The Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) was positively evaluated

IZW Alfred-Kowalke-Str.
IZW. Photo: Steven Seet/IZW

The Senate of the Leibniz Association has published the results of the external scientific evaluation of the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW), Berlin, Germany. It commends the institute for its excellent work and recommends that the government should fund the institute for another seven years.

The IZW was appraised by an international evaluation panel in June 2013 appointed by the Senate of the Leibniz Association. In statement published today, the Senate summarized the outcome of the evaluation by welcoming the very positive development of the IZW since the last evaluation and emphasised the engaging and competent leadership of the director. The overall concept and the scientific objectives are convincing. The Senate and its panel of experts thereby supported the updated mission of the IZW to investigate the resilience and adaptability of wildlife populations in the face of global change and to develop the scientific basis for novel approaches to wildlife conservation. The institute has achieved international visibility and is well accepted. Its achievements in its inter-departmental research foci – Adaptations, Diseases and Conservation – have been evaluated with “very good”. A particular strength of the IZW lies in the specific know-how of reproduction biology and reproduction medicine and its very successful long-term studies of wildlife populations.

Besides its successful research, the IZW offers high quality scientific services. Furthermore it is very active in offering consultancy services for policy makers and the public, and in transferring knowledge and technology.  

The IZW successfully cooperates with institutions in Germany and worldwide. Its relationships with the neighbouring universities in Berlin and Potsdam are described as intense and fruitful. The achieved level of publications is convincing and has developed very well in quantity and quality. The panel of experts also praised the contribution of the extensive and dedicated interdisciplinary collaboration across the institution’s departmental boundaries to the scientific success of the institute.

The panel and the Senate also noted that with the high standard of equipment and laboratory facilities, the IZW provides an excellent service for external clients across a wide variety of scientific fields. The scientific collections of the IZW in wildlife pathology, wildlife genetics, morphology, tissues of reproductive organs and gametes, and ultrasound and computed tomography images of threatened wildlife species are also of great scientific value – the institute’s task will be to facilitate their access by the international scientific community in the future. The dedicated efforts by the IZW to publicise its results of scientific research to the wider world through various media was highlighted by the panel, as it is an important contribution to provide information to the general public about core issues of biological diversity (biodiversity), wildlife conservation and sustainability.

The Senate also emphasised that the IZW was exemplary in its activities to train young scientists, conduct vocational training for technical positions and to improve work-life balance.

The Senate recommended that the federal and state governments continue the joint funding of the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) for another period of seven years. The director of the IZW, Heribert Hofer, welcomed the recommendations of the Leibniz Senate. “The evaluation confirms that the IZW has developed well and operates on a high level of scientific standard”, Hofer commented on the positive evaluation result. He thanked all the employees of the IZW for their excellent work and commended their continued commitment to the IZW’s mission.

Each institute of the Leibniz Association is evaluated at least once every seven years. An external panel of experts evaluates the institute’s set-up, past performance and future direction on the basis of written documents and a two-day visit. The evaluation panel’s report is the basis for the scientific and financial recommendations by the Senate of the Leibniz Association. The statement and recommendations of the Senate provides the independent assessment on which the Joint Science Conference (Gemeinsame Wissenschaftskonferenz, GWK) of the German federal and state governments decide whether to continue funding, and is published on the website of the Leibniz Association.

For the full statement of the Senate, see the following link to the website of the Leibniz Association:



Steven Seet (+ 49 - 30 - 51 68 – 108;

Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW)
of the Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.
Alfred-Kowalke-Straße 17
10315 Berlin


The Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) investigates the vitality and adaptability of wildlife populations in mammalian and avian species of outstanding ecological interest that face anthropogenic challenges. It studies the adaptive value of traits in the life cycle of wildlife, wildlife diseases and clarifies the biological basis and development of methods for the protection of threatened species. Such knowledge is a precondition for a scientifically based approach to conservation and for the development of concepts for the ecologically sustainable use of natural resources.

 The Leibniz Association is made up of 86 independent research and scientific institutes, as well as two associated members. Their public and research functions are of national importance and comprise a major component of Germany’s publicly-funded research potential. Leibniz Institutes maintain more than 2,300 contracted cooperations with international partners in academia and industry, and some 2,200 foreign scientists contribute to Leibniz Institutes’ output on a temporary basis each year. Formal cooperative partnerships have been or are currently being developed with scientific institutions in France, Japan, Korea, Canada, Poland, Taiwan, and India. Third-party funds of about € 330 million per year indicate high competitiveness and excellence. Leibniz Institutes currently coordinate 75 projects funded by the European Union. They were also awarded grants by the European Union (with a value of € 42 million) and the German Research Foundation (DFG, € 55 million) in 2010, while € 51 million are a result of cooperations with industry partners. Leibniz Institutes contribute to clusters of excellence in fields such as mathematics, optical technologies, materials research, bio-medical research, environmental research, bio- and nanotechnology, as well as biodiversity, economic policy, and educational research. Altogether, ca. 17,200 people are employed at Leibniz Institutes, among them 8,200 researchers, including 3,300 junior scientists.