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  1. The Consortium of European Taxonomic Facilities (CETAF): The roles of natural history collections in exploring biodiversity.

Convener: Brecht Verstraete (


Abstracts as pdf

Symposium Program as pdf


Taxonomy encompasses the description, documentation and classification of the natural world, an activity that is central to our efforts to reconstruct the Tree of Life and understand the evolutionary relations of biodiversity on Earth. Taxonomic research is undertaken at different hierarchical levels and across the whole spectrum of life, from bacteria, fungi and plants to animals. Taxonomy is the scientific pillar that supports a variety of other disciplines. Fundamental to taxonomic research are our natural history collections. It is impossible to explore and understand biodiversity, now and in the future, without scientific collections. Although natural history collections were previously used mainly to describe species, their scientific value stretches far beyond this. They are the basis cutting-edge research into present-day societal challenges. Scientific collections are being used in next-generation phylogenomics or large-scale biogeographic and speciation studies investigating the origin and evolution of biomes. More applied uses of collections include the phylogenetic exploration of living organisms to derive natural products to respond to human medical or nutritional needs, the study of human and veterinary epidemiology using information sourced from collections or the modelling the spread of alien invasive organisms in our changing world. Collections are also an excellent source of data for trait-based research into the responses of living organisms to climate change, for example, the effects of increasing temperature on carbon cycling in plants. The goal of this symposium is to explore the possibilities of collection-based research for studying present-day and future questions about life on Earth.



All slots for this symposium have been filled and abstract submission for oral presentations for this symposium is now closed.



Tuesday, August 15th. Afternoon session.


Invited talks:


13.30 – 13.40

Michelle J Price1, Ana Casino2, Thierry Bourgoin3, Jesus Muñoz4, Jiři Kvaček5, Nikolaj Scharff6, Vince Smith7, Erik Smets8:
CETAF: building a future for taxonomy together.

1Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques de la Ville de Genève, Genève, Switzerland; 2CETAF General Secretariat, Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Brussels, Belgium; 3Muséum National d´Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France; 4Royal Botanic Garden, Madrid, Spain; National Museum, Prague, Czech Republic; 6Natural History Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark; 7Natural History Museum, London, United Kingdom; 8Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Leiden, the Netherlands.



13.40 – 14.00

Nina Rønsted1:
Using collections to address medical needs of tomorrow.

1Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.


14.00 – 14.20

Hugo J de Boer1,2,3, Abdolbaset Ghorbani2, Sarina Veldman2, Joseph Otieno4, Anna Kreziou5, Sarawut Ounjai6, Barbara Gravendeel3:
Molecular identification and monitoring of terrestrial orchid tubers in trade: amplicon metabarcoding of salep and chikanda.

1Natural History Museum, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway; 2Department of Organismal Biology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden; 3Naturalis Biodiversity Center; Leiden, the Netherlands; 4Institute of Traditional Medicine, Muhimbili University, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; 5Department of Biology, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai, Thailand.



14.20 – 14.40

Barbara Gravendeel1,2,3:
The added value of ‘museomes’: genomes preserved in musea.

1Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Leiden, the Netherlands; 2University of Applied Sciences Leiden, Faculty of Science and Technology, Leiden, the Netherlands;

3Leiden University, Institute Biology Leiden, Leiden, the Netherlands.



14.40 – 15.00

Patrik Mráz1, Christoph Rosche1,2, Olivier Broennimann3, Viera Mrázová1, Antoine Guisan3, Heinz Müller-Schärer4:
Herbarium collections as a tool for tracking the spread dynamics of diploid versus tetraploid Centaurea stoebe s.l. in its native and introduced range.

1Herbarium and Department of Botany, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic; 2Institute of Biology/Geobotany and Botanical Garden, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle, Germany; 3Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland; 4Department of Biology, University of Fribourg, Fribourg, Switzerland.



15.00 – 15.30




15.30 – 15.50

Alexandre Antonelli1,2,3:
Gothenburg Global Biodiversity Centre: integrating scientists, collections, citizens, and cutting-edge methods to advance biodiversity research.

1Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden; 2Gothenburg Botanical Garden, Gothenburg, Sweden; 3Gothenburg Global Biodiversity Centre, Gothenburg, Sweden.



15.50 – 16.10

Alice Cibois1, Jean-Claude Thibault2:
Gone but not forgotten: the importance of museum specimens in the study of insular biogeography in birds.

1 Natural History Museum of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland; 2Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France.



16.10 – 16.30

Gianna  Innocenti1,  Simone  Cianfanelli1,  Claudia  Corti1,  Annamaria  Nistri1,  Annamaria  Nocita1, Stefano Vanni1:
Researches on biodiversity at the Natural History Museum, Florence University.

1 Natural History Museum, University of Florence, Florence, Italy.



16.30 – 16.50



Invited posters:

Richard Kelly1,2, Mike Benton1, Andrew Ross2,3:
Exploring diversity change in ancient insects using historical fossil collections and accurate taxonomy.
1University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom; 2National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh, United Kingdom; 3Natural History Museum, London, United Kingdom.


Jean Mariaux1:
Natural History Collections as last resort field trips?
1Natural History Museum of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland.



All slots for this symposium have been filled and abstract submission for this symposium is now closed.

Conference Centre Wallenberg, Medicinaregatan 20a, Göteborg