National Museum of Natural Sciences

Consortium name  
Spanish Consortium: CSIC (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas - Spanish National Research Council)
Institution (Original name) 
Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales
José Gutiérrez Abascal, 2
Postal code 

(+34) 914111328

Type of institution 
Are you part of a larger entity / legal body? 
If yes, please specify  
The MNCN is a center of the Spanish National Research Council State Agency, CSIC State Agency (Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Agencia Estatal CSIC)
Member since 
1st December, 1996
Full member
CETAF Official representative
Name, position, phone, e-mail, research field 

Prof. Santiago MERINO / Position: Director / Phone: +3491141328-Ext 1151/ email: / Research Field: Evolutionary Ecology

Member of the Executive Committee? 
Name, position, phone, e-mail, research field 

Isabel Rey Fraile / Position: Curator and Collections Manager / Phone: +3491141328-Ext 1242 / email:

Celia M. Santos Mazorra / Position: Curator and Collections Manager / Phone: +3491141328-Ext 1241 / email:

Member of the Executive Committee? 
Name, position, phone, e-mail, research field + Working Group or Project involved in 

Antonio G. Valdecasas / Position: Senior Permanent Researcher / Taxonomy / Phone: +34914111328-Ext 1158 / email: Assessment of Taxonomists in Europe; Project: Road Map

Isabel Rey Fraile / Position: Curator and Collections Manager / Phone: +3491141328-Ext 1242 / email:; Legislations and Regulations Group

Celia M. Santos Mazorra / Position: Curator and Collections Manager / Phone: +3491141328-Ext 1241 / email:; Digitisation Group

Xiomara Cantera Arranz / Position: Communications Department / Phone: +3491141328-Ext 1259/ email:; Communications Group

Member of the Executive Committee? 
Director / legal representative of the institution (title, name, phone, e-mail, research field) 

Prof. Santiago MERINO; Phone: +3491141328-Ext 1151; e-mail:

Organigram figure 
Governing and 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. 

Scientific staff 
Permanent (P)Non – Permanent (NP)
a) TOTAL scientific staff766
b) Scientific staff linked to Collections00
c) Post-docs / PhD students030
d) Others (Associates, etc.)031
TOTAL (a+b+c+d)7667
Other staff (administration etc.) 
Permanent (P)Non – Permanent (NP)
e) Exhibitions 51
f) Collection Managers / technicians226
g) Others 6920
TOTAL (e+f+g) 9627
Total permanent staff 
Total non-permanent staff 
Grand total (permanent + non-permanent Staff) 
Male (%) 
Female (%) 
Any other information concerning the staff 

Externalized services (Subcontracted and/or on Concessions): 60 

  • Security Guards 13;
  • Hall Guards 20;
  • Cleaning Service 12;
  • Gardeners 2;
  • Monitors (Public Programs) 13;

