Our science

Four images of seaweed against a black background

Museum scientists described 503 new species in 2020. A new species of red seaweed Corallina chamberlainiae is helping to show how the waters surround the islands of the south Atlantic are connected © Brodie at al. 2020

Our scientists

More than 300 scientists work here in earth and life sciences, our core research labs and library and archives.

Our research

An acclaimed research institution, we publish over 700 scientific papers a year with international collaborators.

Our collections

Our 80 million objects span 4.5 billion years, from the formation of the solar system to the present day.

The Natural History Museum at Harwell

The Museum has secured investment from the UK Government to build a new science and digitisation centre at Harwell Science Campus, a science and technology hub outside Oxford. 

Our work

Discovery, origins and evolution

We are studying the key transitions in the evolution of life on Earth and predicting the impact of environmental change in the future.

Anthropocene and sustainability

Our expertise in taxonomy, systematics and mineralogy is driving research aimed at securing the future of our food, health and natural materials.

UK biodiversity

We are developing new molecular and digital tools for discovering biodiversity.


Find out why our 80 million specimens are a globally important resource for scientific reference and research.

Science departments and staff

Meet the 350 scientific staff at the heart of our world-class research and collections.

Library and Archives

Explore one of the world's finest collections of natural history literature, artwork, photographs and manuscripts.

Core research labs and consulting

Discover how specialist staff prepare, analyse and interpret samples in our state-of-the-art facilities.

Courses and students

Undertake professional and postgraduate training including PhD, MSc and MRes courses in our areas of expertise.  

The life of a Museum scientist

Read the latest blog posts from our scientists.

Digital collections

We are digitising large parts of the collections and giving online access to the data.