The research covers a broad spectrum of organism-based zoology. The Institute focuses mainly on issues of evolutionary biology, in particular the origin of biological disparity and diversity. In order to understand the causes of diversity and disparity, the researchers investigate the background mechanisms and conditions of the driving forces of evolution; forces responsible for changes but also ensuring stability. In their research they apply a variety of different methods and techniques from classical morphology to molecular biology.
The research concentrates on the Arthropoda and Annelida among invertebrates, and on fishes and mammals among vertebrates.