Volunteers: 28

R&D facilities
How many laboratories are in use in your institution? 
List of laboratories 
  • Non-destructive techniques: Electron & Confocal Microscopy and Spectroscopies
  • Molecular Systematics and Population Genetics Lab
  • Histology
  • Chromatography Lab
  • Ecophysiology Lab
  • Reproductive Physiology Lab
  • Germplasm Bank (GRB) for Endangered Iberian Species
  • Analyses of geological samples and waters
  • Fossil Restoration
  • Biogeochemistry Lab
  • Five General Microscopy Labs
  • Molecular identification Lab
  • Identification of Phytopathogenic Nematodes 
List of key tools (e.g. SEM, 3D, scanners/printers,...) 
  • Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope (ESEM);
  • Backscattering (BS) high resolution Low-Vacuum SEM equipment;
  • Confocal Microscope;
  • CT-Scan;
  • 3D High Resolution;
  • Two gas chromatographs and three liquid chromatographs, one ionic chromatograph;
  • infrared and ultraviolet spectrophotometers;
  • HPLC;
  • light microscopes;
  • stereomicroscopes;
  • two digital cameras;
  • one Picarro G2101i;
  • Cavity Ring-Down Spectroscopy (CRDS);
  • microscopy equipment for sperm and oocyte micromanipulation for oocyte microinjection and somatic cell nuclear transfer and CO2 incubators for sperm –oocyte co-culture for in vitro fertilization and in vitro embryo culture.
Other scientific / R&D facilities 
  • The Fauna Iberica Office (MNCN)
  • Informatic Biogeography
  • Taphonomy Lab
  • Virtual Morphology Lab
  • Field Stations:
    • Bio-Geological Field Station El Ventorrillo (Sierra del Guadarrama, Madrid)
    • Biological Field Station in Ore (Luarca, Asturias)
    • La Higueruela (Toledo, Castilla La Mancha)
Number of permanent exhibitions 
List of permanent exhibitions  
Minerals, fossils and human evolution
The Royal Cabinet of Natural History
Mediterranean, nature and civilization
Fauna of the Sierra de Guadarrama National Park
Educational Garden of the Mediterranean Forest
Garden of Stones
Number of recent exhibitions 
Recent Temporary Exhibitions (< 2 years) 
“The dreamed migration” by Fernando Barrios
PhotoEspaña 2016: "Conceptual Andalusia: Européens en vol”, by Juan del Junco
PhotoEspaña 2015: “Heave Away” by Janek Zamoyski
"Secret Fauna" by Joan Fontcuberta
“The shape of the wind” by Juan Varela
“Wood of artist” by Martina Billi
Falconry; Cultural Heritage and Science
Illustrated Natures. The van Berkhey Collection of the National Museum of Natural Sciences
Giants from Aragon
Emiliano Aguirre. An exceptional life devoted to the Natural Sciences
Birds from Patagonia
The fascinating world of spiders and scorpions
Metamorphosis: Starewitch's fantastic vision
Plastihistory of science
Raptor Refuge of Montejo de la Vega de la Serrezuela
"Ars naturale" by J.A. Ocaña
Number of current exhibitions 
Current Temporary Exhibitions 
Océanos: la exposición. El último territorio salvaje
A collection, a scholar creole and a King: a cabinet for an enlightened monarchy
Antropocene. The age of the global change
Top ten species for 2016
Once upon a time... and now what?
"GEMMAE" by Almudena Salamanca
Art and nature in the prehistory: the collection of rubbings of the MNCN (Itinerant)
Striped oil and Blister beetles (Itinerant)
Cervantes: Science in the Quijote (Itinerant)
The Soil. A walk through life (Itinerant)
Research Field 
Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology
Summary of your Research programme 

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:

Research Field 
Evolutionary Ecology
Summary of your Research programme 

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.

Research Field 
Biochemistry and microbial ecology
Summary of your Research programme 

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.

Research Field 
Biogeography and Global Change
Summary of your Research programme 

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.

Research Field 
Summary of your Research programme 

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.

Research Field 
Summary of your Research programme 

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.

Scientific publications
Number of peer-reviewed publications per year 
Annual journals/series 

Estudios Geológicos. Geological Studies was born in 1945. It publishes original and unpublished works of investigation, as well as articles of synthesis, on any field of Earth Sciences.

Graellsia. Graellsia was born in 1943. For 44 years it was dedicated to the Iberian entomology, until 1987 it was a journal of zoology in general. Nowadays, Graellsia publishes original and unpublished scientific works on Zoological Diversity including taxonomic, faunistic, biogeographic, chorological, evolutionary and conservation studies. It also includes sections of notes, news and reviews.

Eos. Revista española de entomología (1925-1994). Spanish journal of Entomology (closed). Some articles available on DigitalCSIC  

Other publications 

Monographies Series:




  • Iberfauna - The Iberian Fauna Databank. A centralised, on-line, public cataloguing system of our fauna, developed by the Fauna Ibérica project (English, Spanish and Portuguese)
  • Virtual enciclopedy of Spanish vertebrates - Enciclopedia Virtual de los Vertebrados Españoles

  • LISANFOS KMS - Lisanfos KMS is an online resource developed by the Spanish Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales for research and information on the fossil record of living amphibians and their evolutionary ancestors.

