Berlin Natural History Museum

Institution (Original name) 
Museum für Naturkunde - Leibniz-Institut für Evolutions- und Biodiversitätsforschung
Invalidenstr. 43
Postal code 

(+49) 30 2093 8591 (+49) 30 2093 8544

Type of institution 
Are you part of a larger entity / legal body? 
If yes, please specify  
Leibniz Association
Full member
CETAF Official representative
Name, position, phone, e-mail, research field 

Prof. Dr. Johannes Vogel The Directorate, Leadership of the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin as its Director General. Representation in national and international fora Phone +49 (30)2093 8544 Fax +49 (30)2093 8561 E-Mail: Primary research field - Role of museums in science and society - Public engagement with science - National and international science policy - Biodiversity - Plant evolutionary biology

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

Dr. Christoph Häuser The Directorate, Office for Project Coordination, International Cooperation and Science Policy Phone +49 (30)2093 8479; mobile: +49-152-2258 8534 Fax +49 (30)2093 8561 E-Mail Primary research field Dr. Christoph Häuser is leading the Office for International Cooperation and Project Coordination at the MfN Directorate. His research interests focus on applications of information technology to taxonomy and biodiversity documentation and assessment. He has been engaged for more than 10 years with biodiversity informatics initiatives, both at the scientific and at the science-policy level, e.g., EU BON, GBIF, the Catalogue of Life (CoL), the Global Butterfly Information System (GloBIS), and the standing call for establishing a Global Species Information System (GSIS).

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

Dr. Christiane Quaisser Head of Department of Collections Head of Science Program Collection Development Phone +49 (0)30 2093 8377 Fax +49 (0)30 2093 8561 E-Mail CETAF working group: Collection Policy Board (CPB)

Dr. Gregor Hagedorn Head of Digital World at Museum für Naturkunde Phone +49 (0)30 2093 8576 Fax +49 (0)30 2093 8561 E-Mail CETAF working group: Information Science & Technology Commission (ISTC)

Dr. Peter Giere Curator of the Embryological Collection Phone +49 (0)30 2093 8703 Fax +49 (0)30 2093 8528 E-Mail CETAF working group: Legislations and Regulations Liaison Group/ABS working group

Magdalena Müller Head of Office for External Funding Phone +49 (0)30 2093 8944 Fax +49 (0)30 2093 8323 E-Mail CETAF working group: European Initiatives Advisory Group

Carla Pinho Staff member of Office for External Funding Phone +49 (0)30 2093 8420 Fax +49 (0)30 2093 8323 E-Mail CETAF working group: European Initiatives Advisory Group

Dr. Anke Hoffmann Scientific coordinator for the EU BON project ( Phone +49 (0)30 2093 8950 Fax +49 (0)30 2093 8561 E-Mail CETAF working group: European Initiatives Advisory Group

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

Prof. Johannes Vogel, PhD


The museum is currently divided into the following Departments:

  • Directorate General, including Administration
  • The Department for Collections
  • The Department for Research Infrastructure
  • The Department for Exhibitions and Public Education

Research is organised in temporary cross-cutting Science Programs ("Forschungsbereiche"), which currently include the following:

  • Discovery of Biodiversity
  • Genome - Organism - Environment
  • Diversity Dynamics
  • Impact, Meteorites and Geological Processes
  • Collection Development
  • Science Communication and History of Science

The number of Science Programs and topics are flexible and depend on the academic focus of the Museum at any given time. Future structure of the Museum ( future organisation chart MfN) The Museum is about to change its structure. If the Board of Trustees agrees during its meeting on 11 November 2013 on the new structure, the four Departments and the temporary Science Programs will be replaced by four Science Programs. The Museum will then comprise:

  • Directorate General (Directorate and Administration)
  • Science Program ‘Evolution and geoprocesses’
  • Science Program ‘Collections development and biodiversity discovery’
  • Science Program ‘Digital world and information science’
  • Science Program ‘Public engagement with science’
Organigram figure 
Governing and executive bodies 

The Museum für Naturkunde is an independent trust under public law governed by:

  • a Board of Trustees (Stiftungsrat)
  • an appointed Director General
  • a Scientific Advisory Board The Board of Trustees supervises the scientific, programmatic, and economic affairs of the museum.

