Overview lab facilities

Bino binoculair

The laboratory building has 3 floors and a total surface of 2400m2 with various laboratories. At the collection there is another 860 m2 of lab space spread over 5 floors for consulting the collection. In total our laboratories house about 500 devices and 300 microscopes.


Elza Duijm
Senior research technician/Head of naturalis laboratories 

+31 (0)71 5271912


The Ancient DNA lab: A clean room for old-DNA analyses, which is completely separate from the other DNA facilities, to prevent contamination with “recent” DNA. This laboratory consists of a space that can easily be cleaned and disinfected. 

DNA extraction laboratories: Offer the possibility for High-throughput DNA/RNA extractions as well as extractions from environmental samples or potentially biologically contaminated material. These laboratories are equipped with:

  • Biological Safety Cabinets -Class II (BioVanguard): makes it possible to work safely and sterile with biological samples
  • KingFisher Flex (Thermo Scientific): automated extraction instrument that handles 96 samples a run.
  • Tissuelyzer II (QIAGEN): For medium- to high-throughput sample disruption for molecular analysis
  • I.DOT  MINI-DISPENDIX: Droplet dispenser, uses a single positive pressure channel to generate droplets as small as 8 nl
  • Lunatic Unchained Labs : High-throughput UV/Vis quantification that can measure up to 96 samples a time.
  • Multidrop Combi Reagent Dispenser (Thermo Scientific)
  • CyBio-SELMA, (Cybio AG): Semi-automatic 96 pipettor
  • Microplate incubator: can incubate 4 96 well plates.
  • UV workbenches
  • Diverse centrifuges: Micro, tubes and plate.
  • Sterilizers: Infrared and Hot bead.
  • Freeze Dryer
  • Speedvac’s : Eppendorf

Post DNA Labs: Provide the capability for high-throughput PCR and NGS applications. These laboratories are equipped with:

  • Oxford MinIon Nanopore system : long read sequencing
  • C.Wash Cytena:Plate Washer to remove liquids from well plates without needles or  plastic pipette tips. Used for ( NGS) bead clean up
  • Thermocyclers: 96 and 48 well
  • CFX96 Touch Real-Time PCR Detection System: Six-channel (five colors and one FRET channel) real-time PCR instrument.
  • Gel Imager: Imaging SYBR Safe stained agarose gels and E-Gels
  • 4150 TapeStation System: Automated electrophoresis system that can process up to 16 samples, generates for each sample a gel image and an electropherogram.
  • 5300 Fragment Analyzer 96: A sensitive capillary electrophoresis instrument that separates up to 4 plates of 96 samples in parallel and generates for each sample a gel image and an electropherogram.
  • Qubit 2.0: For sensitive nucleic acid and protein quantitation.
  • Qiagility: Pipetting robot for high-performance automated PCR setup in all formats and equimolar pooling of NGS library samples.
  • Covaris M220 Focused ultrasonicator: For controlled DNA shearing used for NGS purposes.
  • Oxford Nanopore MinIon: NGS, Realtime sequencing device 15 - 30 Gb data from one flow cell.
  • Electrophorese units
  • E-Gel units: For running SYBR Safe stained precasted agarose gels for 96 samples
  • UV workbenches
  • Diverse centrifuges: Micro, tubes and plate.

Morphological and
Geological facilities

Morphological laboratories: Here we can perform high end (3D) morphological analyzes and properly photograph samples of all sizes. These Laboratories contain:

  • ZEISS Xradia 520 Versa 3D X-ray microscope: Micro CT scanner with spatial resolution of 0.7 μm and a minimum achievable voxel size of 70 nm.
  • JOEL JSM-6480 SEM: A high-performance scanning electron microscope with a resolution of 3.0nm
  • Bruker Skyscan 1172: A high-resolution desktop X-ray micro-CT system for small samples. That can provide 3D-Data with detail detectability of 1 μm at highest resolution to 25 μm.
  • Carbon and Platina Sputtercoaters: Used for SEM and TEM, to enable or improve the imaging of samples.
  • Leica EM CPD300 Critical Point Dryer: To dry soft tissues that need to be observed with SEM.
  • Leica EG1150 H Paraffin Embedding Station
  • Sorvall RC 6 Plus High-Speed Centrifuge: max speed of 22.000 rpm and the max volume of 4x 1L.
  • Motorized microtome: Cuts sections from material embedded in plastic resin. Section thickness 1.5 – 7 μm.
  • Rotation microtomes: Cuts sections from material embedded in plastic and paraffin. Section thickness 3 – 15 μm.
  • Sliding microtome: For sectioning wood samples without embedding. Section thickness 10 – 30 μm.
  • Freeze-Sliding microtome: To enable sectioning of porous material that can be mounted by freezing. Section thickness 10 – 30 μm.
  • Zeiss Discovery V12 and V20, Stacking: With stacking software for high resolution and depth of field photography, for the photography and study of (un)dissected material with magnifications from 7.5x – 150x.
  • Zeiss Discovery V8 stereo microscopes:  With reflected and transmitted light and magnifications from 10x- 80x.
  • Olympus BX53 compound
  • Nikon D300S photo camera set up
  • Leica M205C Camera setup
  • Zeiss Axio Imager M2: With differential interference, stacking photography and 50x-1000x magnification
  • Zeiss Axio A2: With camera
  • Zeiss Axio Scope A1: with camera, striking and transmitted light.
  • Breeding Facility: Here we have diverse Climate cabinets where we can breed plant and insects

Geological laboratory: The Dutch Gemstone Laboratory is part of the geological facility. This lab contains

  • DXR Raman microscope: With up to three different excitation wavelengths – at 532, 633 and 780 nm. The OMNIC™ software recognizes each component, records the serialnumbers and checks for compatibility. 
  • Nicolet iS50 FTIR Spectrometer: Performs chemical analyses of sample materials by collecting data in the Mid-IR, far-IR and near-IR spectral ranges using a variety of accessories. The system integrates advanced instrument features, such as step-scan and dual-channel data collection, with a matching software suite and many other features that make data collection easy. This system has a variety of upgrade options including built-in ATR, an automated beam splitter exchanger and Raman, NIR, TGA-IR and GC-IR modules.
  • Faxitron Cabinet X-ray System 43855: A self-contained, radiation-shielded cabinet X-ray system which can digitally screen collection material with a thickness of 0.1 to 30 millimeter. In this way the presence of a fossil in a stone or the internal structures of insects can be studied.
  • Thermo Scientific Evolution 600 UVVIS: A dual beam scanning UV-vis spectrophotometer. It has a wavelength range from 190-900 nm and is equipped with variable slits for high resolution or high sensitivity absorbance measurements.
  • Edax Orbis Micro-XRF: X-ray fluorescence spectrometer used for elemental and chemical analysis. All elements from atomic number 4(Be0 to 92 (U) can be detected.
  • Field Emission Gun-Electron MicroProbe (FEG-EMP): Situated at the National Geological Facility in Utrecht.