  • WTaxa - WTaxa is The Electronic Catalogue of Weevil Names (Curculionoidea), developed as a joint project between the Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales and The Natural History Museum.
EARTH SCIENCES (Geology, Mineralogy, Palaeontology,…) 
TypologyPrimary typesIndividual specimens/objects% registered cards% recorded cards in database
1.1.2Fossil invertebrates401[1,000,000]9590
LIFE SCIENCES (Zoology, Biology, Botany, Mycology,…) 
TypologyPrimary typesIndividual specimens/objects% registered cards % recorded cards in database
2.1.1Invertebrates[17,953][6,484,000],379[4,000,000]9580 (other)340[260,000]6060[2,000,000]10062 Invertebrates389[224,000]5050
2.2Tissues and DNA26160,00010044.20
Total specimens (all collections) 
Outstanding collection features 
  • The scientific collections of the MNCN comprise the most important natural history resource in the CSIC and in Spain, and represent a unique heritage value that dates back to times before the 18th century, when collections started to follow scientific criteria.
    • The Palaeontology section includes collections on Paleobotany, Fossil invertebrates, and Paleovertebrates. 
    • Our Zoology collection of vertebrates and invertebrates focuses mostly on the former, with larger collections of Entomology, Antropoda, and Mollusca.
    • We also hold collections on Prehistory and tissues and DNA.
  • Fonoteca Zoologica.  Fonoteca Zoologica is a scientific collection of animal sounds. It was created in 2002 with the aim of supporting the study of acoustic communication in animals. The collection includes more than 45,000 sound recordings belonging to more than 12,000 different species (Mammalia, Birds, Amphibia, Reptilia, Fish, Insecta), which make Fonoteca Zoologica a valuable tool in animal behaviour, Ecology, Systematics and Conservation studies. This scientific collection is available in, where it is divided into two sections: FZ Sound Collection and Published Collection. Published collection includes a great number of commercial sound animal guides published all over the world, while FZ Sound Collection consists on scientific original recordings, from the museum staff and other collaborators.
  • Media Library. The Media Library is a scientific collection of audio-visuals. It is in charge of storing, documenting and managing the audio-visual archive of the Museum and the resources of CIENCIATK that is an audio-visual platform of the CSIC. The collection, in constant growth, includes more than 4,200 audio-visuals of scientific and technical content. More info (Spanish only): Mediateca


Heritage sciences (art, manuscripts, maps, photographs...) 

Historical Archive:

  1. Textual: 6.138
  2. Special fund (drawings, engravings): 11.000
  3. Photographs: 22.000

More info (Spanish only): Archivo historico



  1. Books: 51.860
  2. Journals: 4.303
  3. Maps: 3.757

More info (Spanish only): Biblioteca


More info (Spanish & English):  CSIC Libraries and Archives Web


  1. Fine Arts: 142 (paintings, sculptures, object of Art)
  2. Scientific Instruments: 154 (from before 1930)

More info (Spanish only):

