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HU-TAF comprises six scientific units of the Hungarian Natural History Museum, Budapest. HNHM is the national research institute for natural history and is one of the outstanding institutions of Hungarian cultural and scientific life. It was founded in 1802, as a part of the Hungarian National Museum. As a result of the Millennial Governmental Programme for reconstruction from 1995 onward, the units started to move to a new complex of buildings. This huge investment not only includes the reconstruction of historic buildings but it also means the application of up-to-date technologies for preservation, research and storage of the collections. This is one of the largest investments made recently by the Hungarian Government in the area of culture and science.

HU-TAF research highlights

As of December 2007, 31 peer-reviewed papers have already been published by FPVI funded HU-TAF Users (HU-TAF annex). Selected scientific achievements of Users of HU-TAF:

  • The taxonomic and faunistic treatments of the entire fauna of Hungary and the Carpathian Basin, which started in the early 1950s. To date the project has resulted in 180 volumes of the series Fauna Hungariae (ca. 10,000 pages and illustrations).
  • All taxa inventories of the Hungarian National Parks, which started in 1979. In addition to the entire scientific staff of the HU-TAF, many foreign collaborators have also been involved in this work. The results are summarised in a series of publications, (to date 6,000 pages). As a result the Hungarian National Parks are now among the scientifically best-explored and described areas on Earth and may serve as a model for Europe.
  • Synchronous, large scale volcanism in the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province has been identified as the trigger for environmental and biotic change.
  • The results of the exploration of the fauna of Taiwan, in which HU-TAF staff is a significant contributor, has resulted in taxonomic and faunistic discoveries and serve as the basis of the reconsideration of the faunagenesis of the SE and E Asian biota. Our new data provide an excellent starting point to test the fundamental biological hypothesis on the evolution of island biotas.
  • Interdisciplinary nanostructure studies of insects cuticle carried out by an international team provide the basic scientific information to develop new applications for industry, e.g. in the field of thermal regulation and visual signalisation.
  • Population genetic studies of highly threatened species supported the decision making process for Pan-European conservation strategies and actions.
  • Population genetic studies of highly threatened species supported the decision making process for Pan-European conservation strategies and actions.
  • Pathological studies on the remains of historic humans revealed how human pathogens evolved in historic time scale, yielding information utilised by the medical industry. These studies will contribute to solutions how various health problems might be overcome nowadays

For full list of SYNTHESYS FPVI outputs click here.

HU-TAF Member Institutions

Hungarian Natural History Museum

The natural history collections of HU-TAF have global significance. It is one of the largest natural history collections among the Central and Eastern European institutions, comprising more than ten million natural history items, including 44,110 primary types.


TAF Contact

Beata Papp