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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

Netherlands.

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 Life’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 Earth’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

Change Biology.

old piece of amber. Dr. Barbara Gravendeel co-authored an article on the subject in Nature.

Graduate School of Science


Hortus botanicus leiden