Collections

Naturalis Biodiversity Center

Museum

Identification
Original name(s)
    Institution Address

    Vondellaan 55
    2332 AA  Leiden
    NL - Netherlands
    contact@naturalis.nl

    Type of organisation

    Institution Address

    Vondellaan 55
    2332 AA Leiden
    NL - Netherlands
    contact@naturalis.nl

    Museum (Private)

    Director Representative

    Dr.E.J.F.B (Edwin) van Huis

    Contact

    +31 568 7600
    Edwin.vanhuis@naturalis.nl

    Structure Chart

    Governing & Executive bodies

    Naturalis is a ‘stichting’ (Foundation) under Dutch law. The Managing Director is the Managing (Governing) Board of the Foundation. The Supervisory Board supervises the policies of the Managing Director. The Foundation has two advisory bodies: Scientific Advisory Board and the Museum Advisory Board.

    Staff fields

    scientific staff non permanent: 9.0.scientific staff permanent: 32.0.scientific staff post doc non permanent: 56.0.staff administrative non permanent: 48.0.staff administrative permanent: 48.0.staff collection managers technicians non permanent: 90.0.staff collection managers technicians permanent: 46.0.staff exhibitions non permanent: 18.0.staff exhibitions permanent: 34.0;staff total: 394.0

    Membership fields

    Full member

    General Description

    We study how the interplay of interactions determines evolutionary processes. Biodiversity is a product of evolutionary history. All organisms interact with the abiotic and biotic environment and these interactions are major drivers of evolutionary changes, which have resulted in the biodiversity as observed today. Over the last decades, much progress has been made in understanding how interactions determine evolutionary processes. However, it has also become increasingly clear that multiple interactions can synergistically constrain or drive organismal evolution. For instance, changes in the abiotic and biotic environment are often correlated, and particular characters often serve multiple functions. It is therefore critical that evolution is considered in a “whole-organism- context”, taking multiple interactions into account. The aimof our group Understanding Evolution is to study how the interplay of interactions determines evolutionary processes. We are in a particularly strong position to launch this research program, as the researchers of our group combine a unique set of different, but highly complementary skills and expertise. Our main research priorities for the next five years are to unravel evolutionary shifts of interactions investigate the genetic background of these shifts, and predict the fate of biodiversity in the light of altering interactions due to global change. To answer these questions we integrate a combination of phylogenetic, ecological, genomic, transcriptomic, morphological, and anatomical approaches and apply these to several target taxa in flowering plants and fungi. Therefore our research includes comparative descriptive and experimental tools, and implements both field- and collection-based research. Link: Research page Biodiversity discovery o know Earth’s species is essential for measuring and preserving biodiversity, testing biological theories, understanding ecosystem functioning, and for human welfare. Describing yet unexplored species and clarifying the circum­scription and taxonomy of known species are main challenges towards comprehensive species inventories. The group Next Generation Biodiversity Discovery will tackle these challenges and address important scientific and societal questions in the field of biodiversity discovery, by combining biodiversity inventories and collection-based taxonomy with analyses of biodiversity patterns. The methods used include e-taxonomy, morphological taxonomy, phylogenetics, DNA-(meta)barcoding and biogeographic analyses. Tangible output comprises scientific publications, identification tools, floras, multi-entry keys, online databases, and outreach to the wider public. Link: Research page Marine biodiversity By integrating molecular, ecological, and palaeoecological time series across spatial scales we elucidate the response of marine organisms to past, present and future environmental change. We live amid a global wave of anthropogenically driven biodiversity loss: species, population extirpations and, critically, declines in local species abundances. Additionally, current extinction rates are higher than would be expected from the fossil record. Global effects of increased CO2 in the atmosphere are translated not only in higher temperatures, but also in ocean acidification in oceans and seas. This is predicted to have serious implications on the capacity of organisms to grow carbonate skeletons, as well as on surface water productivity and the nitrogen cycle. Link: Research page Endless forms The core of Naturalis’s activities, as well as the inner drive of most of its scientists, is a fascination with biodiversity Biodiversity, the diversity of manifestations of life, is particularly obvious in morphological diversity: disparity in the shape and function of entire bodies and their constituent organs. Therefore, in 2015, Naturalis has started a research group to document the processes and routes by which this morphological diversity evolves. This is the group “Endless Forms”, named after Darwin’s famous final sentence in On the Origin of Species. Our research is structured along these axes: 1) temporal (micro-evolution grading into macro-evolution) 2) methodological (experimental, descriptive or analytical) 3) conceptual (selection vs. constraints; biotic vs. abiotic selection; key innovations vs. species-level specializations) 4) fundamental vs. applied Link: Research page Biodiversity dynamics What determines (species) diversity and