Prof. Dr. Walter G. Berendsohn

+49 30 838 50143
+49 30 838-4 50143
Botanischer Garten und Botanisches Museum Berlin-Dahlem
Freie Universität Berlin
Königin-Luise-Straße 6-8
Curriculum vitae 
  • Studies of Biology at the University of Hamburg, University of the West Indies (Mona) and the Freie Universität Berlin, in 1985 diploma in Biology (thesis on "Physiological, Morphological and Yield Characteristics of the Winged Bean, Psophocarpus tetragonolobus). 1983 to 1986 consultant, 1987 to 1990 research director of the Jardín Botánico La Laguna in El Salvador, C.A.  1990 doctorate from the FU Berlin ("The arboreal vegetation of the Laderas de La Laguna, a neotropical forest fragment in El Salvador - A computer aided study"). 1990 Curator; 1991 Senior Curator at the Botanical Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin-Dahlem, Head, Electronic Data Processing and Documentation; 1998 Head, Dept. of Biodiversity Informatics and Laboratories, 2000 Director and Professor, 2012 Head, Dept. of Research and Biodiversity Informatics.
Research interests 
  • Flora and vegetation of El Salvador, Central America (particularly dendroflora)
  • Biodiversity Informatics, particularly information modelling, networking, taxon concepts, and biological collections
Current involvement in collaborative projects 
  • Building a Global Registration and Index System for Scientific Algae Names and Types (DFG, co-PI)
  • Achieving additivity of structured taxonomic character data by persistently linking them to preserved individual specimens (DFG, co-PI)
  • AnnoSys - A generic annotation system for biodiversity data phase 2 (DFG, project lead)
  • A community platform for the development and documentation of the ABCD standard for natural history collections (DFG, BGBM co-lead)
  • A standardised and optimised process for data acquisition from digital images of herbarium specimens (DFG, BGBM lead)
  • Bridging in Biodiversity Sciences – BIBS at the Berlin-Brandenburg Institute of Advanced Biodiversity Research (BMBF, Co-PI)
  • BioCASE (initiative; co-coordinator)
  • Caryophyllales Network (initiative, co-coordinator)
  • Dendroflora of El Salvador (various; project lead) 
  • EDIT Platform for Cybertaxonomy (initiative; co-coordinator)
  • EU-BON (EU; participant)
  • EUROPEANA DSI (EU; coordinator for OpenUp! natural history aggregator)
  • Euro+Med PlantBase (initiative; co-coordinator)
  • GBIF Germany (initiative; speaker)
  • GBIF Germany Node Plants, Algae and Protists (lead Plants)
  • Red Lists 2020 - Germany (BfN; project lead)
  • SYNTHESYS 3 (EU; participant)
Mandates in scientific advisory boards and committees 
Global Plants Initiative, Steering Committee (member, 2012)
World Flora Online, Technical Working Group (member, 2012 co-chair, 2017)
GBIF Governing Board Budget Committee (chair, 2013-2017, member)
German GBIF [Global Biodiversity Information Facility] node coordinator's group (speaker, August 2001, last renewed 2013)
Conseil scientifique e-ReColNat (member, 2014)
Swedish LifeWatch Scientific Advisory Group (Member, 2011)
CETAF [Consortium of European Taxonomic Facilities] (BioCASE representative, 2008)
GBIF Governing Board (German delegate [DFG], March 2001)
Memberships in scientific societies 
International Association for Plant Taxonomy (IAPT)
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Tropenökologie (DGTÖ)
Gesellschaft für Biologische Systematik (GfBS)