The Museum für Naturkunde Berlin is an autonomous foundation under public law. It is led by the Directorate General. Its highest supervisory board is the Board of Trustees. The Directorate General and the Board of Trustees are supported in their academic and programme decisions by the Scientific Advisory Board.
Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees is the highest instance in the Museum, supervising all important decisions at a scientific, programmatic and economic level.
The Board of Trustees has currently the following members:
- Michael Müller (Chair; Governing Major of Berlin)
- Dr. Gisela Helbig (Deputy Chairperson; Federal Ministry of Education and Research)
- Prof. Dr. Wiebke Ahrndt (Übersee-Museum Bremen)
- Prof. Dr. Bernhard Graf (Institute for Museum Research, Berlin)
- Prof. Dr. Barbara Ischinger (Directorate of Education and Skills, Berlin)
- Prof. Dr. Sabine Kunst (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)
- Prof. Dr. Dr.h.c. Ernst Th. Rietschel (Past-President of the Leibniz Association, Hamburg)
- Daniel Wall (Berlin)
- Dr. Ingrid Wünning Tschol (Robert Bosch Stiftung, Stuttgart)
Scientific Advisory Board
The Scientific Advisory Board advises the Director General and the Board of Trustees on matters regarding science and science policy. It consists of up to seven internationally renowned scientists, who are familiar with the research foci of the museum and, ideally, are experienced in museum work.
The current members of the Advisory Board are:
- Prof. Dr. Antje Boetius, Speaker (Alfred Wegner Instutute for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven)
- Prof. Dr. Michael Hagner (Eidgenössische Hochschule Zürich)
- Prof. Dr. Petra Lange-Berndt (Universität Hamburg)
- Prof. Dr. Falko Langenhorst (Friedrich Schiller University Jena)
- Prof. Dr. Stefan Richter (University of Rostock)
- Prof. Dr. Stefan Simon (Rathgen-Institut der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin)
- Dr. Hans-Dieter Sues (Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, USA)
Johannes Vogel, PhD, Director General
Johannes Vogel studied Biology at the universities of Bielefeld and Cambridge and earned his PhD in genetics at the University of Cambridge. In 1995 he started working for the Natural History Museum in London as scientific expert for mosses, fungi and ferns; in 2004 he was appointed Keeper of Botany. Since 2012, he is Director General at the Museum für Naturkunde. He is der chair of the European Citizen Science Association and the Leibniz Biodiversity Research Alliance as well as being the deputy chair of the Bioeconomy Council to the German Federal Government.
Stephan Junker, Managing Director
Stephan Junker is a lawyer as well as an experienced science manager. Since 2011 he has been Managing Director of the Museum. Until 2011 he worked as Deputy Managing Director at the Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V., where he had previously been leading the departments for external funding and human resources for several years.
The Science Programmes
The Museum itself is divided into two Science Themes, each of which comprises two Science Programmes. Science Theme I, “Dynamics of Nature”, brings together traditional topics of research and the collections. Science Theme II, “Nature and Society”, is dedicated to new ways of communication beyond traditional forms of knowledge transfer and services.
Evolution and Geoprocesses
This Science Programme takes an interdisciplinary approach to studying biological and geological/paleontological issues with partners around the world. Our collections support this research and, in turn, are enhanced by newly acquired materials. Zoologists, palaeontologists and geoscientists are studying the micro-evolutionary mechanisms of population differentiation and species development (speciation), evolutionary genetics and biodiversity. Our work covers the entire time frame from the birth of our solar system via the present to the modelling of future scenarios. Processes of diversity dynamics are also investigated based on changes of ecosystems in time and space.
Collection Development and Biodiversity Discovery
The Museum für Naturkunde Berlin collections – containing more than 30 million objects – represent a research infrastructure of worldwide importance. They are not only used just for the Museum‘s own research activities, but also by external researchers and many other user groups. Every year hundreds of scientists from all over the world visit the Museum‘s collections to study this remarkable body of reference material. The objects in the collection also represent a unique cultural asset and basis for transferring knowledge in diverse fields. Maintaining this collection, making effective use of it, and developing it for the future presents a major challenge for the Science Programme ‘Collection Development and Biodiversity Discovery’.
Digital World and Information Science
The Science Programme ‘Digital World and Information Science’ at the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin combines the museum’s library, information and communication technology, digitization research, and biodiversity Informatics. It researches processes and methods in object digitization, information networks, data analysis, and data publication, and works in partnership with other science programmes and external partners to develop and establish innovative approaches to research, data analysis, and digital collaboration.
Museum and Society
The science programme ‘Museum and Society’ serves to better connect science and the general public, by communicating scientific findings through public exhibitions, educational programmes , conferences as well as innovative. participative and interactive communication formats. In addition, the department conducts research into the production and communication of knowledge at the museum historically and today and provides a space for citizen science activities.