Natural History Museum, London

Who we are:

The Natural History Museum is a world-class visitor attraction and leading science research centre. We use our unique collections and unrivalled expertise to tackle the biggest challenges facing the world today. We care for more than 80 million specimens spanning billions of years and welcome more than five million visitors annually. 

What we’re doing in the Darwin Tree of Life Project:

NHM’s roles on the Darwin Tree of Life (DToL) project broadly fall into the following activities: (1) review of the species list for the British Isles; (2) sample acquisition, particularly insects, other invertebrates and vertebrates; (3) acting as one of the defined Genome Acquisition Laboratories (GALs); and (4) archiving of DToL samples in the Molecular Collections Facility.  As a GAL we are carrying out DNA barcoding, taking digital images, vouchering tissue, and producing samples ready for extraction and sequencing at Sanger. We receive tissue samples from our DToL partners, for barcoding and archiving.

Why we’re invested in the Darwin Tree of Life Project:

More than ever, it is critical that we preserve biodiversity. Genomics can be used to understand and describe species, and as a world-class visitor attraction and leading science research centre the knowledge gained from the Darwin Tree of Life project will allow our scientists to share knowledge and contribute to conservation efforts that are mitigating the impacts of negative environmental change. We can work towards securing and protecting biodiversity for future generations through the development of new technologies, and multidisciplinary collaborations and the creation of new types of specimen collections.

Our people in DToL are:

  • Professor Ian Barnes
  • Dr Gavin Broad
  • Dr Lauren Hughes
  • Dr Raju Misra
  • Dr Matt Clark
  • Gerry Hey
  • Jacqueline Mackenzie-Dodds
  • Dr Ben Price
  • Olga Sivell
  • Laura Sivess
  • Chris Fletcher
  • Clementine Geeves
  • Silvia Salatino