The Hungarian Natural History Museum was founded in 1802 as a department of the Hungarian National Museum. The department soon started accepting collections of palaeontology, botany, zoology and anthropology, and it became partially independent in 1933. It has been wearing its present name and operating completely independently since 1991 with a mission statement to be a national scientific and education centre in the field of natural history.
HU-TAF comprises of 6 scientific units of the HNHM in Budapest: the Departments of Zoology, Botany, Anthropology, Paleontology and Geology, Mineralogy and Petrology, and the Molecular Taxonomy Laboratory.
HNHM is the only natural history collection based research institute in Hungary, and holds more than 10.1 million items, including c. 65,000 primary types. As one of the largest natural history collections in Central and Eastern Europe, it holds particularly valuable reference collections from the Carpathian Basin, Balkans, East Africa, and Central, Eastern and Southeastern Asia. The historic collections of these regions dating as far back as 300 years providing excellent reference data.
Highlights include Palaeontology, Anthropology, Zoology and Botany collections, as well as a library containing over 150,000 books and 300,000 periodicals.
HNHM staff are increasingly involved in conservation biology and human health problems within the framework of national and international projects.
HNHM employs 62 researchers, who represent unique expertise. This is demonstrated during the establishment of NATURA 2000 sites in Hungary, the National Biodiversity – monitoring System (NBmR) and other projects such as European fauna monographs, LIFE projects, etc.
HU-TAF major research topics embrace a multidisciplinary approach in biodiversity and ecology of the Carpathian Basin, the Balkan Peninsula, and Central-, Eastern-, and Southeastern Asia; geodiversity and geological evolution of the Carpathian Basin; anthropological research on historical human populations in the Carpathian basin; biomonitoring of habitat changes due to human influence; nature conservation oriented research, and applied sciences including paleo-environmental reconstructions and parasitology.
Facilities include scanning electron microscope, focus–stacking photography equipment, and DNA laboratory, which supports a range of molecular biological studies in taxonomy, phylogeography and population genetics. The collection of genetic resources includes 17,000 tissue and DNA samples.
Full digital inventories are available in the vertebrate, anthropological, and most palaeontological collections.
Researchers at HNHM in collaboration with external scientists have generated numerous achievements including 143 scientific publications, 4 monographs and several PhD dissertations and databases, generated by previous SYNTHESYS funded users. Annually, the museum hosts 300 scientific users for 20,000 user days in the collections and the DNA lab. One third of these are transnational users.
Dr. Beáta Papp, firstname.lastname@example.org, Bernadett Döme, email@example.com