Biological Museum, Lund University

Infrastructure

Research areas and keywords

UKÄ subject classification

  • Biological Sciences

Type of infrastructure

  • Physical collections
  • Digital collections

Name of national/international infrastructure this infrastructure belongs to

The Biological Museum is part of a consortium of Swedish natural history museums, which together are part of DiSSCo, a large consortium of European natural history museums.

Description

The Biological Museum at Lund University holds important collections of plants and animals from an extended period of time. They have been amassed since 1735, when the collection of Kilian Stobaeus was donated to the university. Currently the Biological Museum holds about 15 million specimens, with a strong Nordic component to it. There are important collections made in the 19th and early 20th centuries, giving us a good idea of what species were found in the Nordic region in those times. The collections continue to grow as more specimens are added, especially from donations of private collections. The collections allow researchers to study many aspects of change in flora and fauna over the last two centuries, from turnover in species, to changes in phenology. Museums are increasingly important as a source of genetic information as well, as sequencing technologies allow us to utilise specimens with very small amounts of DNA in them.

The museum is divided into three semi-independent sections, the herbarium, the general zoological collections and the entomological collections.

Equipment and resources

Equipment that are commonly used in natural history museums include stereoscopes, light microscopes, high resolution scanners and photography equipment, Scanning Electron Microscopes, molecular laboratories for DNA sequencing and freezing facilities for storage and curation of specimens. All of these are available at the Biological Museum or the Department of Biology for staff and for visitors.

Digital and physical collections

The museum is divided into three sections: botany (with 2.5 million specimens), general zoology (likely over 2 million specimens) and entomology (with around 10 million specimens). Each of these sections has developed over the years independently leading to very different levels of curation and databasing. The digitalisation of the botany collections is most advanced with almost 50% of all specimens digitised, the other sections have databased specimens, but much remains to be done.

Services provided

The museum provides services to researchers in the form of identification of specimens, access to the collections and databases, and loans of specimens to researchers around the world. The museum provides services to education, through providing specimens and expertise for teaching. The museum is also important for society in general, providing interested persons with information about species, e.g. invasives, edible species, pests, as well as native species wellfare.

Management of the infrastructure

The museum is managed by the Scientific Director Niklas Wahlberg and Managing Director Ulf Arup.

Available for loan

Available for loan - internal and external

Terms of access:

The museum operates on open access principles, i.e. the collections are available to researchers, who can visit them and loan specimens. The collections are databased and the databases are freely accessible on the museum website (see link to website).