Natural History Museum

Original name(s)

  • Musée national d’histoire naturelle (fr - French)
  • Nationalmuseum für Naturgeschichte (de - German)
Institution Address

Rue Münster 25
2160 Luxembourg-Grund

Topics of interests

  • Documenting
  • Understanding
  • Illustrating and preserving the geo-and biodiversity heritage of the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg and of the Greater Region.

Main areas of taxonomic expertise

  • Fauna and Flora of Luxembourg
  • Cerambycidae
  • Rubus
  • Trifolium
  • Ophiuroidea
  • European cave animals
  • Fauna of the Toarcian (Jurassic)
  • Molecular taxonomy and systematics of diverse groups

Type of organisation

Institution Address

Rue Münster 25
2160 Luxembourg-Grund

Director Representative

Paul Braun


Structure Chart

Governing & Executive bodies





Staff fields

staff_year of reference2020
staff total88.0
scientific staff (permanent)6.0
scientific staff post doc (non permanent)1.0
scientific staff collections (permanent)5.0
scientific staff associated8.0
staff collection managers technicians (permanent)2.0
staff administrative (permanent)62.0
staff exhibitions (non permanent)4.0

General Description

  • Life and Earth Sciences

The scientific research center of the National Museum of Natural History of Luxembourg was created by the grand-ducal regulation of the 10th November 1982. Its aim is to carry out research concerning the natural heritage of Luxembourg and the wider region, and to contribute to its conservation.

Research activities are grouped into two departments: the Department of Life Sciences and Department of Earth Sciences. The research projects are conducted by permanent staff of the National Museum of Natural History, by the research associates of the Museum and by external scientists.

  • Zoology

The three main objectives of the Zoology Research Department are

  1. to document animal biodiversity in Luxembourg,
  2. to archive it in systematic collections, and
  3. to contribute to the conservation of species and populations.


In this context, atlas projects are designed to inventory the different animal taxa in Luxembourg and to describe their geographical distribution. Research projects are being carried out on the ecology of certain species in order to contribute to the development of effective, science-informed conservation measures. The aim of these different approaches is to better understand and preserve Luxembourg’s natural heritage. In addition to traditional methods, genetic methods are more widely used (DNA barcoding and metabarcoding, environmental DNA, landscape genomics).

  • Research Topics
  1. Diversity and distribution of animal biodiversity (in Luxembourg, and the Greater Region)
  2. Integrative taxonomy
  3. Population and landscape genetics for the understanding of population connectivity
  4. Ecology of invasive species and influences on the native fauna
  5. Host-parasite interactions
  6. Development and systematic (re-)organisation of the museum collection
  7. “Science-informed” conservation biology


  • Botany

The botany department manages the herbarium and its cataloged specimens. The aim is to enrich the collections by collecting new specimens, cataloging the old and integrating new herbariums, obtained by legacies, donations or purchases. This includes the organization and the management of international loans and the organization and control of scientific research on plants and especially those of the luxembourg flora to come to a list of endangered plants, the famous “Red List” . This lists of references are important to any serious cataloging work. The research areas are the classification, structure, needs of the plants.

The Living plant collections’ projects are focused on the native rare and threatened shrubs. This includes gathering of up to date data on the repartition of native rare and endangered shrubs, analyzing the composition and evolution of the populations and studying their genetic diversity. The general aim is to gather valid information on the conservation status of these species in order to contribute to the protection of natural biodiversity in our countryside.


  • Research Topics
  1. Ecology and genetic diversity of native shrubs
  2. Conservation biology of native shrubs


  • Ecology

The Department of Ecology focuses its scientific research activities on biological invasions and the assessment of risks posed by invasive alien species (neobiota), on mosquitoes of Luxembourg (Diptera, Culicidae), on the synthesis of knowledge on Luxembourg’s vegetation, and on the climate of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, within the framework of co-operation with national and foreign institutions and through scientific publications and contributions to the Museum’s databases on Luxembourg’s natural heritage.

  • Population Biology and Evolution

At the Population biology research group we are interested in the lower levels of biological diversity ie those of populations and their genetic variability. Within a given landscape, species exist as local populations. A population is a group of individuals of a certain species that are in contact with each other and that interbreed. The lowest level of biodiversity is the genetic variability within populations and individuals. This variability is the basis for the evolution of new species and allows individuals to adapt to changes in environmental conditions. We hope with our research to get a better understanding of the interactions between individuals, populations and species of plants and animals. As ultimate goal, we would like to understand how much variation and interactions between organisms are mere coincidence or the result of evolutionary processes underlying them.