It has three born members, one each representing the Senate of Berlin and the Federal Government, as the main funding organizations, and the president of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. In addition, it comprises up to eight public figures elected by the Senate of Berlin and the Federal Government for a period of four years. The representative from the Senate of Berlin is the chair. The Scientific Advisory Board advises the Director General and the Board of Trustees on scientific and programmatic questions. It comprises up to seven members. They are internationally recognised scientists from Germany or abroad, whose scientific expertise matches the scientific disciplines of the museum. Ideally, they also have work experience in museums. The Director General is the Head of the Museum. He is supported by a Managing Director.

Scientific staff 
Permanent (P)Non – Permanent (NP)
a) TOTAL scientific staff3316
b) Scientific staff linked to Collections174
c) Post-docs / PhD students027
d) Others (Associates, etc.)00
TOTAL (a+b+c+d)5047
Other staff (administration etc.) 
Permanent (P)Non – Permanent (NP)
e) Exhibitions153
f) Collection managers / technicians361
g) Others 5247
TOTAL (e+f+g)10351
Total permanent staff 
Total non-permanent staff 
Grand total (permanent + non-permanent Staff) 
Male (%) 
Female (%) 
R&D facilities
How many laboratories are in use in your institution? 
List of laboratories 
  1. Scanning electron microscope EVO LS 10 SEM; Variable pressure SEM with full digital documentation system, installed in 2009.
  2. Transmission electron microscope LEO 906 TEM; 60-120 kV, with high resolution digital camera and conventional photography on negative film, purchased and installed in 2011.
  3. Electron microprobe JEOL JXA-8500F with field emission cathode and five wavelength-dispersive and one energy-dispersive spectrometer for microanalysis from boron to uranium. Installed in 2007
  4. Scanning electron microscope JEOL JSM-6610LV with LaB6 cathode und Bruker AXS Quantax 800 EDX system, low vacuum option, Cathodoluminescence detector (b/w), Bruker Quantax CrystAlign 400 EBSD System, installed in 2009
  5. Stable isotope lab with DELTA V Advantage mass spectrometer equipped with a GASBench II for carbonate samples and integrated auto sampler A200S. In addition 2 Thermo Flash EA 1112 element analyzers are attached via a Finnigan ConFlo III 2 continuous sample supply. Installed in 2007
  6. Molecular analysis: DNA Laboratory including a Perkin-Elmer Thermocycler and an ABI PrismTM377 Sequencer, both installed in 2007. 
  7. High-resolution X-ray computer tomograph (µCT) Phoenix GE Nanotom
  8. X-ray facility for non-invasive studies of skeletal morphology
  9. Handheld X-ray fluorescence spectrometer (Bruker TRACER IV SD) for non-distructive in situ major and trace element analysis of minerals, rocks, fossils and other objects. Spot size of approximately 5mm. Installed in 2011.
  10. X-ray fluorescence spectrometer (Bruker AXS S8 Tiger) with automatic sample charger, used for anorganic quantitative major and trace element analysis on mineral and rock samples. Installed in 2008
  11. Cathode luminescence microscope HC3-LM, running with a hot cathode. Installed in 2002
  12. Raman microscope spectrometer DILOR LabRAM with 3 integrated He-Ne-Laser, equipped with an xy scanning stage, installed in 2012
  13. Confocal laser scanning microscope Leica TCS-SPE
  14. Computer Cluster for parallel and serial scientific computing in geo- and bioinformatics with 400 cores and 2.4 TB memory in total
  15. Bioacoustic laboratory. Laservibrometer Polytec PDV-100
  16. 3D visualisation laboratory. 2 AMIRA computer stations.
  17. Extensive facilities for light microscopy with digital photography; various LEITZ and ZEISS research light microscopes with Nomarsky contrast, fluorescence, phase contrast, polarization, mostly with digital documentation systems, installed from 1993 onwards.
  18. Extensive facilities for preparation and investigation of animals, fossil, rocks, minerals, and histological material, including micropaleontology, thin sections, bulk sample maceration, and handling of HF methods .
List of permanent exhibitions  
Number of recent exhibitions 
Recent Temporary Exhibitions (< 2 years) 
Number of current exhibitions 
Current Temporary Exhibitions 
Developments – 60 Years Discovery of the Structure of DNA
Number of future exhibitions 
Future exhibitions  
Life Science
Scientific publications
Number of peer-reviewed publications per year 
Biannual journals/series 

