Collections

National Museum of Natural Sciences

Museum

Identification
Original name(s)

  • Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales (es - Spanish; Castilian)
Institution Address

José Gutiérrez Abascal, 2
28006  Madrid
ES - Spain
Direccion.mncn@csic.es

Type of organisation

Institution Address

José Gutiérrez Abascal, 2
28006 Madrid
ES - Spain
Direccion.mncn@csic.es

Museum (State; Public)

Director Representative

Prof.Santiago MERINO

Contact

+3491141328
santiagom@mncn.csic.es

Structure Chart

Governing & Executive bodies

MNCN Governing Bodies: President of the CSIC, Board of Trustees, MNCN Director MNCN Executive Bodies: Director and Administrative Manager MNCN Support Bodies: Direction Board, Governing Board and Scientific Cloister The President of the CSIC, as Chair of the CSIC Governing Board, is the ultimate responsible for the MNCN budget as well as for proposing any changes in structure, mission and scope of competences of the MNCN to the CSIC Governing Board. Board of Trustees: since 1984 the MNCN is ruled by the Board of Trustees, which is currently formed by representatives of the CSIC Governing Board (its President is at the same time the President of the Board); The Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness; The Ministry of Agriculture and Fishing, Food and Environment; The Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport; Counseling of Education, Youth and Sport of the Autonomous Community of Madrid; City Hall of Madrid; Society of MNCN Friends (whose Chair is the Vice-President of the Board) and the MNCN Director. The secretary of the Board of Trustees is the MNCN Administrative Manager. The Director is the authority deciding on the execution of the budget and the annual work plan for the institution. He/she has capacity for proposing the annual budget, as well as in proposing modification of structure and new activities. Most of the proposal must have the advice of the Institution Governing Board, which can be supportive or not. The Administrative Manager is responsible for the execution of the budget, the maintenance and the administration of the center in the three areas of Research, Exhibitions and Scientific Collections. He/she is also responsible for all the staff management in the MNCN. The Direction Board is composed by the Director, the Administrative Manager and three Deputy Directors. It is the executive body on daily basis and usually meets once a week or on ad hoc meetings. Deputy Director for Research: competent in the management of the research and the research facilities of the institutions. He/she meets with the heads of departments on ad hoc basis. Deputy Director for Collections and Documentation: responsible for the management of the scientific collections together with the curators and collections managers. He/she is also responsible for the Heritage Collections in the MNCN (Library, Archive, Fine Arts and Scientific Instruments). Deputy Director for Exhibitions and Public Programs: responsible for the setting up, programing and organizing of permanent and temporary exhibitions as well as for the Education and Public Activities. The Governing Board includes the Direction Board, the Heads of Scientific Departments and the staff representatives. All relevant matters related to the organization and structure of the institution must be presented to the Governing Board for discussion and formal agreement and approval. It meets once a month. It is a compulsory consultative body and has voting power to agree, approval, disapproval or refuse, the matters presented by the Director. In case of disapproval or refuse, the matter may go forward but the Governing Board´s refusal must be added to the minutes. The Scientific Cloister is composed by the permanent and long term contracted PhDs scientific staff. It meets at least once a year. It is the compulsory consultative body in the election of the new director for the institution. Finally, there is a General Assembly, conveyed by the Direction; it includes of all MNCN staff (scientific and non-scientific, administrative, permanent and temporary staff). It meets once a year and receives the annual report from the Direction Board.

Staff fields

scientific staff associated: 31.0.scientific staff non permanent: 6.0.scientific staff permanent: 76.0.scientific staff post doc non permanent: 30.0.staff administrative non permanent: 20.0.staff administrative permanent: 69.0.staff collection managers technicians non permanent: 6.0.staff collection managers technicians permanent: 22.0.staff exhibitions non permanent: 1.0.staff exhibitions permanent: 5.0;staff total: 266.0