Bellas Artes

Instrumentos Científicos

Other information regarding heritage collections 
    • The historical archive preserves the written memory of a museum and scientific institution like the MNCN with 240 years of antiquity. There are documentary antecedents prior to its official foundation in 1771, as Royal Cabinet of Natural History. The informative value of its documents is remarkable interesting for the history and development of Natural Sciences in Spain, not only in the field of Zoology, Paleontology, Geology or Mineralogy, but also in other areas that historically were attached to what was known as "Natural History", e.g. archeology, ethnography, anthropology, etc. In fact, the former Royal Cabinet of Natural History will be the first to accumulate collections of these characteristics, a part of which became later the origin of the new museums created during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, including: the Archaeological National Museum, the Museum of Anthropology and the Museum of America.
    • The library includes numerous titles of different periodical journals; of them around 437 are open collections, which are received nowadays. There are the bulletins, annals and memoirs of the great institutions of Spain, Europe and America dedicated to Natural History, mostly from their earliest numbers. Our warehouses include the first magazine in the Western world, the famous "Journal des savants" which began its edition in 1665. 
Genetic Repositories
Does your institution have a DNA bank? 
Number of DNA samples 
70 100
Number of organisms / species 
5 600
Does your institution have a seed bank? 
DNA or seed sample exchange 


Number of outgoing loans (parcels / specimens) per year 
Number of accessions (specimens) per year 
Number of scientific visitors per year 
1515 user days
The MNCN is the Spanish leader in Systematics and Taxonomy with the capacity to coordinate institutional projects such as Fauna Ibérica (
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.
Main activities of communication and outreach 

The main goal of the MNCN Communication and Public Programs Department is to reach society, letting people know the work that takes place in the different departments of this Institution: research, collections, exhibitions and educational activities.


To achieve this objective, the department is mainly targeting three groups: society in general, and with journalists and private and public institutions in particular. Contact with media professionals occurs mainly through the press releases that are sent periodically from the centre. We work with two well-defined groups, one specialized in scientific communication and another focused on exhibitions and educational activities. The information is sent to each group depending on the content.


The department aims to become a reference source for scientific journalists. A database has been developed that allows us to select the shipping addresses of each material and where the contacts are kept up to date. We try to take have direct contact with the communication professionals both when they need information about the museum itself and when they ask about environmental issues. We also try to be in contact with different press associations such as APIA or AECC. On the other way, we would like to establish a relationship of mutual trust that allows us to be more present in different communication platforms.


We complement the sending of press releases to specialized journalists, by updating all the information in MNCN website, with the blog and the social networks. Currently we work regularly with Twitter, Facebook, G+ and we are assessing the possibility of expanding our networks as well as the use of new narratives that allow us to reach a wide range of people.


Through the website, monthly newsletter and social networks, as well as the digital magazine NaturalMente, we try to establish a direct relationship with both visitors and with all people interested in natural sciences. The digital magazine, which is launched every three months and includes external collaborations, is designed for teachers and students between 14 and 18 years old, as well as anyone interested in natural sciences. In addition to scientific dissemination articles, the journal collects the daily life of the MNCN, including exhibitions and other activities that take place in the centre, as well as the PhD theses or research projects in which the MNCN is involved.


Finally, we encourage collaborations with other institutions through exhibitions, mailing information or making presentations and activities that take place both inside and outside the Museum. Thus, we collaborate regularly with educational centres, public and private companies, Non-governmental organizations, foundations, and other museums and research centres.

Printed news 

Printed Newspaper (2007-2009) - Periódico impreso (ten numbers + 1 extra)


NaturalMente e-journal - NaturalMente

Monthly MNCN Activities newsletter - Revista mensual de actividades del MNCN

Own editions 

Didactic guides (available on-line)

Exhibitions Catalogues (available on-line)

Exhibitions Catalogues (only printed)

 Audiovisuals (available on-line)

 Other editions (available on line)

Other editions (available for mobile devices)

  • VR guided visit: A walk through the MNCN. Google Arts & Culture APP available for Android and iOS. The user can dive into different corners of the museum with a mobile device. Collaboration with Google.
  • Virtual Experience: A walk through the MNCN. Google Expeditions free APP available for Android and iOS. VR contents for scholar use. Children are able to visit the museum halls without leaving their classrooms, accessing information, aspects of interest and questions aimed at the school public. Collaboration with Google.
  • APP of the MNCN (CSIC). Collaboration with Telefonica - APP del MNCN (CSIC). +info: Here
Contact person at your institution for communications / press / external relations (name, position, phone, e-mail) 

Pilar López García-Gallo / Technical Director for Communication and Public Programs / Phone: +34914111328 – Ext. 1154 / email:

Last year:  
395 612
Website visitors
Last year  
396 589
Other means of communication  


Twitter (two accounts): 



Online Media Galleries:

Google plus: 


If your institution is involved with non-university-based teaching or education programmes, please describe them & the partners 


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.


