Prof. Dr. Bernward Maerlaender has been director of IfZ since 1991. He is extracurricular Professor for crop sciences at the faculty of agricultural sciences at the the Georg-August-University of Goettingen.
After majoring in 1976 and having graduated (1979) in agricultural sciences he took on a position as head of seed breeding at A. Dieckmann-Heimburg, remits including breeding, seed production and agronomical field trials with sugar beet and hybrid rye.
In 1991 he habilitated with his thesis "Sugar Beet - increase in production as a result optimized cropping systems and choice of variety as well as breeding progress". Prof. Dr. Maerlaender is an active member in several voluntary committees and scientific societies.