Swedish Museum of Natural History

Original name(s)

  • Naturhistoriska riksmuseet (sv - Swedish)
Institution Address

Frescativägen 40
11418 Stockholm

Topics of interests

  • Systematic research
  • Digitization of collections
  • Developing collections database

Main areas of taxonomic expertise

  • Early Metazoans
  • brittle stars/Ophiuroidea
  • Acoela, Nemertodermatida, Rhabditophora
  • Fish, Cichlids
  • Birds
  • Molluscs
  • Insects, Trichoptera, Water Beetles
  • Carnivorous mammals
  • Seed plants, high latitude floras, Asterales, Ericales
  • Pleurocarpous mosses, emphasis on arctic & temperate taxa
  • Lichenized fungi, Arthoniales
  • Ascomycetes, Pezizomycetes
  • Palaeozoic, Mesozoic and Cenozoic floras

Type of organisation

Institution Address

Frescativägen 40
11418 Stockholm

Director Representative

Sebastian Kvist


Structure Chart

Governing & Executive bodies

Director of the Museum – Research & Collection Division (Per Ericson, Director) with seven departments (directorate, bioinformatics and genetics, botany, zoology, geoscience, paleobiology, environmental research and monitoring). Three additional Divisions: Education; General Operations and Public Services; Administration.




Staff fields

staff_year of reference2018
staff total247.0
scientific staff (permanent)64.0
scientific staff (non permanent)10.0
scientific staff post doc (non permanent)16.0
scientific staff collections (permanent)55.0
scientific staff collections (non permanent)13.0
staff collection managers technicians (permanent)15.0
staff collection managers technicians (non permanent)1.0
staff administrative (permanent)30.0
staff exhibitions (permanent)23.0
staff exhibitions (non permanent)6.0

General Description

  • The Changing Earth

Traces of the point of onset of life on earth are investigated applying high-resolution isotopic micro-analyses techniques on the best preserved early-Archean rocks in West Greenland. The emergence and establishment of multicellular life in the context of global climatic and atmospherical evolution are explored using integrated geochemical and palaeontological approaches. NRM scientists also investigate the development of the Fennoscandian bedrock and petrogenesis of sulphide and iron ores, flow of elements between different reservoirs of the Earth, the occurrence of major water repositories in Earth’s mantle, and the mineral chemistry at the atomic level. The sources and fate of key trace elements in the marine environment are investigated using improved techniques for the determination of long-lived radioisotopes in low concentrations. Research at the museum’s laboratory for ancient DNA includes studies of the variation in the abundance and distribution of animals in relation to climatic periods and glaciations/interglacials.

  • Ecosystems and Species History

Research is directed at understanding events in evolutionary time through analysis of ancient faunas and floras and their changes in space and time. Focal points are the origin and early evolution of animals, the phylogenetic diversification and ecological radiation of flowering plants and seed plants, and the evolution of modern mammals. Diets of animals, for example marine mammals, are studied by DNA analysis and microscopic examination of gut and/or faeces contents.

  • The Diversity of Life

This research addresses organismal relationships at all levels, the evolution of morphological and other traits and phylogeography, as well as the survey, analyses and description of biodiversity at a global level at organismal as well as genetic levels. NRMs scientists thus contribute directly with critical knowledge to the preservation and management of the world’s natural capital, its biological diversity (EU 2020 Biodiversity Strategy, An international expert panel recently assessed NRM’s biodiversity research and its scientific relevance as outstanding. The research also benefits from the presence of a world-leading authority in phylogenetic methods.

  • Man and the Environment

NRM leads and participates in national and international monitoring programmes that study environmental contaminants and their effects in terrestrial and marine environments. These studies on levels of environmental contaminants in wildlife cover of the longest time-spans in the world. So do the associated time-series of frozen tissues in the continuously and actively developed Environmental Specimen Bank. The effects of exposure to pollutants on the reproductive and endocrine systems in large marine mammals and links with potential population levels are analysed. Other topics dealt with under this theme concern, bird migration, pollen allergenes and biochemical and geochemical processes of organic substances in the environment. Expertise and collections supporting the research under this theme are unique in Europe.

Link of the Research page : Research page

Link of the Annual report : Annual Reports (Swedish)

Research Fields

  • Anthropology / Physical anthropology (46.20.00)

Research Initiative

Activities and outreach with Universities

Formal affiliation with Stockhom university for courses in systematics and taxonomy, as well as supervision of post-graduate students. Additional teaching at various national and international universities.


Activities and outreach with other public

Special programs and guiding for schools and training for teachers. A pedagogics team.



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