The Bavarian Natural History Collections (Staatliche Naturwissenschaftliche Sammlungen Bayerns, SNSB) are among the oldest and largest natural history research collections in the world.
hey assemble natural history collections in the fields of zoology, botany, geology, paleontology, mineralogy, anthropology and paleoanatomy – including the living plant collections of the Munich-Nymphenburg Botanical Garden.
Currently, the SNSB employ a total of over 300 staff, including around 80 scientists. In addition to building, maintaining and scientifically processing the collections, they perform valuable research and educational work in the field of biosciences and geosciences.
Academic theses of all kinds as well as externally funded doctoral and postdoctoral students also contribute significantly to the SNSB’s approximately 250 scientific publications each year. The collections of the SNSB comprise a total of about 32 million inventory units (animals, plants, fungi, fossils, rocks, etc.), with the SNSB having world significance in many collection areas (e.g. butterflies and beetles, flora of South America, Archaeopteryx and Solnhofen plate limestones, Neuschwanstein meteorite, and Russian minerals). In addition to the scientific collections, numerous objects are exhibited in the ten SNSB museums in Munich, Bamberg, Bayreuth, Eichstätt, Nördlingen and Nuremberg.
The SNSB’s activities in collection, research and knowledge transfer focus on geo- and biosphere change, with particular attention to alpine systems in time and space. In today’s research landscape, only natural history collections are able to provide sufficiently comparable data on biodiversity, both at different times and over the entire history of the Earth. The SNSB has an excellent infrastructure for documenting and interpreting changes in the biosphere. Regional as well as supra-regional and globally oriented collections play an important role. Alpine systems represent a special model region.
SNSB scientists use numerous methods and techniques for their research, such as molecular phylogeny and taxonomy, DNA barcoding, DScan digitization, μCT and digital X-ray, 3D laser scanning, 3D reconstruction, morphometrics, ultrastructural research, Raman spectroscopy, and isotope analysis.