In collaboration with the Autonomous Community of Madrid: FINNOVA Program (Counseling of Employment, Woman and Immigration) and curricular practices in VET level (Counseling of Education)

If your institution is involved with universities in teaching or education programmes, please name and describe them 

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.

The 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:

International 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).

National 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.

International Final Projects: Ecuador- Spain (Universidad Central de Ecuador-Universidad Internacional Menéndez-Pelayo); Portugal (Universidade de Coimbra).

National 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.


On 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:

-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).

-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.

-International Specialized Courses: Chile (Universidad de Concepcion); Portugal (Universidade de Évora); Spain (Universidad Internacional de Andalucía).

-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.

-International Grade's Degree: Gran Bretaña (Aberystwyth University); México (Universidad Autónoma de Tlaxcala); Spain (IE University).

-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.

-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).

-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.

-Ad hoc courses: Universidad Autónoma de Mexico; Universidad de Alcalá;Universidad Complutense de Madrid; Universidad de Guadalajara, Universidad de Cantabria.

-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.


If your institution is involved in training projects, please describe them and the partners 

At the moment, MNCN are involved in two Master's Degree, organized by CSIC-Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo:

-Global Change: Cambio Global

-Biodiversity in Tropical Areas and its Conservation: Biodiversidad en Áreas Tropicales y su Conservación 

The 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.

More info:

Workshops: Talleres

Special 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

Stories: Cuentos

Guided tours: Visitas guiadas 

Night in the Museum: La noche en el Museo

Congress (partner: Foundation “La Caixa”): Congreso de escolares 20102012, 2013, 2016

The Museum Investigates. Open Fab Lab: El Museo Investiga. Open Fab Lab.


Other relevant information on education and / or training carried out 

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.

Regarding 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):

  • Aula Científica; Spain
  • Asociación Española de Comunicación Científica; Spain
  • Asociación de Químicos de Madrid. Sección Técnica de Medio Ambiente; Spain
  • CONACYT; México
  • Centro de Estudios Hidrográficos del CEDEX; Spain
  • Centro de Investigación en Ecosistemas; México
  • Centro Territorial de Innovación y Formación de Madrid-Sur; Spain
  • Centro de Formación del Profesorado (Delegación Madrid-Sur); Spain
  • Centro de Investigación Principe Felipe; Spain
  • Centro de Investigaciones Energéticas, Medioambientales y Tecnológicas; Spain
  • Centro Regional de Innovación y Formación (CRIF) "Las Acacias"; Spain
  • Comité Polar Español; Spain
  • Conservación y Restauración de Bienes Culturales de Castilla y León; Spain
  • Consejería de Educación de la Junta de Castilla y León; Spain
  • CPD CIENCIA; Spain
  • Deutches Museum; Deutschland
  • Estación de Fitopatolóxica do Areeiro; Spain
  • European projects EDIT, DEST, SYNTHESYS, etc.; European Union
  • Fundación Josep Gibert; Spain
  • Fundación de Investigación Biomédica Hospital de la Princesa; Spain
  • Grupo de Estudio dos Animais Salvaxes; Spain
  • Grupo ALETHEIA; Spain
  • Instituto Madrileño de Investigación y Desarrollo Rural, Agrario y Alimentario; Spain
  • Instituto Geológico y Minero de España (IGME); Spain
  • Instituto andaluz del patrimonio histórico; Spain
  • Intendencia de Artigas y Prefeitura de Quarai; Uruguay
  • Jardim Botânico do Rio de Janeiro; Brasil
  • Laboratorio Central de Veterinaria; Spain
  • Quelonia-Faunia; Spain
  • Sociedad Española de Ornitología SEO/BirdLife; Spain
  • Sociedad Española de Biología Evolutiva; Spain
  • Secretaría de Estado de Investigación, Desarrollo e Innovación (MINECO); Spain
  • Yale-NUS College; Singapore


Few 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.


