Hortus botanicus Leiden The Hortus botanicus Leiden is the oldest botanical garden in Western Europe. It was founded by Leiden University in 1590 and the famous Carolus Clusius was its first director. Today the garden is open to the public and available for researchers as well as students. Research is performed on selected plant groups, including Orchidaceae, Annonaceae, Rutaceae and Cycadales. The systematic garden has been reconstructed in 2005 according to the most recent scientific insights and these living collections offer great research possibilities.
The objective of the research in the botanical garden is to get
The Hortus botanicus Leiden plays an active role in the conserva-
better insight into the evolution and relationships of several plant
tion of endangered species and rehabilitates these plants in the
families. Besides research on pollen and morphological charac-
wild. Key plant groups are: tropical orchids, Cycadales, carnivo-
teristics, DNA analyses has become more important to solve the
rous plants and the genus Amorphophallus. Another research
evolutionary relationships among plants. Scientists from all over
subject is invasiveness. In collaboration with Floron, NCB
the world visit the Hortus botanicus Leiden to get living mate-
Naturalis and the Plant Protection Service of the Netherlands,
rial for morphological research and to extract DNA. Through
research is done on possible threats to the indigenous flora of the
collaborations with NCB Naturalis and other institutes that for
instance work on Flora Malesiana, e.g. Kew Gardens and Missouri Botanical Gardens, the botanical garden ensures
Combining research, education and public awareness is the key
that it is rarely necessary to take plants from the wild.
feature of this garden and it ensures that the research of the institute is of great relevance to society.
Graduate School of Science
Graduate School of Science P.O. Box 9502 2300 RA Leiden www.science.leidenuniv.nl/graduateschool Hortus botanicus Leiden Rapenburg 73 2311 GJ Leiden www.hortusleiden.nl NCB Naturalis Van Steenis Einsteinweg 2 2333 CC Leiden www.ncbnaturalis.nl
NCB Naturalis With 37 million specimens of all sorts of plants, animals, fungi
Central to the theme Morphology & Evo-devo are homology
and minerals, the recently established Netherlands Centre for
questions, which are studied by analyzing the structure and
Biodiversity Naturalis (NCB Naturalis) is the national core
development of single characters and complete organisms.
institute for collection based biodiversity research and belongs, in size, to the top five of Natural History collections in the world.
The Phylogenetics & Horizontal genomics theme aims to explain
The mission of NCB Naturalis is to be an open archive to Lifeâ€™s
how the Tree of Life has been established in time. Together with
Diversity dedicated to reconstruct and understand the Tree of
the Fungal Biodiversity Centre (CBS KNAW) NCB Naturalis
Life, to educate people about our natural world, and to raise
plays a pivotal role in the development of DNA-barcodes for easy
The orchid research of the National Herbarium of
awareness for the sustainable use of Earthâ€™s living resources.
and fast identification of species.
the Netherlands and the Hortus botanicus Leiden is a prime example of our collaborative research. The
NCB Naturalis has an academic partnership with the universities The research within the theme Biogeography focuses on how the
NHN/HB orchid specialists focus on the inventory
distribution of biodiversity has been established in time, also
and description of the overwhelming diversity of
Internationally, NCB Naturalis has many connections, e.g.
contributing to insights how future loss of biodiversity can be
the family Orchidaceae in South East Asia in order
through the European Distributed Institute of Taxonomy (EDIT)
prevented. This theme has a close connection with the theme
to unravel the evolutionary relationships and the
and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). This
Global Change Biology, where the focus lies on mapping distribu-
bio-geographic distribution of this huge family based
strong international cooperation is also reflected by cooperation
tion patterns in past and present and modelling future patterns
on morphological and molecular features. For a few
with many overseas researchers and visiting experts.
using climate models.
years now evolutionary developmental studies (evo-
of Leiden, Amsterdam and Wageningen.
The systematic research in NCB Naturalis is organized in four
devo) have complemented this research with the aim
departments: Terrestic Zoology, Marine Zoology, Botany, and
to understand the evolution and homology of specific
Mineralogy & Paleontology. These four departments cooper-
floral characters, such as the perianth parts. One of
ate within the following four research themes to get a better
the recent highlights of our Orchidaceae research was
understanding of biodiversity on earth: Morphology & Evo-devo,
the discovery of the first fossilised orchid in the form
Phylogenetics & Horizontal genomics, Biogeography, and Global
of pollen found on a bee embedded in a million years
old piece of amber. Dr. Barbara Gravendeel co-authored an article on the subject in Nature.
Graduate School of Science