as a cause that brings about change - by no means only permeate physics. Rather, they have gradually taken on a stronger contour in natural history too, with regard to form, diversity and distribution as determining influencing variables and evolutionary factors.
In recent times, biology has been emphasized and argumentatively substantiated several times as an autonomous science - i.e. one whose fundamentals cannot be reduced to physics, for example. Under the premise of presenting consistent guidelines, forces that are essential for biology can be characterized in several respects.
In order to clarify the shifting perceptions of the impact of natural forces in the context of biodiversity, a synergistic view, especially of ecology from an evolutionary perspective, seems especially promising. Here, understood in the classic sense as the study of the balance of nature, ecology is indeed developed as a key discipline of biology, but its fundamental conceptual idea of effective environmental forces, such as equilibrium-adjusting forces of the environment, needs to be examined more thoroughly.
Notions of a dynamic equilibrium, a state that is constantly changing and appears as if it were self-adjusting, are prevalent in natural history research in the field which was only much later referred to as ecology. However, so far no systematic investigation has been carried out to fathom and analyse the respective perceptions of the forces of nature that may underlie the occurrence of such an equilibrium.
The aim of this project is to work towards an assessment of conceptions and changing responses to the question of the forces, factors and mechanisms of biological diversity (biodiversity).