Natural History Museum of Denmark


Original name(s)

  • Statens Naturhistoriske Museum (da - Danish)
Institution Address

Oestervoldgade 5-7
1350  Copenhagen
DK - Denmark

Type of organisation

Institution Address

Oestervoldgade 5-7
1350 Copenhagen
DK - Denmark

Museum (State)

Director Representative

Prof.Peter C. Kjærgaard


+45 24 48 05 97

Structure Chart

Governing & 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 -

Staff fields

scientific staff associated: 8.0.scientific staff non permanent: 9.0.scientific staff permanent: 44.0.scientific staff post doc non permanent: 95.0.staff administrative permanent: 40.0.staff collection managers technicians non permanent: 9.0.staff collection managers technicians permanent: 21.0;staff total: 244.0;staff year of reference: 2019

Membership fields

Full member

General Description

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 Link to research page: Research Page Link to Annual Reports

Research Fields

  • 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

Research Initiative

On-line outreach activitie : : ['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.']
other outreach activitie : : ['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).']
Non academic trainings : : []
Academic trainings : : ['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.']
General description : : ['NHM currently hosts two Marie Curie Initial Training Networks: and']


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