how is it affected by human actions? Biodiversity is an important property of nature, especially in the context of the change, destruction and disturbance of the environment of which we, humans, are part. Biodiversity has several functions and services ranging from providing us with food, maintaining/sustaining important biogeochemical cycles to educational and cultural values. Due to the alteration and destruction of habitat, the decline in species diversity proceeds at a rate that is considered unprecedented in geological history. This threatens our very own survival on the planet and should be one of our main concerns. Global change is the large-scale impact of man on our world, caused by global climate change (GCC), land use cover change (LUCC), overexploitation, and large scale pollution/eutrophication of terrestrial and aquatic habitats. Thus, global change must not be taken as a synonym for global climate change alone. The Millennium Ecosystem Report and the IPCC-AR5 report showed a grim picture of the loss in virtually all ecosystems of our world. For example, most of the lowland forests have been converted to agricultural areas, while grazing, logging for timber, road and dam constructions, oil, gas, and mining prospecting provide further environmental threats. These factors greatly contribute to habitat loss and exacerbate soil erosion with hydrological implications that result in far-reaching consequences (e.g. loss of water source for residents and agricultural lands) at the regional, national, and global levels. Link: Research page Taxonomy & Systematics The description of taxa new to science and the study of evolutionary systems is fundamental for the understanding and conservation of biodiversity and geodiversity, and as such a core task of Naturalis Biodiversity Center. The new organizational structure of the Sector Research and Education resulted on the one side in new thematic groups focusing on endless forms in nature, on the understanding of evolution and on the dynamics in the terrestrial and marine environment. On the other side two groups are formed that are close to the core of a natural history institute, namely a group focusing on the discovery of biodiversity, and our museum oriented research group which addresses fundamental taxonomic and systematic research, proudly called Taxonomy and Systematics. Our group deliberately is not designed around a limited focal theme, but works along the lines of biological and geological museum objects. It investigates the diversity of recent living organisms, and their history through the fossil and geological record. As will be shown below at least two clusters, ‘Caribbean Marine Biodiversity’ and ‘Deep and Early Earth’, have already emerged. Our group is strongly involved in the teaching programs of Naturalis, and in public outreach and education. In the subsequent paragraphs the two clusters and some of the other taxonomic experts in the group are introduced. Research page Applied Research Research page Research page Annual Report 2011; The core of Naturalis’s activities, as well as the inner drive of most of its scientists, is a fascination with biodiversity Biodiversity, the diversity of manifestations of life, is particularly obvious in morphological diversity: disparity in the shape and function of entire bodies and their constituent organs. Therefore, in 2015, Naturalis has started a research group to document the processes and routes by which this morphological diversity evolves. This is the group “Endless Forms”, named after Darwin’s famous final sentence in On the Origin of Species. Our research is structured along these axes: 1) temporal (micro-evolution grading into macro-evolution) 2) methodological (experimental, descriptive or analytical) 3) conceptual (selection vs. constraints; biotic vs. abiotic selection; key innovations vs. species-level specializations) 4) fundamental vs. applied Link: Research page Biodiversity dynamics What determines (species) diversity and how is it affected by human actions? Biodiversity is an important property of nature, especially in the context of the change, destruction and disturbance of the environment of which we, humans, are part. Biodiversity has several functions and services ranging from providing us with food, maintaining/sustaining important biogeochemical cycles to educational and cultural values. Due to the alteration and destruction of habitat, the decline in species diversity proceeds at a rate that is considered unprecedented in geological history. This threatens our very own survival on the planet and should be one of our main concerns. Global change is the large-scale impact of man on our world, caused by global climate change (GCC), land use cover change (LUCC), overexploitation, and large scale pollution/eutrophication of terrestrial and aquatic habitats. Thus, global change must not be taken as a synonym for global climate change alone. The Millennium Ecosystem Report and the IPCC-AR5 report showed a grim picture of the loss in virtually all ecosystems of our world. For example, most of the lowland forests have been converted to agricultural areas, while grazing, logging for timber, road and dam constructions, oil, gas, and mining prospecting provide further environmental threats. These factors greatly contribute to habitat loss and exacerbate soil erosion with hydrological implications that result in far-reaching consequences (e.g. loss of water source for residents and agricultural lands) at the regional, national, and global levels. Link: Research page Taxonomy & Systematics The description of taxa new to science and the study of evolutionary systems is fundamental for the understanding and conservation of biodiversity and geodiversity, and as such a core task of Naturalis