Researchers and specialists


Our work is strongly internationally oriented; our scientists work closely with colleagues from different universities and from all other major natural history institutes in the world. The emphasis of Naturalis' scientific research is on nature in Brazil, South East Asia and the Caribbean.

Please contact the Research Coordination Office with questions about PhD’s, postdocs, financing and teaching:

Research groups
and departments

Water beetles

Biodiversity discovery

To know Earth’s species is essential for measuring and preserving biodiversity, testing biological theories, understanding ecosystem functioning, and for human welfare. Describing yet unexplored species and clarifying the circum­scription and taxonomy of…
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Amazone woud

Biodiversity dynamics

We aim to contribute to the challenges of biodiversity loss and climate change by answering the question: what determines terrestrial species diversity and how is it affected by human actions? Specifically we focus on terrestrial forest systems, ecosystem…
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Endless forms

Endless forms

The core of Naturalis’ activities concerns biodiversity, and the motivation of most of its scientists is a fascination with biodiversity. Biodiversity, the widely varied manifestation of life, is particularly evident in morphological diversity: disparity…
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researcher at sea

Marine biodiversity

Our seas and oceans are changing rapidly: increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations cause warming, acidification, and deoxyxenation at rates higher than in the previous millions of years. These global challenges interact with regional and local processes…
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Pollination by bee

Pollinator Ecology

Pollinators are crucial for the natural environment and for food production – so also for mankind. We aim to use the results of our research directly in societal projects and include citizen science and awareness in our work. Our research activities are a…
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Taxonomy & systematics

Naming and describing the earth’s organisms (taxonomy) and arranging them in a system of evolutionary origins (systematics) is one of the main tasks of Naturalis. Our research group collects, describes, and investigates plant and animal species. We do this…
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Planten en schimmels

Understanding evolution

We study how the interplay of interactions determines evolutionary processes. We integrate a combination of phylogenetic, ecological, genomic, morphological, and anatomical approaches and apply these to several target taxa, mainly in plants and fungi. Our…
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Naturalis laboratories

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…
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ICT more than just data

For an optimal exchange of digital biodiversity information, our advanced IT infrastructure is linked to worldwide networks and databases. Naturalis provides more than just data. We also develop tools to facilitate the transfer of knowledge and the use of…
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Researchers in the field

Research Coordination Office (RCO)

The Research Coordination Office (RCO) supports the Naturalis Research and Education (R&E) sector with the aim to realise the institute’s ambition to perform excellent and high impact science. We assist in positioning the institute strategically in the…
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Scientific Advisory Board

Currently our Board exists of:

  • Prof. Dr Paul Brakefield (Chairman, ad interim) - Director of the Cambridge University Museum of Zoology
  • Prof. Eric Schranz - Professor of Biosystematics at Wageningen University & Research 
  • Prof. Dr. Richard Lane - Independent consultant in international health, biodiversity and science policy
  • Prof. Dr. David Harper - Professor of Palaeontology at Durham University, UK
  • Prof. Dr. Dennis Stevenson - Deputy director of laboratory research and curator of botany at New York Botanical Garden
  • Professor Peter de Ruiter - Professor of Theoretical Ecology with Biometris at Wageningen University and Research.
  • Dr. Roy Erkens - senior lecturer on Evolution and Biodiversity at Maastricht University