Membership fields

Full member

General Description

The scientific vocation of the Department of Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology is to describe the animal biodiversity patterns and infer and demonstrate the mechanisms and processes underlying this from an evolutionary perspective. The scales of analysis are very broad, ranging from the taxonomic description to molecular analysis for describing phylogenetic relationships and biogeographic patterns from aspects related to demographics, behavior and interactions between local species. The groups studied are very different animals, including Rotifera, Turbellaria, nematodes, molluscs, crustaceans, an enormous variety of insects, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. More info: http://www.beb-mncn.es/ Link: Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology Evolutionary Ecology The Department created in 1993 is composed of a dynamic and expert staff who work together with quite large number of graduate students to understand the patterns and processes that structure ecological systems and drive evolutionary change. The pressing challenges facing society today, such as combating habitat loss, climate change, saving endangered species, managing exploited resources, or slowing the spread of infectious disease, have their root in ecological and evolutionary forces. Link: Evolutionary Ecology Biochemistry and microbial ecology This department is dedicated to the study of the effects of global change and extreme environments on ecosystem structure and functioning, including the ecological implications of microbes in biogeochemical cycling and organic compound degradation. Our ultimate goal is to develop a mechanistic view of ecosystems to model biogeochemical process under global change drivers. The department is comprised of a multidisciplinary group of scientists with expertise on biogeochemistry, aquatic ecology, terrestrial ecology, microbial ecology and geomicrobiology. Link: Biochemistry and microbial ecology Biogeography and Global Change Biogeography deals with the causes of biological diversity in space and time. The insights learned from the analysis of biogeographical patterns are essential for making scientifically-informed decisions in conservation. Research in biogeography typically requires a hierarchical understanding of the processes affecting biodiversity at different spatial and temporal scales. Such processes range from rapid, local, individual-level responses to microclimatic changes based on physiological or phenotypic plastic mechanisms, to processes acting at large spatial and temporal scales operating at the level of populations, species, communities or ecosystems. Latter processes include local adaptation, range shifts, speciation and extinction, as well as changes in trophic and non-trophic webs of interactions at continental or global scales. The Department of Biogeography and Global Change of the National Museum of Natural Sciences (BGC-MNCN) integrates a multidisciplinary research group interested in the description and analysis of patterns and processes of current and past biological diversity, including scientists interested in understanding, predicting and, eventually, mitigating the effects of global change on the biota. Link: Biogeography and Global Change Geology The Department of Geology is focused on quality scientific research with respect to the Earth physical systems at different spatial and temporal scales, including the causes and potential consequences of natural Earth processes (e.g. sea level changes, floods, climate change and carbon cycle) and the genesis, availability, distribution and potential depletion of natural resources (e.g. soil & soil pollution, water, minerals and rocks). The Department of Geology aims at making an important contribution to the scientific understanding of societal issues such as climate change, natural and cultural heritage, environmental pollution, soil and water management, genesis and exploitation of rocks and mineral resources, natural hazards (river floods, coastal flooding), and international development collaboration. Link: Geology Palaeobiology The main objective of Palaeobiology consists of deciphering the history of life on our planet by means the description of different species found in the fossil record, the determination of their kinship and evolutionary patterns in their living and fossil contexts. This provides valuable information to analyse climatic and ecological changes that occurred in earlier geological periods. Research conducted at the Department of Palaeobiology is focused on the study of fossils, with several research groups devoted to mammals from the Cenozoic, and special attention given to human palaeobiology, as well as amphibians, sauropsids and the origin of plants, together with taphonomic studies. Understanding the complexity of Earth, which is constantly changing, is only possible through the investigation of the natural processes that operate at different spatial and time scales. The main objective of Researchers of the Department of Palaeobiology is to reach such understanding, through the integration of the information obtained by multiple disciplines and techniques, the