Natural History Museum of Denmark

Institution (Original name) 
Statens Naturhistoriske Museum
MAIN ADDRESS
Street 
Oestervoldgade 5-7
Postal code 
1350
City 
Copenhagen
POSTAL ADDRESS
Country 
Denmark
Phone 

(+45) 353 21 107 (+45) 353 22 626

E-mail 
TYPE OF INSTITUTION
Type of institution 
Museum
Botanical Garden
University
LEGAL STATUS
Are you part of a larger entity / legal body? 
Yes
If yes, please specify  
University of Copenhagen
CETAF MEMBERSHIP
Category 
Full member
CETAF Official representative
Name, position, phone, e-mail, research field 

Nikolaj Scharff, Head of Collections, Entomology, +45 42408088

Member of the Executive Committee? 
Yes
Executive Committee position 
Ordinary Member
CETAF DEPUTY
OTHER STAFF MEMBERS WITH CONNECTIONS TO CETAF
Name, position, phone, e-mail, research field + Working Group or Project involved in 

1. Henrik Enghoff, Curator of Myriapoda, Millipedes, telephone, Editorial committee EjT

Member of the Executive Committee? 
No
Director / legal representative of the institution (title, name, phone, e-mail, research field) 

Professor Peter C. Kjærgaard, e-mail: kjaergaard@snm.ku.dk, Human evolution

Organigram figure 
Governing and executive bodies 

The museums is governed by a board of directors. The next level is eight research sections and five departments, the heads of which are either on the board of directors or meet regularly with the board. The director of the museum is part of the management team of the Faculty of Science at the University of Copenhagen. See webpage - http://snm.ku.dk/english/about_the_museum/organization/

PERSONNEL
Scientific staff 
Permanent (P)Non – Permanent (NP)
a) TOTAL scientific staff449
b) Scientific staff linked to Collections--
c) Post-docs / PhD students095
d) Others (Associates, etc.)08
TOTAL (a+b+c+d)44112
Other staff (administration etc.) 
Permanent (P)Non – Permanent (NP)
e) Exhibitions18
f) Collection managers / technicians219
g) Others 40
TOTAL (e+f+g)799
Total permanent staff 
123
Total non-permanent staff 
121
Grand total (permanent + non-permanent Staff) 
244
Any other information concerning the staff 

Scientific staff comes from all over the world (>50 nationalities).

R&D facilities
How many laboratories are in use in your institution? 
9
List of laboratories 

Ancient DNA laboratories Post-PCR/Modern DNA laboratories. 2 SEM labs. National High-throughput DNA Sequencing Centre Isotope facilities Clean Laboratories Mass Spectrometry Laboratory Sample Preparation Laboratory

List of key tools (e.g. SEM, 3D, scanners/printers,...) 

The laboratories contain standard molecular biology equipment. HiSeq2000, a HiSeq2500 and a MiSeq from Illumina, a GS FLX and a GS FLX+ from Roche/454

Exhibitions
Number of permanent exhibitions 
9
List of permanent exhibitions  
Name 
The Danish fauna: From mammoth steppe to cultural steppe
Name 
North Pole to South Pole: Ice, tundra, and pine forest
Name 
Evolution
Name 
All things strange and beautiful
Name 
Mineral halls
Name 
Geology of Greenland
Name 
The Solar system
Name 
Geology of Denmark
Number of recent exhibitions 
2
Recent Temporary Exhibitions (< 2 years) 
Name 
The Russian giants, mammoths from Russian
Name 
Flora danica
Number of current exhibitions 
1
Current Temporary Exhibitions 
Name 
Precious Things
RESEARCH FIELDS
RESEARCH FIELD 
Summary of your Research programme 

The overall theme for research at the museum is the exploration and documentation of the “origin and evolution of everything” – including the biological and geological diversity that surrounds us. This mainly consists of basic research that improves our understanding of the connections between the formation and development of the Earth and the Solar System, the origin and evolution of living organisms, the interaction between nature and humankind, and the correlations and secondary effects derived from all of the above.

The objectives of the museum’s research program are to:

  • make scientific breakthroughs at the highest international level
  • attract and develop research talent
  • pursue clear scientific targets, with the focus on basic research

Traditionally, the museum has been particularly heavily involved in exploration of Denmark and the North Atlantic, especially Greenland, but its expeditions are truly global and include regular exploration of Tanzanian mountain rainforests, the jungles of Thailand, Siberian coniferous forests, the Ethiopian highlands and the ocean depths. The extensive collections brought back from these expeditions form the basis for a wide range of international research. The basis for our research is therefore the museum’s collections, in the broadest sense.

The objects range from “stardust” and meteorites to rocks and fossils, specimens of present-day plants, animals and fungi, supplemented by a wealth of information about the context in which they were found. The collections also include a large amount of data not related to particular objects in the museum, e.g. bird-ringing data, species-distribution data and geological mapping generated over the centuries. The collections provide an international, state-of-the-art infrastructure that encourages groundbreaking research.

