The research group sees itself as an interest group and information medium for paleobotanists and palynologists working in the German-speaking area. Its aim is to represent and promote the scientific disciplines of paleobotany and palynology as well as related applied disciplines to the public.
The bundling of the interests of paleobotanists and palynologists in the German-speaking world is intended to give these disciplines the necessary visibility within the canon of geosciences and biosciences and to help secure the desired influence. The exchange of information and the promotion of young scientists are also at the centre of the research group's activities.
Currently about 100 members from 7 countries are registered. Membership is informal and not linked to the payment of dues nor full membership of the Paläontologische Gesellschaft. Membership is achieved by expressing interest to the spokesperson, who then adds the new member to the e-mail and address distribution list, through which all APP members receive the APP newsletter, which is published twice a year, as well as information on vacancies, conferences, changes in personnel, etc. in loose succession.
As a rule, the research group organizes an annual meeting within the framework of the annual conference of the Paläontologische Gesellschaft. The APP annual meetings include 1-2 expert symposia, at which members exchange new results in their fields of expertise through lectures and posters, and a members' meeting to discuss current developments within the fields of expertise and, if necessary, to advise the research group on business procedures.
The research group is a member of the International Federation of Palynological Societies (IFPS). One member of the research group represents the research group as voting councillor in the IFPS. Many APP members are also organized through their individual membership in the International Organisation of Palaeobotany.
The APP was formally founded in 1971 and existed until 2004 as a shareholder association independent of the Paläontologische Gesellschaft. Since 2005 the APP has been an integral part of the Paläontologische Gesellschaft.