causes and processes involved in the fluctuations of the palaeobiodiversity, its ecological structure, and the generation of evolutionary novelties in a changing palaeoenvironmental framework, with evolution of the palaeo-ecosystems and their determinants (geological processes, climatic and biogeographical). It analyzes the processes related to the evolution of organisms from the past and involved in the morphological variability, geographical distribution, taphonomy, relative abundance, ecological structure of the associations, migratory movements and its extinction at different scales. Link: Palaeobiology; Biogeography deals with the causes of biological diversity in space and time. The insights learned from the analysis of biogeographical patterns are essential for making scientifically-informed decisions in conservation. Research in biogeography typically requires a hierarchical understanding of the processes affecting biodiversity at different spatial and temporal scales. Such processes range from rapid, local, individual-level responses to microclimatic changes based on physiological or phenotypic plastic mechanisms, to processes acting at large spatial and temporal scales operating at the level of populations, species, communities or ecosystems. Latter processes include local adaptation, range shifts, speciation and extinction, as well as changes in trophic and non-trophic webs of interactions at continental or global scales. The Department of Biogeography and Global Change of the National Museum of Natural Sciences (BGC-MNCN) integrates a multidisciplinary research group interested in the description and analysis of patterns and processes of current and past biological diversity, including scientists interested in understanding, predicting and, eventually, mitigating the effects of global change on the biota. Link: Biogeography and Global Change Geology The Department of Geology is focused on quality scientific research with respect to the Earth physical systems at different spatial and temporal scales, including the causes and potential consequences of natural Earth processes (e.g. sea level changes, floods, climate change and carbon cycle) and the genesis, availability, distribution and potential depletion of natural resources (e.g. soil & soil pollution, water, minerals and rocks). The Department of Geology aims at making an important contribution to the scientific understanding of societal issues such as climate change, natural and cultural heritage, environmental pollution, soil and water management, genesis and exploitation of rocks and mineral resources, natural hazards (river floods, coastal flooding), and international development collaboration. Link: Geology Palaeobiology; The Department of Geology is focused on quality scientific research with respect to the Earth physical systems at different spatial and temporal scales, including the causes and potential consequences of natural Earth processes (e.g. sea level changes, floods, climate change and carbon cycle) and the genesis, availability, distribution and potential depletion of natural resources (e.g. soil & soil pollution, water, minerals and rocks). The Department of Geology aims at making an important contribution to the scientific understanding of societal issues such as climate change, natural and cultural heritage, environmental pollution, soil and water management, genesis and exploitation of rocks and mineral resources, natural hazards (river floods, coastal flooding), and international development collaboration. Link: Geology; The main objective of Palaeobiology consists of deciphering the history of life on our planet by means the description of different species found in the fossil record, the determination of their kinship and evolutionary patterns in their living and fossil contexts. This provides valuable information to analyse climatic and ecological changes that occurred in earlier geological periods. Research conducted at the Department of Palaeobiology is focused on the study of fossils, with several research groups devoted to mammals from the Cenozoic, and special attention given to human palaeobiology, as well as amphibians, sauropsids and the origin of plants, together with taphonomic studies. Understanding the complexity of Earth, which is constantly changing, is only possible through the investigation of the natural processes that operate at different spatial and time scales. The main objective of Researchers of the Department of Palaeobiology is to reach such understanding, through the integration of the information obtained by multiple disciplines and techniques, the causes and processes involved in the fluctuations of the palaeobiodiversity, its ecological structure, and the generation of evolutionary novelties in a changing palaeoenvironmental framework, with evolution of the palaeo-ecosystems and their determinants (geological processes, climatic and biogeographical). It analyzes the processes related to the evolution of organisms from the past and involved in the morphological variability, geographical distribution, taphonomy, relative abundance, ecological structure of the associations, migratory movements and its extinction at different scales. Link: Palaeobiology

