Volkmar Wirth

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Volkmar Wirth (born April 1, 1943 in Herrnhut ) is a German botanist and former director of the state museum for natural history in Karlsruhe . Its botanical-mycological author's abbreviation is " V.Wirth ".


After attending elementary schools in Löbau , Lörrach and Zell im Wiesental , Wirth first attended the grammar schools in Schopfheim and Lörrach and from 1957 to 1962 the Kepler grammar school in Freiburg, where he passed the Abitur. As a high school student, Wirth came into contact with the botanist Georg Philippi , who supported him in his floristic studies.

From 1962 Wirth studied biology and chemistry as well as geography at the University of Freiburg and was accepted into the German National Academic Foundation in 1964 at the suggestion of Hans Mohr and Max Pfannenstiel . Stimulated by the moss and lichen courses with Otti Wilmanns , Wirth developed a special interest in lichens and consequently dealt with lung lichen societies and other epiphytic lichen societies in the southern Black Forest in his state work . His dissertation under the supervision of Otti Wilmanns dealt with the silicate lichen societies of non-alpine Central Europe. With this thesis, Wirth received his doctorate summa cum laude in 1971.

Wirth was a research assistant at the University of Freiburg as early as 1969 and then moved to Otto Ludwig Lange as an assistant at the University of Würzburg in 1972 . In Würzburg, Wirth dealt with experimental ecophysiological work on SO 2 resistance of lichens and mosses until 1975 . He also headed the Lower Franconia regional office for the floristic mapping of higher plants as a contribution to the distribution atlas of ferns and flowering plants in Bavaria.

From 1975 onwards, floristry and the ecology of lichens in Germany were one of the focal points of his scientific interest. In addition, Wirth also researched the lichen flora of the Namib Desert . In addition, he was involved in several VDI guidelines in the Air Pollution Control Commission and was involved in drawing up the environmental impact register of Baden-Württemberg.

In 1975 he got a job as a botanist at the State Museum for Natural History in Stuttgart , where he was head of the public relations department from 1988 and deputy director from 1992. From 2000 to 2001 he was acting director at the Museum für Naturkunde in Stuttgart and was appointed director at the Naturkundemuseum Karlsruhe in 2001, where he worked until his retirement in 2008.

In 1988 Wirth was offered the chair of botany at the University of Frankfurt , which he refused. From 1994 to 2007 he was honorary professor at the University of Hohenheim .

Wirth is married and has two children.


Wirth has published numerous publications, especially on lichens and their ecology, including popular science books. In addition, he was, among other things, chief editor of the journal “ Bibliotheca Lichenologica ” for many years and a member of the editorial board of the journal “ Cryptogamie ”.


  • until 2010: Member of the VDI commission for keeping the air clean until 2010
  • 1999 to 2001: First Chairman of the Society for Natural History Württemberg
  • Nature Conservation Advisory Board in the Swabian Heritage Association
  • 1991 to 2011: Creation of the Red List of Lichen in Germany
  • 1991: Initiation of the Dr. Fritz Koppe Foundation for the promotion of moss science in Central Europe together with Ruprecht Düll


Dedication names

Several types of lichens and mushrooms were named in honor of Wirth:

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Naturwissenschaftlicher Verein Karlsruhe eV: Report on the general assembly of members on March 6, 2012 for the year 2011. P. 137, PDF on ZOBODAT
  2. http://www.mycobank.org/Biolomics.aspx?Table=Mycobank&Rec=131103&Fields=All
  3. http://www.mycobank.org/Biolomics.aspx?Table=Mycobank&Rec=520276&Fields=All
  4. http://www.mycobank.org/Biolomics.aspx?Table=Mycobank&Rec=209209&Fields=All
  5. http://www.mycobank.org/Biolomics.aspx?Table=Mycobank&Rec=479591&Fields=All
  6. http://www.mycobank.org/Biolomics.aspx?Table=Mycobank&Rec=517701&Fields=All
  7. http://www.mycobank.org/Biolomics.aspx?Table=Mycobank&Rec=479598&Fields=All
  8. http://www.mycobank.org/Biolomics.aspx?Table=Mycobank&Rec=475812&Fields=All
  9. http://www.mycobank.org/Biolomics.aspx?Table=Mycobank&Rec=520663&Fields=All
  10. http://www.mycobank.org/Biolomics.aspx?Table=Mycobank&Rec=412969&Fields=All
  11. http://www.mycobank.org/Biolomics.aspx?Table=Mycobank&Rec=519184&Fields=All
  12. http://www.mycobank.org/Biolomics.aspx?Table=Mycobank&Rec=479620&Fields=All
  13. http://www.mycobank.org/Biolomics.aspx?Table=Mycobank&Rec=123068&Fields=All
  14. http://www.mycobank.org/Biolomics.aspx?Table=Mycobank&Rec=372630&Fields=All
  15. http://www.mycobank.org/Biolomics.aspx?Table=Mycobank&Rec=126806&Fields=All
  16. http://www.mycobank.org/Biolomics.aspx?Table=Mycobank&Rec=479633&Fields=All
  17. http://www.mycobank.org/Biolomics.aspx?Table=Mycobank&Rec=428741&Fields=All
  18. http://www.mycobank.org/Biolomics.aspx?Table=Mycobank&Rec=455797&Fields=All