The 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.


The 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

Contact person at your institution for education / teaching / training (name, position, phone, e-mail) 

Marta Barluenga Badiola / Deputy Director for Research / Phone: +34 914111328 – Ext. 1167 / email:


Mario García París / Deputy Director for Collections and Documentation / Phone: +34914111328 – Ext. 1124 / email:


Pilar López García-Gallo / Technical Director for Communication and Public Programs / Phone: +34914111328 – Ext. 1154 / email:


Main topics of current interest for our institution are related with our main goals:

  1. Stimulate cutting-edge basic research on life and earth sciences and natural resources area, by bringing external funds to our research lines, and producing scientific and social high-impact publications.
  2. Going on developing interdisciplinary research projects in collaboration with scientists from other national and international institutions, to place our lines of research as international benchmark in a sustainable way, in order to play a central or leading role in European initiatives of taxonomy, systematics, and natural history collections.
  3. Reinforcing even more, the transmission of the generated scientific knowledge by the MNCN to society (dissemination and outreach), to the middle and upper levels of education (education) and to the new generations of researchers (training).

There is a great deal of topics that are of future interest to our institution in the short or medium term, in summary:

1. To provide an answer to the growing social needs based on solid decision elements, scientific and technical, into our research area. We aspire to become the benchmark of scientific and technical advice in the development of sustainable environmental management policies.

The MNCN is considered the Spanish leader in Systematics and Taxonomy with the capacity to coordinate institutional projects such as Fauna Ibérica. Morphological Taxonomy is essential for the description of biological diversity but it is a discipline that, unfortunately, tends to disappear and currently, classical techniques are combined with new multidisciplinary approaches as molecular techniques, SEM or CT- SCAN that are always in continuous update.

2. The knowledge and description of extant and extinct Eukaryote diversity on the planet, worldwide but with a special interest in our geographical surroundings, and at the same time the understanding of the patterns and causes of biological evolution are considered very important topics.

Further the knowledge on organisms’ adaptation to their environments and its community assembly, the analysis of the selective pressures than have shaped the evolution of biodiversity on the planet, and the processes by which contemporary populations can adapt to changes in the environment, particularly so those originated by anthropogenic action, are of deep interest for our institution.

We are also interested in multidisciplinary research on global change including its geological and biological aspects, by researching on climatic changes, fossilization and the evolution of biodiversity and of the continental palaeosystems.

In addition, we are also interested in basic research and contribution to the knowledge on the geological history of the Earth, by researching on relevant mineral, rock and meteorite specimens as key pieces for understanding the origin and history of Earth and the Universe. Other interesting topics include the conservation of environment and the sustainable use of mineral resources as well as the transmission to the Spanish society of the available knowledge on catastrophe risks and its prevention.

3. Preservation, management and access to natural history collections, physical and digital.

The MNCN have the oldest and largest natural history collections of Spain. The study of these collections is one of the core Services offered by the MNCN and dissemination of the knowledge generated by their study contribute to the national and international recognition of the MNCN. On the other hand, the Fauna Ibérica Office is internationally recognized for its long-standing commitment and efficiency to fostering the inventory of the Iberian fauna. It contributes to position Spain as one of the international leaders in recording the unknown diversity of our planet, as demonstrated by a notable tool like IBERFAUNA database.


  • SciColl International
  • The Global Taxonomic Initiative of the Biological Diversity Agreement (Convenio de Rio).
  • ASC (Association of Systematics Collections)
  • GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility).
  • NSC Alliance (Natural Science Collections Alliance).
  • SPNHC (Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections).
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