During his school days, Werner Kunz studied the distribution of birds in his home county in the district of Osnabrück and published the book “The Birdlife of Bersenbrück County” in 1959. He then studied biology, chemistry and physics in Münster and achieved a doctorate in 1966 with his thesis on chromosomes in insects.

After several years as a scientific research assistant in Münster, he went to Yale University in New Haven, USA, where he was engaged as a guest researcher and scientist in 1970 and 1971. It was there that he changed his career field and became a molecular biologist. After returning to Germany, he began his research in 1973 as Professor of General Biology at the Institute of Genetics at the University of Düsseldorf, studying Drosophila until 1982.

Changing his career field yet again, he and his group of scientists studied the parasite Schistosoma, the pathogen that causes schistosomiasis, a widespread tropical disease.

Since 2004 he has been working on scientific theories about the principles of grouping organisms into species. He also wrote a book on this subject entitled “Do Species Exist? - Principles of Taxonomic Classification”, published by Wiley-Blackwell in 2012. It was after this period that he began writing this book on the theoretical foundations of nature conservation and species protection: “Species Conservation in Managed Habitats – the Myth of a Pristine Nature” (published by Wiley-Blackwell).

Werner Kunz has visited almost every continent in the world, photographing his preferred subjects, birds and butterflies. His outstanding photos taken during these expeditions can now be seen on the Internet at


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Prof. Dr. Werner Kunz i. R.

Dr. Werner Kunz
Professor for Biology
Institute for Genetics
Universitaetsstr. 1
D-40225 Duesseldorf
Phone 0211-26106714
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