The Herbarium Hamburgense is one of the large research herbaria in Germany and simultaneously serves as a reference collection, documentation center and research infrastructure. The herbarium is closely cooperating with the working groups Biodiversity, Evolution and Ecology as well as Plant Systematics and Evolution of the Department of Biology and the Botanical Garden of the Universität Hamburg. Geographic focal points are the Hamburg Metropolitan Region and northern Germany, southern Africa, Brazil, tropical Arabia. The emphasis in taxonomic and phylogenetic research is placed on species diverse plant groups such as Aizoaceae (fig-marigold family), Lauraceae (laurel family) and lichenized ascomycetes (lichens). The herbarium serves as an environmental archive and has been documenting changes in the environment since the beginning of industrialization. Focus is placed on the Hamburg Metropolitan Region, the former German colonies (Namibia, Tanzania, Cameroon) as well as the Indian subcontinent, Amazonia and Queensland.