Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology

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The Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology is a German institute for evolutionary biology. It is located in Plön, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany.


The Institute was founded by German zoologist Otto Zacharias as Hydrobiologische Station zu Plön. Working in Italy in the 1880s, Zacharias was inspired by the highly recognised Stazione Zoologica in Naples, founded in 1870 by Anton Dohrn, to set up the first "Biological Station" for freshwater research in Germany. He secured financial support from the Prussian government and several private individuals to establish it on Großer Plöner See in 1891, as a private research institute.[1]

As the director, Zacharias published research reports from 1893 on the Station's activities, which were recorded from 1905 in the Archives of Hydrobiology.[2] In so-called "summer schools" Zacharias trained teachers and laity interested in working with the microscope.[3]

It became part of the Max Planck Society in 1948, and was renamed in 1966 as the Max Planck Institute of Limnology.[4]

It was renamed again as Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in 2007, marking a change of the research focus towards evolutionary biology.

Coordinates: 54°9′36″N 10°26′2″E / 54.16000°N 10.43389°E / 54.16000; 10.43389


  1. ^ Wetzel, N. / Nöthlich, R.: Vom „Homo literatus“ zum „Self made man“ – Der Werdegang des Emil Otto Zacharias. In: Mauritiana, 19 (2006), No. 3, p. 463-477. (in German)
  2. ^ Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon, Vol 20, Leipzig, 1909, p. 831. (in German)
  3. ^ Zacharias, O.: Ferienkurse in Hydrobiologie und Planktonkunde an der Biologischen Station zu Plön, in: Archiv für Hydrobiologie und Planktonkunde 4 (1909), p. 267-272. (in German)
  4. ^ History on official website

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