University of Tartu, Natural History Museum and Botanical Garden

Original name(s)

Institution Address

Vanemuise 46
51014 Tartu

Topics of interests

  • Systematic research
  • DNA barcoding
  • Biological informatics

Main areas of taxonomic expertise

  • Botany (vascular plants, bryophytes and from Algae fam. Desmidales).
  • Mycology, incl. lichenized fungi (Ascomycota, Basidiomycota: ectomycorrhizal, lichenized and lichenicolous fungi in wide sense; taxonomical expertise of the orders Helotiales and Thelephorales, genera Hypomyces & allies, Cystoderma & allies, Cortinarius)
  • Zoological Museum: Hymenoptera, Lepidoptera, Rodentia.

Type of organisation

Institution Address

Vanemuise 46
51014 Tartu

Director Representative

Prof.Urmas Kõljalg


Structure Chart

Governing & Executive bodies

University of Tartu Natural History Museum and Botanical Garden:

  • Botanical Garden
  • Geological museum
  • Zoological museum
  • Botanical and mycological museum
  • Department of exhibitions and environmental education
  • Research group for biological informatics and digital archives




Staff fields

staff_year of reference2017
staff total62.0
scientific staff (permanent)7.0
scientific staff collections (permanent)5.0
staff collection managers technicians (permanent)25.0
staff administrative (permanent)4.0
staff exhibitions (permanent)11.0

General Description

Botanical garden

Work with local endangered species, work with locally bred ornamentals (national program). The Botanical Garden of the University of Tartu has, since 2002, actively participated in Estonian National Programme “Collection and Conservation of Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture”, financed by the Ministry of Agriculture of Estonia. The main tasks of the Botanical Garden within the activities of the conservation of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture is to find out, collect and conserve local cultivars of ornamentals and the species of medical and aromatic plants.

 Link of the Research page : Research page (in Estonian)

Botanical and Mycological Museum

Taxonomy and systematics of plants, animals and fungi, their ecology, distribution and protection in Estonia and globally. Preserving and managing specimens, fruit bodies and living cultures collected from Estonia and worldwide. Developing an online, open data platform of biodiversity data management services and analytical tools. 

Link: NHM scientific activities (in Estonian)

Biological informatics

Developing digital repositories for the biological and associated data. Major product is PlutoF cloud system ( which provides free online service for the managing, sharing and publishing biological databases. Currently it has more than 1700 users from more than 40 countries.

Link: PlutoF start page

Link: Strategy and development plan (in Estonian)

Research Fields

  • Anthropology / Physical anthropology (46.20.00)

Research Initiative

Activities and outreach with Universities
Besides coordinating several doctoral studies on University of Tartu students, NHM is organizing study and post-conference programmes for UT and its institutes events and visiting groups.


Activities and outreach with other public
Both the NHM and BG have non-formal educational study programmes for children, youth and adult age groups (in total about 40 programmes) with topics ranging from the development of Earth to practical gardening and pets. Main study fields include biodiversity, geology, zoology and ecology. In addition various workshops, semianrs and fields trips for the general publics or schools are regularly organized. Partners include local and national environment educational centres, universities, schools and NGOs.



Reet Mägi
+372 737 6073 / +372 504 0826

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