National Museums Scotland

Institution (Original name) 
National Museums Scotland
MAIN ADDRESS
Street 
Chambers Street
Postal code 
EH1 1JF
City 
Edinburgh
POSTAL ADDRESS
Country 
United Kingdom
Phone 

(+44) 300 123 6789                                      

E-mail 
TYPE OF INSTITUTION
Type of institution 
Museum
LEGAL STATUS
Are you part of a larger entity / legal body? 
No
CETAF MEMBERSHIP
Member since 
May 2019
Category 
Associate member
CETAF Official representative
Name, position, phone, e-mail, research field 

Nick Fraser, Keeper of Natural Sciences, Mesozoic Vertebrate palaeontology, + 44 (0)131 247 4007, nick.fraser@nms.ac.uk

Member of the Executive Committee? 
No
CETAF DEPUTY
Name, position, phone, e-mail, research field 

Vladimir Blagoderov, Principal Curator of Invertebrates,+44 (0)131 247 4261, v.blagoderov@nms.ac.uk

Member of the Executive Committee? 
No
Director / legal representative of the institution (title, name, phone, e-mail, research field) 

Dr. Gordon Rintoul

Governing and executive bodies 

The Board of Trustees is National Museums Scotland’s governing body. The Board is responsible for setting the National Museums Scotland’s strategic direction and for monitoring progress to achieve this. The management team is fully responsible for the day-to-day operation of the National Museums Scotland and for the implementation of strategy. The Board and management team work closely together in their different roles.

National Museums Scotland is a public body, and the Board is accountable to Scottish Ministers and the Scottish Parliament.

Trustees have a Code of Conduct which is on this website. Biographies of Trustees, Board minutes and Trustees’ registered interests are also posted on this website. Previous years' minutes can be viewed in the Trustees minutes archive.

Trustees bring to the National Museums Scotland a wide range of skills, backgrounds and experience in academic life, business, media, technology, education and community involvement. Individually they bring not only this experience, but also many different perspectives on how the National Museums Scotland can best serve the public.

Trustees also have a vital role to act as ambassadors for National Museums Scotland, both in gathering support for large projects and, equally importantly, in ensuring the widest possible understanding of National Museums Scotland’s collections and its services (locally, nationally and internationally).

National Museums Scotland can have up to 15 Trustees, who are all appointed by the Minister for Culture, Tourism & External Affairs. They are normally appointed for a term of four years, and may serve for a second term. Trustees are appointed through an open process where posts are advertised and candidates are interviewed. 

The Director has overall responsibility for implementing the agreed strategic priorities and actions of the Board of Trustees of National Museums Scotland. The Director and Executive Team make up the top management tier of National Museums Scotland.

PERSONNEL
Scientific staff 
Permanent (P)Non – Permanent (NP)
a) TOTAL scientific staff9
b) Scientific staff linked to Collections7.5
c) Post-docs / PhD students4
d) Others (Associates, etc.)7
TOTAL (a+b+c+d)26.5
Other staff (administration etc.) 
Permanent (P)Non – Permanent (NP)
e) Exhibitions 0.5
f) Collection Managers / technicians7
g) Others 1
TOTAL (e+f+g) 8.5
Total permanent staff 
25
Total non-permanent staff 
11
Grand total (permanent + non-permanent Staff) 
36
Male (%) 
53
Female (%) 
47
R&D facilities
How many laboratories are in use in your institution? 
6
List of key tools (e.g. SEM, 3D, scanners/printers,...) 
  • XRF (Oxford Instruments)
  • X-radiography Faxitron Unit
  • SEMS-EDS (CamScan MX 2500)
  • XRD (PANalytical)
  • FTIR (Nicolet) x 2
  • PDA-UPLC
  • Conservation lab
  • Palaeontology lab including acid digestion
  • 3D visualization suite
  • Optical microscopy with Z-stacking
Exhibitions
Number of permanent exhibitions 
7
List of permanent exhibitions  
Name 
Animal World
Name 
Animal Senses
Name 
Survival
Name 
Wildlife panorama
Name 
Adventure Planet
Name 
Restless Earth
Name 
Earth and Space
Number of recent exhibitions 
3
Recent Temporary Exhibitions (< 2 years) 
Name 
Monkey Business
Name 
Fossil Hunters
Name 
Agates
Number of future exhibitions 
2
Future exhibitions  
Name 
Tyrannosaurs
Name 
Scotland’s Coasts and waters
RESEARCH FIELDS
RESEARCH FIELD 
Research Field 
Research Programme
Summary of your Research programme 

The research programme at NMS is divided into four major sections: Earth Systems, Palaeobiology, Invertebrates and Vertebrate Biology, Biodiversity and Conservation are two major strands connecting all research programs in the zoological disciplines, with specific research reflecting expertise of the staff and the taxonomic breadth of the collections.

History of collecting runs across all disciplines with noted natural historians such as Louis Dufresne (1752-1832), Robert Jamieson (1774-1854), Hugh Miller (1802-1856), Matthew Forster Heddle (1828-1897) and J.A. Harvie-Brown (1844-1916), and their contributions to the collections of National Museums Scotland.

Research Field 
Invertebrates
Summary of your Research programme 

Invertebrate research centres on the taxonomy, phylogeny and biogeography of a range of marine and terrestrial groups with global distributions, while also retaining some Scottish focus. There is particular expertise in fungus gnats, hoverflies, Mayflies, parasitic wasps, carrion beetles, mud-snails benthic copepods, and polychaetes. DNA biomonitoring and environmental DNA programmes are in development.

