This research program focuses on reconstructing the evolution of groups of organisms, retracing the relationships among them, and understanding their distribution and biodiversity in various regions of the world. In addition to traditional approaches—taxonomy, systematics, and biogeography—research tools include modern molecular genetics methods. For example, using genetic and, more recently, genomic data sets, our researchers investigate speciation processes in projects on population genetics and explain adaptive radiations by means of phylogenetic and phylogeographical analyses. These techniques are also applied in conservation biology and are indispensable for understanding the evolution and diversity of animal groups in biodiversity hotspots. This permits us to not only investigate species alive today, but also conduct research on fossils (including, for example, species encased in amber) in the larger context of biological evolution. Discovering and describing formerly unknown species and recording them in scientific collections is fundamental in this aspect of our research.