Research Fields

  • The MNCN is the Spanish leader in Systematics and Taxonomy with the capacity to coordinate institutional projects such as Fauna Ibérica (www.fauna-iberica.mncn.csic.es).
  • Integrative Taxonomy, molecular and morphological, essential for the description of biological diversity, is carried out in the MNCN. Currently, MNCN is national benchmark of molecular identifications.
  • The taxonomic expertise is actively carried out in zoological groups (Zoology, Palaeontology), with especial interest in:
  • - extant invertebrate fauna: entomology (Hymenoptera, Coleoptera, Diptera), Crustacea, Tardigrada, Mollusca and Platyhelminthes (terrestrial, freshwater and marine), and Nematoda.
  • - extant vertebrata: fishes (Ichtyology), amphibians and reptiles (Herpetology).
  • - extinct vertebrata: mammals (Quaternary, Neogene, Paleogene), amphibians and reptiles.
  • Other MNCN expertise: Anthropology, Geology, Mineralogy, Meteorites
  • Taxonomic identifications through animal sounds (Bioacoustic expertise) are done.
  • Regarding other taxonomic expertise, the MNCN is able to facilitate contact with other Spanish taxonomists.

Research Initiative

On-line outreach activitie : : []
other outreach activitie : : [['During the last ten years, 79 researchers have directed 163 PhD Thesis and 106 final projects (Master\'s and Grade\'s Degree). On the other hand, 149 researchers and technical staff have been involved in more than other 300 education and training activities, not including exhibitions and public programs.\nRegarding non-formal education, MNCN scientific and technical staff has organized training courses at different levels, from undergraduate and postgraduate level to the general public interested in biology and environment, in collaboration as well with the following institutions (last ten years):\n\n\nAula Científica; Spain\n\n\nAsociación Española de Comunicación Científica; Spain\n\n\nAsociación de Químicos de Madrid. Sección Técnica de Medio Ambiente; Spain\n\n\nCONACYT; México\n\n\nCentro de Estudios Hidrográficos del CEDEX; Spain\n\n\nCentro de Investigación en Ecosistemas; México\n\n\nCentro Territorial de Innovación y Formación de Madrid-Sur; Spain\n\n\nCentro de Formación del Profesorado (Delegación Madrid-Sur); Spain\n\n\nCentro de Investigación Principe Felipe; Spain\n\n\nCentro de Investigaciones Energéticas, Medioambientales y Tecnológicas; Spain\n\nCentro Regional de Innovación y Formación (CRIF) "Las Acacias"; Spain\n\nComité Polar Español; Spain\n\n\nConservación y Restauración de Bienes Culturales de Castilla y León; Spain\n\n\nConsejería de Educación de la Junta de Castilla y León; Spain\n\n\nCPD CIENCIA; Spain\n\n\nDeutches Museum; Deutschland\n\n\nEstación de Fitopatolóxica do Areeiro; Spain\n\n\nEuropean projects EDIT, DEST, SYNTHESYS, etc.; European Union\n\n\nFundación Josep Gibert; Spain\n\n\nFundación de Investigación Biomédica Hospital de la Princesa; Spain\n\n\nGrupo de Estudio dos Animais Salvaxes; Spain\n\n\nGrupo ALETHEIA; Spain\n\n\nInstituto Madrileño de Investigación y Desarrollo Rural, Agrario y Alimentario; Spain\n\n\nInstituto Geológico y Minero de España (IGME); Spain\n\n\nInstituto andaluz del patrimonio histórico; Spain\n\n\nIntendencia de Artigas y Prefeitura de Quarai; Uruguay\n\n\nJardim Botânico do Rio de Janeiro; Brasil\n\n\nLaboratorio Central de Veterinaria; Spain\n\n\nQuelonia-Faunia; Spain\n\n\nSociedad Española de Ornitología SEO/BirdLife; Spain\n\n\nSociedad Española de Biología Evolutiva; Spain\n\n\nSociedad de Amigos del Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales; Spain\n\n\nSecretaría de Estado de Investigación, Desarrollo e Innovación (MINECO); Spain\n\nYale-NUS College; Singapore\n\n \nFew centers in Spain are so good prepared, given the diversity of interrelated subjects it covers. Through the Biodiversity, Evolutionary Biology, Paleobiology and Geology Departments, the scientific collections, the scientific-technical labs, the Fauna Iberica Office, and the GBIF Node, the MNCN is the national reference center in all expertise knowledge related to the identification of specimens, taxonomy, nomenclature, systematic, and databases on animal and geological diversity, and its conservation. The Collections Department offers the possibility of training in both, curation and management, with a wide spectrum of possibilities.