The Museum für Naturkunde - Leibniz-Institut für Evolutions- und Biodiversitätsforschung (Museum für Naturkunde - Leibniz Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity Science, MfN) is a research museum within the Leibniz Association. It is devoted to basic and applied research and education in the fields of natural history, with a focus on biodiversity, evolution, and earth sciences. Research in the field of biodiversity concentrates on taxonomy, biogeography and data used for environmental policy. The mission of the MfN as an integrated research museum has many aspects, e.g. to engage in excellent and relevant research; to document, make accessible, and expand the collections as part of an international research infrastructure; and to serve as a bridge between science and society.
The MfN has around 260 employees in total, with over 70 researchers and over 30 PhD students (2013). The museum houses collections with more than 30 million scientific specimens and its museum exhibitions are seen by more than 500,000 visitors each year. Furthermore, the facilities of the MfN comprise general and high-end laboratories (isotope analysis, genetics lab, geochemistry lab, bioacoustic lab, 3D-CAD/visualization, etc.), a large scientific library (> 175,000 titles, >1,000 journals), and a recently upgraded ICT-infrastructure.
Christoph Häuser is leading the Office for International Cooperation and Project Coordination at the MfN Directorate. His research interests focus on applications of information technology to taxonomy and biodiversity documentation and assessment. He has been engaged for more than 10 years with biodiversity informatics initiatives, both at the scientific and at the science-policy level, e.g., GBIF, the Catalogue of Life (CoL), the Global Butterfly Information System (GloBIS), and the standing call for establishing a Global Species Information System (GSIS).
In Ecopotential he is involved in WP5 and WP9.