The collection is the largest German collection of crustaceans and houses approximately 850,000 individuals of over 7,100 crustacean species. The scientific material includes significant historical material, including from the Gazelle and Challenger expeditions and from the Godeffroy and Pfeffer collections. More than 90% of the species in the collection come from the sea (especially the Southern Hemisphere); while the rest includes freshwater, terrestrial, and even fossil material. The biogeographic focus is on the southern continent, Polar Regions, and the deep sea. Research focuses on the systematics, biogeography, and evolution of Ostracoda, Copepoda, Peracarida (Isopoda, Amphipoda, Cumacea, Tanaidaea), and Decapoda.