\n \nThe Evolutionary Ecology Department takes a multidisciplinary approach integrating experimental techniques that is unique in the context of the CSIC. For this reason, the MNCN is a national and international reference in some aspects of Animal Ecology and Conservation. In this sense, stand out the immunological techniques, molecular analysis of parasites, hormonal manipulation, chemical ecology and reproductive ecology analyses. The investigations in biological conservation carried out in this department have allowed developing strategies for the management and protection of endangered species and their habitats in Spain and other parts of the world, that are a model with international reach.\n \nThe experience in reproductive biotechnologies have lead the MAPAMA to recognize the MNCN as the headquarters of the Germplasm Bank (BanGES) that keeps samples of endangered species such as the Iberian lynx. The MNCN is promoting the creation of a National Network of Natural History Collections in Spain spreading good practices in collections\' and management including interoperable databases']]
Non academic trainings : : [['In collaboration with the Ministry of Education and the Xunta de Galicia, Curators and Collections Managers have organized courses of curation and management of Natural History Collections to teachers of High Schools, all over Spain, with ancient Natural History Cabinets.\nIn collaboration with the Autonomous Community of Madrid: FINNOVA Program (Counseling of Employment, Woman and Immigration) and curricular practices in VET level (Counseling of Education)']]
Academic trainings : : [["The teaching and training activities carried out by the research and technical staff of the MNCN, in collaboration with national and international Universities, are continuous, very wide and at different curricular levels, since it covers topics associated with all MNCN research lines, with the curation and management of natural history collections, and with the dissemination area.\nThe MNCN takes fully active part in the Higher Education third cycle by means of direction of Doctoral Thesis; and in the first and second cycles by means of direction of Final Projects to obtain Grade's and Master's Degrees. During the last ten years, Doctoral Thesis and Final Projects have been directed by MNCN researchers in collaboration with the following universities:\nInternational Doctoral Thesis: Argentina (Universidad Nacional de la Patagonia San Juan Bosco); Brasil (Universidade Federal de Goiás, Universidad Federal de Rio de Janeiro); China (Chinese Academy of Sciences); Denmark (University of Copenhagen); France (Université de Toulouse; Université Pierre et Marie Curie); Mexico (Universidad Autónoma de Mexico); Portugal (Universidade de Évora, Universdade de Lisboa, Universidade Técnica de Lisboa, Universidade do Porto); Sweden (Uppsala University); Tunis (Université de Tunis El Manar).\nNational Doctoral Thesis:Universidad Autónoma de Madrid; Universidad de Alcalá de Henares Universitat d'Alacant; Universidad de Barcelona; Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha; Universidad de Córdoba; Universidad de Granada; Universidad de Murcia; Universidad Politécnica de Madrid; Universidad de Salamanca; Universidad de Sevilla; Universidad de Valencia; Universidad de Vigo; Universidad de Zaragoza; Universidad del País Vasco; Universidad Rey Juan Carlos.\nInternational Final Projects: Ecuador- Spain (Universidad Central de Ecuador-Universidad Internacional Menéndez-Pelayo); Portugal (Universidade de Coimbra).\nNational Final Projects: Universidad Autónoma de Madrid; Universidad Complutense de Madrid; Universidad de Alcalá de Henares; Universidad de Cádiz; Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha; Universidad de Córdoba; Universidad de Salamanca; Universidad de Valencia; Universidad Politécnica de Valencia; Universidad Internacional Menéndez-Pelayo; Universidad Pablo de Olavide; Universidad Rey Juan Carlos; Universidad Rovira i Virgili.\nOn the other hand, the MNCN staff collaborates in doctoral and specialized courses, directed to postgraduates. Courses included in grade's and master's degrees are taught. Curricular and extracurricular practices are organized by the scientific and technical staff of the MNCN, under the different agreements established by the CSIC with the universities of Madrid. Through agreements between CSIC and Spanish Universities, ad hoc courses are organized as well, depending on the specific requests. During the last ten years researchers and technical staff have been invited to participate in numerous courses, one or more years, by the following universities:\n-Internacional Doctoral Courses: Mexico (Universidad Autónoma de Tlaxcala; Universidad Autónoma de Mexico); Brasil (Universidade Federal de Goiás); Portugal (Universdade de Lisboa); Denmark (Universidad de Conpenhague); Spain (Universidad Rovira i Virgili); Switzerland (University of Neuchatel).