The museum houses three centers of research excellence, focusing on planetary science (solar system), macroecology and evolutionary genomics. Research fields: Taxonomy and Systematics Biogeography Palaeoclimate Evolutionary biology Population genetics Bioinformatics Mega-faunal demography Human migration and evolution Pathogens Fossil DNA and proteins Environmental history Wildlife forensics Quaternary zoology Biodiversity Biosystematics Evolutionary Genomics Geobiology and Minerals GeoGenetics Earth and Planetary System Science Life and Environment

Scientific publications
Number of peer-reviewed publications per year 
280
Other publications 

Several

Digital copy of the latest annual report 
EARTH SCIENCES (Geology, Mineralogy, Palaeontology,…) 
TypologyPrimary typesIndividual specimens/objects% registered cards% recorded cards in database
1.1
1.2
1.3
1.4
...
LIFE SCIENCES (Zoology, Biology, Botany, Mycology,…) 
TypologyPrimary typesIndividual specimens/objects% registered cards % recorded cards in database
2.1Zoology17000000
Total specimens (all collections) 
17,000,000
Outstanding collection features 

One of the world’s largest indoor Cycad-collections, Thai Orchids, Galápagos plants – Island endemics in General, Succulents. Entomology: The collections include more than 3.5 million pinned insects plus a similar number of alcohol-preserved specimens; they thus range among the largest in Europe. The number of identified species in the collections totals about 100,000, i.e., about 10% of the described species. There are about 10,500 primary types. Vertebrates: The fish collection holds about one third of the 25,000 known species. The main bird collection comprises study skins, well above 100,000 specimens of 5700 species. The mammal collections hold approximately 40,000 specimens - preserved either as skins + skulls (or whole skeletons), mounted specimens, or whole specimens or parts in alcohol or formalin. http://geologi.snm.ku.dk/english/collections http://botanik.snm.ku.dk/english/Samlinger

The Zoology collections contains a Entomology section counting 7,000,000 individual specimens.

Does your institution have an Index Seminum? 

Presently not produced due to shortage of staff.

Heritage sciences (art, manuscripts, maps, photographs...) 

The large Heritage Science Collection of NHMD was recently transferred to the Royal Library (http://www.kb.dk/en/). The museum still hold a smaller selection of books, maps, correspondence and photographs.

Size and importance of living collections 

Botanic Garden The Botanic Garden includes 23,462 living plants, all digitally registered and representing 313 families, 2,707 genera and 12,287 species, originating from 17,870 accession numbers. A number of plants for experimental use are not registered. The gene bank in the garden holds seeds of about 800 Danish plants, 1,000 species from the garden's own collections and 150 accessions of seeds of special interest for research; furthermore about 50 plants are maintained as tissue cultures in the tissue culture laboratory.

Genetic Repositories
Does your institution have a DNA bank? 
Yes
Number of DNA samples 
3 500
Does your institution have a seed bank? 
Yes
Number of organisms / species 
2 682
DNA or seed sample exchange 

Yes, with many collaborators

COLLECTION’S RELATED INFORMATION
Number of outgoing loans (parcels / specimens) per year 
500
Number of accessions (specimens) per year 
Approx. 90.000 specimens/objects
Number of scientific visitors per year 
180
MAIN AREAS OF TAXONOMIC EXPERTISE 
Ichtyology
Aves
Diptera
Hymenoptera
Coleoptera
Myriapoda
Arachnida
Crustacea
Annelida
Kinorhyncha, Loricifera, Priapulida
Tardigrada, Loricifera, Cycliophora, Micrognathozoa
Orchidaceae
Urticaceae
Fungi
Algae
Quaternary geology and zoology
Paleozoic invertebrates
Meteorites
Mineralogy
Mesozoic-Cenozoic invertebrates
COMMUNICATION MATERIAL
Main activities of communication and outreach 

The Public Engagement Section develops and carries out state-of-the-art educational programs, events and outreach projects of use both at the museum and across the country. The aim for the section is to increase the public interest in and knowledge of nature and the natural sciences. As part of both a university and a museum, we have a unique opportunity to communicate scientific results to a very broad audience, including visitors as well as schools. Our outreach activities include citizen science projects, educational programs for students at all levels as well as teachers, e-learning resources, science communication for adults as well as larger events for the broad public.

Logo 
Contact person at your institution for communications / press / external relations (name, position, phone, e-mail) 

Rikke Sanderhoff Mørch - rsm@snm.ku.dk

Visitors
Last year:  
184 378
Trends (past and future) 

cf. Annual Report 2014.

If your institution is involved with universities in teaching or education programmes, please name and describe them 

In collaboration with other Departments at the University of Copenhagen, the Natural History Museum of Denmark offers around 30 courses for bachelor-, master- and PhD-students. MSc and PhD courses are held in English. BSc course are either in Danish or English. The researchers at the Natural History Museum of Denmark also supervise bachelor-, masters- and other projects, and has a long tradition for educating PhD students.

If your institution is involved in online courses, please describe them and the partners 

The museum offers the course “Origins” on the free online learning platform Coursera. More than 30.000 students were enrolled in the first year, 2014.

If your institution is involved in training projects, please describe them and the partners 

NHM currently hosts two Marie Curie Initial Training Networks: www.MedPlant.eu and www.Big4-project.eu

Other relevant information on education and / or training carried out 

The museum’s Public Engagement section runs educational projects specifically targeted towards either primary, secondary or high school. One example is the Science on Wheels project where a van full of specimens from the museum’s collections is brought to high schools across the country as part of an outgoing educational effort focused on evolution. In another project, Geofelt, students are brought out into the field on e.g. Iceland as a way to show different side to the subjects they only read about, hereby stimulating their interest in the geo sciences Currently, the museum also runs the following projects: DNA & Life, The Human Animal and PowerPlay (the two latter are e-learning resources).

Contact person at your institution for education / teaching / training (name, position, phone, e-mail) 

Anders Tøttrup, Director of Education (University level). aptottrup@snm.ku.dk. Mobile: +4551826988 Kirsten Wivel-Snejbjerg. University Education Secretary. kws@snm.ku.dk. Mobile: +4524852329 Pernille Hjort - phjort@snm.ku.dk (Public engagement and education)

Last update 
03.13.17