Biodiversity Center. The new organizational structure of the Sector Research and Education resulted on the one side in new thematic groups focusing on endless forms in nature, on the understanding of evolution and on the dynamics in the terrestrial and marine environment. On the other side two groups are formed that are close to the core of a natural history institute, namely a group focusing on the discovery of biodiversity, and our museum oriented research group which addresses fundamental taxonomic and systematic research, proudly called Taxonomy and Systematics. Our group deliberately is not designed around a limited focal theme, but works along the lines of biological and geological museum objects. It investigates the diversity of recent living organisms, and their history through the fossil and geological record. As will be shown below at least two clusters, ‘Caribbean Marine Biodiversity’ and ‘Deep and Early Earth’, have already emerged. Our group is strongly involved in the teaching programs of Naturalis, and in public outreach and education. In the subsequent paragraphs the two clusters and some of the other taxonomic experts in the group are introduced. Research page Applied Research Research page Research page Annual Report 2011; What determines (species) diversity and how is it affected by human actions? Biodiversity is an important property of nature, especially in the context of the change, destruction and disturbance of the environment of which we, humans, are part. Biodiversity has several functions and services ranging from providing us with food, maintaining/sustaining important biogeochemical cycles to educational and cultural values. Due to the alteration and destruction of habitat, the decline in species diversity proceeds at a rate that is considered unprecedented in geological history. This threatens our very own survival on the planet and should be one of our main concerns. Global change is the large-scale impact of man on our world, caused by global climate change (GCC), land use cover change (LUCC), overexploitation, and large scale pollution/eutrophication of terrestrial and aquatic habitats. Thus, global change must not be taken as a synonym for global climate change alone. The Millennium Ecosystem Report and the IPCC-AR5 report showed a grim picture of the loss in virtually all ecosystems of our world. For example, most of the lowland forests have been converted to agricultural areas, while grazing, logging for timber, road and dam constructions, oil, gas, and mining prospecting provide further environmental threats. These factors greatly contribute to habitat loss and exacerbate soil erosion with hydrological implications that result in far-reaching consequences (e.g. loss of water source for residents and agricultural lands) at the regional, national, and global levels. Link: Research page Taxonomy & Systematics The description of taxa new to science and the study of evolutionary systems is fundamental for the understanding and conservation of biodiversity and geodiversity, and as such a core task of Naturalis Biodiversity Center. The new organizational structure of the Sector Research and Education resulted on the one side in new thematic groups focusing on endless forms in nature, on the understanding of evolution and on the dynamics in the terrestrial and marine environment. On the other side two groups are formed that are close to the core of a natural history institute, namely a group focusing on the discovery of biodiversity, and our museum oriented research group which addresses fundamental taxonomic and systematic research, proudly called Taxonomy and Systematics. Our group deliberately is not designed around a limited focal theme, but works along the lines of biological and geological museum objects. It investigates the diversity of recent living organisms, and their history through the fossil and geological record. As will be shown below at least two clusters, ‘Caribbean Marine Biodiversity’ and ‘Deep and Early Earth’, have already emerged. Our group is strongly involved in the teaching programs of Naturalis, and in public outreach and education. In the subsequent paragraphs the two clusters and some of the other taxonomic experts in the group are introduced. Research page Applied Research Research page Research page Annual Report 2011; The description of taxa new to science and the study of evolutionary systems is fundamental for the understanding and conservation of biodiversity and geodiversity, and as such a core task of Naturalis Biodiversity Center. The new organizational structure of the Sector Research and Education resulted on the one side in new thematic groups focusing on endless forms in nature, on the understanding of evolution and on the dynamics in the terrestrial and marine environment. On the other side two groups are formed that are close to the core of a natural history institute, namely a group focusing on the discovery of biodiversity, and our museum oriented research group which addresses fundamental taxonomic and systematic research, proudly called Taxonomy and Systematics. Our group deliberately is not designed around a limited focal theme, but works along the lines of biological and geological museum objects. It investigates the diversity of recent living organisms, and their history through the fossil and geological record. As will be shown below at least two clusters, ‘Caribbean Marine Biodiversity’ and ‘Deep and Early Earth’, have already emerged. Our group is strongly involved in the teaching programs of Naturalis, and in public outreach and education. In the subsequent paragraphs the two clusters and some of the other taxonomic experts in the group are introduced. Research page Applied Research Research page Research page Annual Report 2011

