Executive Committee of the DGaaE
About Prof. Dr Thomas Schmitt
Thomas Schmitt, born 1968 in Rodalben (Palatinate), has been interested in insects since his childhood. He began collecting insects at the age of eleven and took his first scientific steps by participating several times in "Jugend forscht". From 1989 to 1996 he studied biology and Romance languages and literature in Saarbrücken and Lisbon. Subsequently, he worked on his doctorate on a phlyogeographic topic under Prof. Dr Alfred Seitz (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz) until 1999; in this context, the molecular biogeography of four butterfly species was studied over wide areas of Europe. After a postdoctoral period in the research group of Prof. Seitz, he moved to the biogeographical chair of the University of Trier in 2001 as a research associate, headed by Prof. Dr Paul Müller. In 2003 he was appointed to the junior professorship of Molecular Biogeography and in 2009 to the same professorship in Trier. In 2014, he accepted the joint offer of the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg and the Senckenberg Society for Nature Research for the W3-Professorship for Entomology and has since then headed the Senckenberg German Entomological Institute as its director.
Thomas Schmitt's scientific interests focus on classical and molecular biogeography and ecology, evolutionary biology, conservation biology and conservation genetics, and butterfly systematics. His main areas of work are in the high mountains of Europe, the Mediterranean region and the adjacent Sahara. His main focus is on butterflies, but he has also published work on moths, dragonflies, caddisflies, gnats, scorpions, amphibians, and montane plant species.