Research Field 
Earth Systems
Summary of your Research programme 

The Earth Systems collections have a major strength in Scottish minerals and ongoing research programmes into rock fault genesis, Pb-rich ore minerals and deep-sea vent mineralisation, erosion processes (terrestrial and Martian), and tectonic geomorphology and uses of minerals in paints and pigments.

Research Field 
Palaeobiology
Summary of your Research programme 

Scotland’s Palaeozoic rocks represent important windows through which crucial stages in the early evolution of life on Earth can be viewed. Our Palaeozoic collections are renowned worldwide for specimens of eurypterids, plants, fishes and early tetrapods. They are central to our research on early vertebrate diversity and evolution, the reconstruction of evolutionary pattern and process, and uses of fossils and systematic methods in evolutionary developmental biology.

Taxonomic expertise in arthropods, brachiopods, and “enigmatic” Palaeozoic fossils sits together with fossil birds, dinosaurs and marine reptiles. There is also a focus on amber deposits including a growing collections of Burmese amber which is a joint programme with Invertebrates.

Research Field 
Vertebrate Biology
Summary of your Research programme 

Core research within Vertebrate Biology looks at hybridisation between native and introduced mammal species, geographical variation and the effects of captivity on mammal and bird skeletal morphology, including ageing and pathology. Other research strands focus on molecular evolution and the biogeography and archaeology of Eurasian mammals, especially rodents and cetaceans.

Scientific publications
Number of peer-reviewed publications per year 
50
Other publications 

 National Museums Scotland  hosts a research repository that contains staff publications: http://repository.nms.ac.uk/

EARTH SCIENCES (Geology, Mineralogy, Palaeontology,…) 
TypologyPrimary typesIndividual specimens/objects% registered cards % recorded cards in DB
1.1Palaeontology250000
1.2Mineralogy45000
1.3Geology15000
1.4Meteorites240
LIFE SCIENCES (Zoology, Biology, Botany, Mycology,…) 
TypologyPrimary typesIndividual specimens/objects% registered cards % recorded cards in DB
2.1Zoology9500000
Total specimens (all collections) 
9,810,240
Outstanding collection features 

National Museums Scotland (NMS) collections are comprehensive in their coverage of the natural world, although Botany is only represented by fossil plants. The collections are global in terms of their content and are sub-divided into four sections: Earth Systems, Invertebrate Biology  Palaeobiology, and Vertebrate Biology. 

NMS houses arguably the world’s foremost collection of Palaeozoic fishes which is widely visited by scientists from all over the world. Other important collections, such as the extensive North Atlantic whale collection, also attract significant numbers of international research visitors each year. NMS also holds numerous historic collections such as the Dufresne collection incorporating many insects and birds, the Hugh Miller fossil collection, and collections from the Challenger and William Speirs Bruce expeditions. NMS zoologists have a program of work assembling collections of marine mammals and deep sea invertebrates complementing the benthic survey work around Wales and the Irish Sea by the Museum of Wales. These are ecosystems of critical environmental concern but from which very few institutions are systematically sampling for these animals. 

Genetic Repositories
Does your institution have a DNA bank? 
No
Does your institution have a seed bank? 
No
DNA or seed sample exchange 

National Museums Scotland is currentlyestablishing a biobank as part of the Edinburgh Biobank
COLLECTION’S RELATED INFORMATION
Number of outgoing loans (parcels / specimens) per year 
75 lots
Number of accessions (specimens) per year 
100 lots
Number of scientific visitors per year 
200
MAIN AREAS OF TAXONOMIC EXPERTISE 
Mollusca (focus on Hydrobiids)
Diptera (focus on Syrphidae and Sciaroidea)
Coleoptera (focus on Silphids)
Hymenoptera (focus on Ichneumonidae and Braconidae)
Ephemeroptera
Fossil invertebrates (focus on Brachiopoda, Arthropoda – including insects)
Copepods (focus on Harpactocoida)
Polychaetes (focus on Cirratulidae and Polynoidae)
Aves (Living and fossil)
Mammals (focus on Carnivora, Cetacea and Rodentia)
COMMUNICATION MATERIAL
Main activities of communication and outreach 

NMS runs an extensive outreach program for schools https://www.nms.ac.uk/about-us/schools/ and a wider  community outreach program tailored to meet the needs and interests of specific target groups, and to offer wider access to our objects and resources https://www.nms.ac.uk/about-us/outreach-and-engagement/.

Contact person at your institution for communications / press / external relations (name, position, phone, e-mail) 

Patricia Convery, + 44 (0)131 247 4386 p.convery@nms.ac.uk

Nick Fraser, +44 (0)131 247 4007 nick.fraser@nms.ac.uk

Visitors
Last year:  
2 200 000
Trends (past and future) 

The last two years have seen a growth from 1.8 million visitors to 2.2 million.

Website visitors
Last year  
2 300 000
Institution news
Research updates
If your institution is involved with universities in teaching or education programmes, please name and describe them 

National Museums Scotland is part of the Edinburgh University doctoral training partnesrship

Other relevant information on education and / or training carried out 

We offer school programmes, guided tours (including of the collections areas)

THREE MAIN TOPICS OF CURRENT INTEREST FOR YOUR INSTITUTION 

1.     Systematics research

2. Conservation biology and hybridization

3. Digitization of collections and data aggregation

THREE MAIN TOPICS OF FUTURE INTEREST FOR YOUR INSTITUTION 

1. DNA Barcoding

2. Geological data aggregation and IGSN

3. Climate Change and public engagement

Last update 
07.02.19