The Natural History Museum Vienna is one of the largest non-university research centers in Austria and with excellent research aims to make a significant contribution to the sustainable development of the world (see mission statement).

Its research topics span from the evolution and distribution of prehistoric plants and animals, biodiversity and genetics, the structure of the earth and the formation of the universe, to the human evolution and prehistory. One of the world's largest and most precious archive of biodiversity, minerals, meteorites, and prehistory is preserved in its scientific collections.
The museum has a total staff of around 330, with about 60 scientists carrying out fundamental research in a wide range of fields related to earth sciences, life sciences and human sciences. Research departments include anthropology, botany, geology and palaeontology, mineralogy and petrology, prehistory, and zoology, as well as central research laboratories, a scientific archive and extensive libraries, and are complemented by a zoological preparation unit and various technical departments. Additionally, modern large equipments like micro-CT, scanning electron microscope, electron probe micro analyzer, and X-Ray diffractometer are available.


The NHM is also successful in raising third-party funding from national and international subsidy grantors for its wide-ranging research projects and makes particular efforts to achieve European and international networking and visibility for its scientific activities.

A brief overview of the NHM's participation in interdepartmental national and international networks and projects follows here; the current projects of the individual scientific departments are presented on their respective pages under the heading "Research".

Open Science Strategy

In 2022, a team from the NHM worked out how Open Science can best be implemented as part of the museum's activities. The museum houses objects from various disciplines from all over the world. The tasks of the NHM include not only their preservation and research, but also improving their accessibility for research and education as well as that of research data based on NHM objects or data collected by NHM researchers. The document is available here:
Vohland, K., Eichert, S., Fiedler, S., Kapun, M., Kroh, A., Mehu-Blantar, I., Ott, I., Rainer, H., Schwentner, M., & Zimmermann, E. (2022). Open Science in Museums - Strategy of the Naturhistorisches Museum Wien (NHMW): The benefits of openness. Version. 1.0 (2022-04-27) (p. 25). Naturhistorisches Museum Wien.

NHM Vienna collection on international portals

Archive for the History of Science:
Botany:  /   /
Geology & Palaeontology: /
Mineralogy (Building- and decorative rocks):
3. Zoology (Collection Crustacea):