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Numerous peer-reviewed papers have already been published by FPVI and FPVII funded NL-TAF Users. Researchers in NL-TAF are highly productive, each year publishing several hundreds of peer-reviewed papers, books, book chapters.

NL-TAF research highlights

Some scientific achievements of Users of NL-TAF:

  • Fauna Malesiana Terrestica and Fauna Malesiana Marina: NBC co-operates in inventorying and describing the fauna of this biodiversity hotspot. Frequent fieldwork complements historical collections. Making assessment of changes in the faunal composition of selected habitats over a 100-year time frame.
  • Flora Malesiana: The internationally renowned project aimed at the inventory and description of the Flora of this biodiversity hotspot in Asia.
  • Discovery of a 20 million year old amber inclusion of a stingless bee carrying pollinia provides insight in the origin of the orchid family.
  • Ancient DNA studies on permafrost preserved dung of a woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) which died 18,000 yr ago reveals the diet, season of death, and environment in which this animal die, thus demonstrating the paleoecological potential of this new technique.
  • The discovery of a novel phenomenon in the plant world: individual spores are explosively ejected from the sporangium by elastic forces generated in the spore wall.
  • Discovery of an enigmatic Cretaceous plant (Mosacaulis spinifer) that might be the only lycopsid known to have invaded the marine environment.
  • Discovery of some beautifully preserved (silicified) Cretaceous seagrass stems with attached roots, which enable a much better understanding of the anatomy and morphology of the fossil seagras Thalassocharis bosquetii. This appears to be very helpful in interpreting the features of the many imprints among the specimens being studied, including the type material.
  • A new concept for the palaeoecology of the Dolomites in the Middle Triassic
  • Skull evolution in Triturus newts reconstructed from 3D morphometric data and phylogeny
  • The presence of reproductive character displacement by inversion of coiling in clausiliid snails (Gastropoda, Pulmonata)
  • The existence of seasonal Amazonian rainfall variation in the Miocene climate optimum
  • The first fully documented description of a species of Dugesia (Platyhelminthes) from the Lake Ohrid region

Important information for potential applicants

Please be aware that due to construction work the zoological, geology and paleontological collections of Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden will be closed to all visitors, including Synthesys Access applicants, as well as all loan requests for the following periods:

  • December 2015 to January 2016
  • August 2016 to summer 2018

The botany collections, housed elsewhere in Leiden, will remain open to visitors and available for loans until further announcement.

If you wish to visit these collections in call 3, please contact your host to ensure you are able to arrange suitable dates.

For further information please contact  Updates on planning and progress can be found at

We apologise for any inconvenience.