    Research Fields

    • Wide range of plant and fungus groups (e.g., Annonaceae, Begoniaceae, Fabaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Orchidaceae, Rubiaceae, Mycoheterotrophic angiosperms, Bryophytes, Ferns, Agaricales, Russulales)
    • Wide range of terrestrial animal groups (Mollusca, Amphibians, Invertebrates, Arthropods, Lepidoptera, Odonata, Diptera, Coleoptera, Hymenoptera, Flatworms)
    • Wide range of marine groups (Sponges, Decapoda, Corals, Octocorallia, Cichlids, Amphipods, Crustaceans, Fishes)
    • Wide range of palaeontological groups (Maastrichtian Flora, Echinodermata, microvertebrates, Seed Ferns, Conifers, Mollusca, Foraminifera)
    • Wide range of general taxonomic disciplines (e.g., Biogeography, Floral development and anatomy, Evo-Devo, Pollen morphology, Wood anatomy, Biodiversity assessment & GIS, Ethnobotany, plant-animal interactions)

    Research Initiative

    On-line outreach activitie : : []
    other outreach activitie : : [['http://www.naturalis.nl/en/education/']]
    Non academic trainings : : [['Centre of expertise genomics with the University of Applied Sciences Leiden (http://www.hsleiden.nl/lectoraten/innovatieve-moleculaire-diagnostiek/ce...)']]
    Academic trainings : : ['Naturalis is official partner in the BSc and MSc Biology curriculums of Leiden University, Wageningen University, the University of Amsterdam, and the University of Applied Sciences Leiden. Naturalis staff also participates in BSc and MSc teaching in Earth Sciences (Utrecht University, Free University of Amsterdam), and the BSc curriculum of Sciences (University of Maastricht). Naturalis offers courses at BSc, MSc and PhD level, and supervises term papers and BSc, MSc and PhD research projects. The subjects offered include systematics, phylogenetics, biogeography, palaeontology, genomics, bioinformatics, marine biology, evolutionary biology, taxonomy of selected groups (arthropods, molluscs, land plants, and fungi).']
    General description : : ['Naturalis is partner of DEST (Distributed European School of Taxonomy); http://www.taxonomytraining.eu/\nNaturalis is member of the C.T. de Wit Graduate School for Production Ecology and Resource Conservation; http://www.pe-rc.nl/']

    Contact

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