We use a multidisciplinary approach to study the biology and population genetics of populations and their interactions. Our model systems are experimental and natural populations of plant species and plant-animal interactions.

  • Research Topics
  1. Population biology: ecology and genetics of small populations
  2. Microevolution: local adaptation
  3. Conservation biology of endangered species
  4. Phylogeography and phylogenetics of plant species
  5. Plant-animal interactions


  • Geology and Mineralogy

The research group of the geology / mineralogy department base his research projects on the study of our national patrimony; with taking an interest in the regional datas or by studying our collections. Detailed study of the old mines from Luxembourg, collect of news mineralogical data on the field, or study of specimens conserved in our collections are different ways to establish new research themes.

A systematic and scientific approach, and a partnership with other geological and mineralogical laboratories, permit us to realize studies as complete as possible on our patrimony. A team of dynamic research associates, and some conscientiousness PhD students, play a dynamic role in these studies.

  • Research Topics
  1. Mineralogy of Luxembourg: Inventory of the minerals species and their localities
  2. Study of polymetal deposits from Luxembourg
  3. The Rocks of Luxembourg: Creation of a lithotheca and microscopic analysis of the facies
  4. Sedimentological and sequential analyses of the Quartzite of Berlé and Jurassic formations (Luxembourg)
  5. Mineralogy and petrography of pegmatites (Brazil, Congo, …)
  6. Rare minerals and New Species …
  • Geo- and Astrophysics

The research activities of the department of geo/astrophysics are currently focused on geophysics. Thus, a centre of excellence in satellite aperture radar interferometry (InSAR) has been developed since 2005. This technique allows, under certain conditions, the measurement of sub-centimetre ground-deformations. Our combined expertise in the study of crustal deformation by in-situ methods and satellite monitoring, involves us in various international projects of research, evaluation of natural hazards and development assistance. In addition, we work closely with the European Centre for Geodynamics and Seismology (ECGS).

  • Research Topics
  • Geodynamics:

studies of natural and anthropogenic ground- deformation and movements in Luxembourg (surveillance of buildings and structures, landslides, collapse of mine …)

volcanic risk assessment and impact on health in the Goma region (North Kivu, DR Congo)

study and satellite monitoring of 4 active volcanic areas in Africa (Cape Verde, Cameroon, Tanzania, DR Congo)


  • Seismology (in collaboration with ECGS):


Registration of local seismicity (small magnitude) and seismic risk assessment in Luxembourg

Analysis of permanent background noise in Luxembourg

Recording of distant earthquakes

Study of the composition of the lithosphere beneath Luxembourg


  • Paleontology

The paleontological lab is in duty of the fossil collection, which origin goes back to the natural history cabinet opened in 1854 by the Society of sciences. The management and the conservation of the existing material completed by new acquisitions permanently upgrade the collection in order to promote paleontological research and to guaranty the quality of the present and future exhibitions.

The study of fossils and fossil sites together with research projects in regional and general paleontology contribute to a better knowledge of our geological underground and former life in our region. Scientific results and their implication for earth sciences are continuously presented to the public by temporary and permanent exhibitions, publications, colloquiums and conferences.

Together with our scientific collaborators, the paleontological lab tries to fulfil all for inquiries from public, private offices and administrations concerning our domains of competence. We sustain local museums with paleontological or geological content and we encourage conservation of sites with a particular interest for earth sciences. In deed our collection gains in value by simultaneous conservation of geological sites allowing to localise specimens in their natural context.

  • Research Subjects
  1. Lower Devonian of the Eislek and Eifel
  2. Evolution of fossil vertebrates
  3. Jurassic Cephalopods from Paris Basin
  4. Liasic Gastropods
  5. Geological sites
  6. Biostratigraphy


Link of the Research page : Research page

Link of the Annual report :

Research Fields

  • Anthropology / Physical anthropology (46.20.00)

Research Initiative

Activities and outreach with Universities


Activities and outreach with other public

Since 2002 the Science Mobil of the “natur musée” is riding through Luxembourg. It stops on primary schools, secondary schools and public places, is opened and ready for use. Actual scientific subjects are explained with experiments and in an easy, for everyone understandable way, to the pupils and the “grand public”. Furthermore, our second mobile lab, the Natur Mobil, is frequently used by primary classes.

For information on other educational services please visit here.



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