Bernhard Rensch Prize

Since 2004, the Bernhard Rensch Prize has been awarded by the Society in recognition of outstanding achievements by young scientists in the field of biological systematics.

Previous award winners

The titles of the papers for which the prize winners received the award show the diversity of topics in biological systematics.

Award procedure and application

The GfBS award is given to young scientists for outstanding work in the field of biological systematics. The award was initiated by Prof. Dr. Ernst Mayr, honorary member of the GfBS, who died in 2005. With a generous donation he laid the foundation for an annual award.

Dissertation theses and/or other scientific works from all disciplines represented in the GfBS can be submitted. That means botanical, paleontological and zoological works are equally welcome. The papers will be judged on their scientific excellence, innovation and creativity. The Bernhard Rensch Prize committee, which consists of GfBS board members and an external jury member, decides on the awarding of the prize. It is important that applicants must be the main or sole author of the submitted work.


The Bernhard Rensch Prize is endowed with 1.500 Euros and is intended to honor the achievements of Bernhard Rensch, the name patron of the prize, for the synthetic theory of evolution and organismic zoology in general.

The Bernhard Rensch Prize Medal of the GfBS.
[Translate to English:] Bernhard rensch-Medaille der GfBS


The prize is awarded together with the Bernhard Rensch Medal at the GfBS annual meeting, where the award winner presents the awarded work in a public lecture. The Bernhard Rensch Award includes one year of free membership in the GfBS. The GfBS will cover travel and accommodation costs for the conference at which the prize will be awarded.


Applications for the award are open to:

  • GfBS members and non-members
  • The applicant must be the sole or main author of the submitted work(s).
  • Papers can be submitted in English or German. Work from the fields of botany, paleontology and zoology are equally welcome.
  • The applicant's dissertation must not date back more than three years.

The call for applications will be announced in time via the listserver, our website and the newsletter.