Naturalis laboratories

Lab pipetten

The Naturalis laboratories offer a wide range of opportunities to perform biological or geological scientific analyses.

A group of 8 research technicians with specialist knowledge annually support 80 students, 60 internal research projects, 10PhDs, 40 guests. We carry out assignments for external parties to fill in social and commercial questions.

More information or do you want to make use of our facilities?

Please contact:

Information on internship possibilities

Check our page: educational activities

Questions about the nature of gems (natural, synthetic, imitation), their origin, and/or handling?

Please contact the Netherlands Gemmological Laboratory:


Our specializations
& facilities

The Naturalis laboratory is basically a broad-spectrum facility but has specialized units in the field of:

  • Molecular research with facilities and knowledge for Ancient DNA, DNA barcoding and NGS.
  • Morphological and geological research with facilities and knowledge of high-resolution (3D) imaging and gemstone analysis.
  • Computing, with facilities and knowledge for high performance cloud computing for metagenome analysis, molecular taxonomy and high troughput identification.


With the Zeis micro Ct scanner we perform 3D morphological analyzes on micron resolution which is unique in the Netherlands for natural history objects.

Our molecular laboratories are equipped for NGS analyzes including a clean room for old DNA analyzes from collection objects. With this we unlock the genetic potential from our Natural History past. The so-called "high risk" spaces in the lab building provide for working with chemicals and potentially harmful (micro) organisms. There are breeding facilities for plants and insects. The Dutch Gemstone Laboratory will also be housed within the geological facilities.

Look here for a complete overview of our lab facilities

Insect scanner

works here

Our programmes
& research themes

A selection of topics we are working on.


The use of metabarcoding

With our DNA metabarcoding pipeline we can identify organisms using samples taken from high up in the sky to the deepest depths of our oceans. This allows us to monitor different type of ecosystems or trace endangered species that are processed in…
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Stigmella spec. Indonesia, Tetres

Moth under the knife

Kees van den Berg, senior research analyst at Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden, uses ophthalmic instruments to genitalize micro-moths. "My work takes place in the laboratory, where I am involved in, among other things, the dissection of…
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Coiled genitals of a mosquito

3D imaging techniques

Our museum’s Zeiss Xradia 520 Versa 3D X-ray microscope unlocks a whole new dimension in 3D Technology that allows us to study an object down to a scale of 0,3 microns.
Read more

A peek at the
Naturalis' laboratoria

External video URL

in numbers

research technicians
square metres lab room

In the new Naturalis building the laboratories have 3 floors and a total of 2.400 square metres surface. In another building the laboratories have 860 square metres lab room over 5 floors for the consulting of collections. In total we accomodate 500 research devices of which 300 are microscopes.