The Taxonomists...

Christoffer Schander c.schander at ZOOL.GU.SE
Wed Apr 25 13:21:55 CDT 2001

Dear Taxacommers,

Some time ago I promised to get back with more data on the numbers of
curators. I have so far written to 226 Museum and museum-like
institutions, and I have got data from 143 of them. 138 are
incorporated in this study. The institutions are listed below. I have
written to some institutions several times without getting any data,
for example,Australian Museum (6 times), Museum für Naturkunde
(Berlin) (HUMBOLT) (5 times) and MCZ (5 times), so the lack of
information is not my fault. The compillation lacks data from France;
I have written 8 institutions, but only got a response from one, the
Museum National d' Histoire Naturelle, Paris. Unfortunately that data
was incomplete an could only be partly  included.  If any of you work
in an institution not listed below, and can supply me with data for
your institution, it would be greatly appreciated!

The data shows that the overall number of taxonomists employed at
museums have increased from 1204 to 1264 over the past 20 years. The
number of taxonomists was even higher in 1990 (1275). So there has
again been a slight decrease in the past 10 years.

If we look at the Invertebrate taxonomists, there was 585 in 1980,
565 in 1990 and 578 in 2001. A total decrease but more today than ten
years ago.

The vertebrate taxonomists were 509 in 1980, 599 in 1990 and are 576
in 2001. A total increase, but a slight decrease in the past 10 years.

The numbers of invertebrate and vertebrate taxonomists don't add up
to the total number since some museums only provided me with the
total number.

So the preliminary results hold, even if the changes are less drastic
than the first results indicated.

I want to thank everyone that has helped me by responding to my questions!

Responding institutions:
(-) = National decrease 1980-2001, (0) = No change, (+) = National
increase, (na) = not applicable.