\n-National Doctoral Courses: Universidad de Alcalá; Universidad Autónoma de Madrid; Universidad Complutense de Madrid; Universidad Politécnica de Madrid; Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo; Universidad de Granada; Universitat de Lleida; Universidad de Salamanca; Universidad de Santiago de Compostela; Universidad de Zaragoza; Universidad Rovira i Virgili.\n-International Specialized Courses: Chile (Universidad de Concepcion); Portugal (Universidade de Évora); Spain (Universidad Internacional de Andalucía).\n-National Specialized Courses: Universidad de A Coruña; Universidad del Mar; Universidad de Murcia; Universidad Autónoma de Madrid; Universidad de Barcelona; Universidad Complutense de Madrid; Universidad de Alcalá; Universitat d'Alacant; Universidad de Almería; Universidad de Granada; Universidad de Oviedo; Universidad de Valladolid.\n-International Grade's Degree: Gran Bretaña (Aberystwyth University); México (Universidad Autónoma de Tlaxcala); Spain (IE University).\n-National Grade's Degree: Universidad de Alcalá; Universidad Autónoma de Madrid; Universidad Complutense de Madrid; Universidad Politécnica de Madrid; Universidad Francisco de Vitoria; Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha; Universidad de Córdoba; Universidad de Granada; Universidad de Salamanca.\n-International Master's Degree: Brasil (Universidade Estadual Paulista); Ecuador (Universidad Tecnológica Indoamérica y Universidad Central del Ecuador); Polonia (University of Lodz); Spain (Universidad de Alcalá; Universidad de Jaén; Universidad Internacional de Andalucía; Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo; Universidad Rovira i Virgili and Universitat d'Alacant).\n-National Master's Degree: Universidad de Alcalá; Universidad Autónoma de Madrid; Universidad Complutense de Madrid; Universidad de Córdoba; Universidad de Granada; Universidad Rey Juan Carlos; Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha; Universitat de Valencia; Universidad de Zaragoza; Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo; Universidad Nacional de Educación a distancia; Universidad Pablo de Olavide; Universidad Rovira i Virgili.\n-Ad hoc courses: Universidad Autónoma de Mexico; Universidad de Alcalá;Universidad Complutense de Madrid; Universidad de Guadalajara, Universidad de Cantabria.\n-Curricular and extracurricular training: Universidad de Alcalá; Universidad Autónoma de Madrid; Universidad Complutense de Madrid.Graduate and undergraduate Spanish students are currently developing practical skills in collection management and digitization."]]
General description : : [["At the moment, MNCN are involved in two Master's Degree, organized by CSIC-Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo:\n-Global Change: Cambio Global\n-Biodiversity in Tropical Areas and its Conservation: Biodiversidad en Áreas Tropicales y su Conservación \nThe Public Programs Department assumes the relationship between Museum and School and establishes a bridge connecting non-formal education with official programs. The Museum's educational program aims to stimulate the group visit through an active methodology based on learning by discovery, with a varied range of activities in which it is intended to show the work of scientists and the collections staff. During the school year, the Museum offers an extensive program of educational activities such as guided tours, workshops and stories adapted to different levels of education. There is also the possibility of doing some of our best activities, spending the night in the Museum with the students, participating in a Congress for schoolchildren (introducing to research activities) or to become 'scientists' and to carry out the different phases of a real research projectin The Museum Investigates. Open Fab Lab.\nMore info:\nWorkshops: Talleres\nSpecial Workshop: Look and touch to understand: 3D technology at the Virtual Morphology Lab. Mirar y tocar para comprender: Tecnologías 3D del Laboratorio de Morfología Virtual\nStories: Cuentos\nGuided tours: Visitas guiadas \nNight in the Museum: La noche en el Museo\nCongress (partner: Foundation “La Caixa”): Congreso de escolares 2010, 2012, 2013, 2016\nThe Museum Investigates. Open Fab Lab: El Museo Investiga. Open Fab Lab."]]

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