Previous award winners

The titles of the works for which the prize winners received the Bernhard Rensch Prize in the past represent the diversity of topics in biological systematics.

Allocation mode and application

The Bernhard Rensch Prize is awarded to a young scientist for outstanding work in the field of biological systematics. The award is based on the initiative of the deceased GfBS honorary member Prof. Dr. Ernst Mayr, who with a generous donation laid the capital stock for an annual award of the prize.

Dissertations and/or other scientific works from all subject areas represented by the GfBS can be submitted. This means that botanical, paleontological and zoological works are equally welcome. The work will be assessed for its scientific excellence, innovation and creativity. The Bernhard Rensch Prize committee, which includes members of the GfBS board and an external jury member, will decide on the award of the prize. It is important that applicants must be the main or sole author of the submitted work.


The prize is endowed with € 1,500 and is financed by the GfBS mainly through the return on the generous donation by Ernst Mayr. At the suggestion of the prize donor, the Bernhard Rensch Prize is intended to honor the achievements of the name patron Bernhard Rensch (1900-1990) 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 will be awarded together with the Bernhard Rensch Medal at the annual GfBS conference. The award winner is expected to present the award-winning work in a public lecture. Associated with the Bernhard Rensch Prize is a one-year free membership in the GfBS. The GfBS pays the award winner's travel and accommodation costs for the conference at which the award is presented.

Application Process

The following can apply for the award:

  • GfBS members and non-members
  • The applicant must be the sole author or main author of the submitted work.
  • Works in English or German are suitable for submission. Works from the fields of botany, paleontology and zoology are equally welcome.
  • The applicant's dissertation must not be older than three years.

The advertisement will be announced in good time via our mailing list, our website and the GfBS newsletter.