Australia: (-) MacLeay Museum;  Museum of Victoria;  Queensland
Museum; South Australian Museum;  Western Australian  Museum
Austria: (0) Naturhistorisches Museum Wien,
Belgium: (+) Royal Institute of Natural Sciences in Brussels; Royal
Museum for Central Africa
Brazil: : (0) Museu de História  Natural "Prof. Luiz trajano da silva"
Canada: (-) Canadian Museum of Natural History; Newfounland Museum;
Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History; Provincial Museum of Alberta;
Redpath Museum, McGill University; Royal British Columbia Museum;
Royal Ontario Museum; Royal Saskatchewan Museum; Royal Tyrrell Museum
of Paleontology
Chile: (-) Museo Nacional de Historia Natural, Santiago
Costa Rica: (+) InBio
Croatia: (+) Prirodoslovni muzej i zoolo¼ki vrt Split
Denmark: : (-) Zoologisk Museum, København
Equador: (+)  Museo di Zoologia, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Equador
Estonia: (-) Museum of Zoology, Tartu
Finland: (0) Naturhistoriska Centralmuseet, Helsingfors; Zoological
Museum, University of Oulu; Zoological Museum, University of Turku;
France: (0) Museum National d' Histoire Naturelle, Paris,
Germany: (+) Museum für Naturkunde, Magdeburg; Forschungs-Institut
und Naturmuseum, Senckenberg; Museum für Naturkunde, Chemnitz; Museum
Wiesbaden; Naturhistorische Museum, Nürnberg; Naturhistorisches
Museum, Maintz; Naturkunde-Museum, Bamberg; Naturkunde-Museum,
Erfurt; Naturwissenschaftliches Museum, Flensburg; Staatliches Museum
für Naturkunde, Görlitz; Staatliches Naturhistorisches Museum,
Braunschweig; Zoologischer Staatsammlung, München; Zoologisches
Museum der Universität, Kiel
Holland: (-) Natural History Museum of Maastricht; Zoologisch Museum,
Universitet  van Amsterdam
Honduras: (na) Butterfly Museum
Iceland: (+) Islandic Institute of Natural History
India: (-) Bombay Natural History Society
Ireland: (-) Natural History Museum, Dublin
Israel: (-) National Mollusk Collection of Israel
Italy: (+) Museo Civico di Roma; Museo di Storia Naturale, Università
Degli Studi di Firenze
Japan: (+) Ibaragi Nature Museum; Osaka Museum of Natural History;
The National Science Museum, Tokyo
Luxembourg: (+)  Musée national d'histoire naturelle de Luxembourg
Malaysia: : (na) Muzium Jabatan  Biologi
Mexico: (+) Museo de Zoologia, Fac. Ciencias-UNAM
Namibia: (na) National Museum of Namibia
New Zealand: (0) Museum of New Zealand
Nicaragua: (+) Museo Entomologico
Norway: (-) Bergen Museum; Tromsø Museum; Zoologisk Museum, Oslo
Peoples Republic of China: (-) Chinese Institute of Zoology, Beijing;
Entomological Museum, Shaanxi; Kunming Institute of Zoology, the
Chinese Academy of Sciences; Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau Museum of Biology
Russia: (+) Siberian Zoological Museum, Novosibirsk; Zoological
Museum, Tomsk State University; Zoological institution, St.
Petersburg; Zoological Museum of M.V.Lomonosov,  Moscow State
Singapore: (+) National Museum of Singapore (Raffles Museum)
Slovenia: (+) Slovene Museum of Natural History, Ljubljana
South Africa: (-) Albany Museum; Natal Museum
Spain: (+) Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, Madrid
Sweden: (-) Göteborgs Naturhistoriska Museum; Naturhistoriska
Riksmuseet, Stockholm
Switzerland: (+) Muséum d'histoire naturelle, La Chaux-de-Fonds;
Naturhistorisches Museum, Basel; Naturhistorisches Museum, Bern;
Naturmuseum, Frauenfeld; Naturmuseum, St. Gallen; Zoologisches
Museum, Zürich;
United Kingdom: (-) Hancock Museum, Newcastle; Hunterian Museum,
Glascow; Manchester Museum; National Museums of Scotland, Edinburgh;
Natural History Museum, Cardiff; Oxford University Museum of Natural
History; Sunderland Museum; The Natural History Museum, London;
Zoology museum; University of Aberdeen
USA: (+)  Alaska Museum of Natural History; American Museum, New
York; Auburn University Natural History Museum and Learning Center;
Bishop Museum, Hawaii; Buffalo Museum of Science; Burke Museum of
Natural History, Seattle; Burpee Museum of Natural History;
California academy of Sciences; Carnegie Museum of Natural History,
Pittsburg; Centennial Museum, El Paso; Chicago Academy of Sciences;
Cincinnati Museum of Natural History; Cleveland Museum of Natural
History; Cornell University Museum of Vertebrates; Delaware Museum of
Natural History; Denver Museum of Nature & Science; Fairbanks Museum,
University of Alaska; Field Museum of Natural History; Florida Museum
of Entomology; Florida Museum of Natural History; Georgia Museum of
Natural History; Illinois Natural History Survey; Illinois State
Museum; Life Science Museum,  Brigham Young University; Los Angeles
County Museum of Natural History; Milwaukee Public Museum of Natural
History; Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum; Museum of Vertebrate
Zoology, University of California; Museum of Paleontology, University
of California; Museum of Zoology,  University of Michigan; North
Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences; Oregon Museum of Natural
History; Peabody Museum of Natural History; Philadelphia Academy of
Sciences; Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History; San Diego
Natural History Museum; Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History;
Scripps Institute of Oceanography; Sierra College Natural History
Museum; Slater Museum of Natural History; Smithsonian Institution;
Snow Entomological Museum, University of Kansas; Tallahassee Museum
of Natural History; Texas Memorial Museum; Natural History Museum,
University of Iowa; Natural History Museum, University of Kansas ;
Museum of Zoology,  University of Massachusetts; Zoological Museum,
University of Wisconsin; Virginia museum of Natural History; Wilbur
R. Enns Entomology Museum, University of Missouri; Bell Museum of
Natural History, Minnesota (incomplete data)

Christoffer Schander, PhD
Associate Professor

University of Copenhagen
Arctic Station
Box 504
DK - 3953 Qeqertarsuaq

Phone Int+299 - 921384
Fax Int+299 - 921385

e-mail: CSchander at or c.schander at


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