Zoosystematics and Evolution: ISSN: 1435-1935 (print), 1860-0743 (online)

Fossil Record: ISSN: 1435-1943, 1860-1014 (online)

Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift: ISSN: 1435-1951 (print), 1860-1324 (online) 

EARTH SCIENCES (Geology, Mineralogy, Palaeontology,…) 
TypologyPrimary typesIndividual specimens/objects% registered cards% recorded cards in database
LIFE SCIENCES (Zoology, Biology, Botany, Mycology,…) 
TypologyPrimary typesIndividual specimens/objects% registered cards% recorded cards in database
2.2Molecular and tissue samples28500n/a18.75
3.2Animal Sound Archiven/a120000120,00021.47
Total specimens (all collections) 
Outstanding collection features 

Originating from collections that predate the Museum für Naturkunde, its vast and varied collections contain historic and scientific treasures such as specimens collected by Alexander von Humboldt or the Berlin specimen of Archaeopteryx.

Does your institution have an Index Seminum? 


Heritage sciences (art, manuscripts, maps, photographs...) 
  • Type(s) of objects: rare books, books, journals, maps and single sheet material, reprints
  • No. of objects (of each type) rare books: 1,289 books: 50,965 journals: 105,000 maps and single sheet material: 12,890 reprints: 200,000
Other information regarding heritage collections 

Historical collection: 110,000 specimens (historical documents – 90,000; historical portraits – 20,000); 9,46% in digital databases, 90,300 records on paper files

Genetic Repositories
Does your institution have a DNA bank? 
Number of DNA samples 
28 500
Does your institution have a seed bank? 
DNA or seed sample exchange 

not regularly

Number of outgoing loans (parcels / specimens) per year 
ca. 530 loans with ca. 28,600 specimens per year
Number of scientific visitors per year 
Entomology (Coleoptera: Staphilinidae, Hymenoptera: Aculeata, Symphyta, Diptera, Microlepidoptera, Heteroptera)
Invertebrate Zoology: Crustacea: Amphipoda, Kinorhyncha, Mollusca: Gastropoda
Vertebrate Paleontology: Tetrapoda
Main activities of communication and outreach 

Events (e.g. Long Nights of Science, Long Museum Nights, Science Slam, Lectures, Concerts, Theatre Performances) Marketing cooperation Press and public relations Internal, external, online communication

Printed news 

Every 4 months: event- and education programm flyer:

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

Dr. Gesine Steiner, +49 (0)30 2093-8917,

Last year:  
467 538
Trends (past and future) 

Past: nearly a half million every year since 2007 Future: because of reconstruction work 400 000 per year

Website visitors
Last year  
500 000
Institution news
Career opportunities
Workshops / Events
Online media galleries
If your institution is involved with non-university-based teaching or education programmes, please describe them & the partners 

e.g. cooperation with schools, nursery schools, adult education centres, the learning laboratories network GenaU (, Museumspark Rüdersdorf (, Deutsches Technikmuseum (, Jugend im Museum ( - training courses for pre-school teachers

If your institution is involved with universities in teaching or education programmes, please name and describe them 
  • In cooperation with the Institute of Biology at Humboldt-Universität: courses for bachelor students, e.g. Zoologische Bestimmungsübungen (for B.Sc. students); several modules in M.Sc. programme “Organismic biology and Evolution”; for further information see
  • Courses for teachers and students in cooperation with the Biology Teaching department at Humboldt Universität ( and the Institute of Advanced Sustainability Studies (
  • joint supervision of education research projects in cooperation with the Department of Museum Management and Communication at the HTW Berlin 
  • In cooperation with Humboldt Universität zu Berlin and Freie Universität Berlin geological and planetological topics are taught by geoscientific staff of the Museum für Naturkunde. This course offers are also open to graduate and postgraduate students from other national and international universities.
  • Zoological, paleontological, and geoscientific staff of the Museum are supervising BSc, MSc and PhD candidates registered with any of the four Berlin-Potsdam universities.
  • Regularly, staff of the Museum are taking their expertise to other national and international universities and present lectures or short courses.
Other relevant information on education and / or training carried out 

guided tours, school programmes, workshops for children and adults, microscopy courses, city nature excursions, children’s birthday parties, torch light tours, evening events, science tours for adults, teacher trainings

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

Visitor service: Phone: +49 (0) 30 2093-8550, E-mail: besucherservice(at)

Last update