Systematics and Evolution

Natural history collections provide an immense record of biodiversity on Earth. These repositories have traditionally been used to address fundamental questions about evolution. The Systematics and Evolution Research Programme is an academic community with a mission to advance knowledge in the fields of evolutionary biology in the broadest sense. We are focusing on phylogenetics, molecular evolution, and genome evolution, evolutionary ecology, population biology, paleobiology, evolutionary theories as well as describing new taxa and providing taxonomic classifications. We bring together researchers, students, and professionals to explore the origins, diversification, and relationships of all living organisms, from micro-organisms to mammals. So, if you are passionate about exploring the history of life, join us and turn your curiosity into ground-breaking discoveries.

In the field and lab

We are opening the door to a wide range of previously intractable questions by enabling the study of evolution through time, amenable to a diversity of species over longer timescales in natural populations. We are applying a multidisciplinary approach relaying on morphology, ontology as well as high-throughput sequencing methods, novel algorithms to gain insights into evolutionary processes and mechanisms. We are also facilitating the development of methodologies reconstructing evolutionary history and providing more accurate taxonomic classifications for all the ramifying lines of life.

Accessions to the collections

Natural history collections offer an alternative way to study evolution over reasonably long time scales. They constitute an impressive record of life on earth with ca. 14 million specimens housed in Luomus. We are continuously working in the field around the globe to enrich these collections for further studies. In addition to the preserved and living specimens themselves our collections contain detailed meta-data such as field notes, observations, geo-references, audio/video recordings and photographs, which provide a rich source of material for integrative studies of systematics and evolution. 

Researchers as educators

Our programme combines cutting-edge research with high-quality education and training to produce top-class graduates who are capable of providing innovative solutions to challenges the specific subject areas in evolutionary ecology, phylogenetic and biogeographical studies at the populational, specific and higher taxonomic levels. Our interdisciplinary approach equips students with the skills and knowledge needed to thrive in academia, industry, and beyond.

Research groups

The themes of the Systematics and Evolution research programme include evolutionary systematics, taxonomy, biodiversity, speciation, phylogeography and ontology. The methods employed by the programme’s researchers include phylogenetics, DNA barcoding, comparative morphology and population genetics. Research results can include new information on the kinship between species in individual groups.

Further information