Principal characteristics of the facility and of the support offered to users:
The Large Scale Facility for Systematics, Taxonomy and biodiversity studies in the Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris, includes the 15 laboratories holding the reference collections covering the whole spectrum of animal and plant realms, present and past. These collections, most of them unique, represent more than 80 Million specimens among which 700.000 taxonomic types. It is one of the three most comprehensive facilities of this type in the world and the oldest professional collection ever built up. A team of 143 curators and 110 research associates, all of them trained scientific experts is allowing a high quality scientific support. Together with access to reference specimens the visiting scientist will have at his disposal a series . of specialised libraries and the curation documentation attached to each collection. This information system is completed by a Museum Main Library (with extensive old and recent scientific litterature). Support staff will ensure technical assistance and a series of scientific equipments are available for various types of investigation in Natural History, even the more recent ones (cytology, molecular systematics, morphometrics, computerised phylogenetic analysis, statistical tools, optic and electronic microscopy).The visiting scientist will benefit of a direct access to the internal computerised communication system with e-mail, on-line databases (both internal and external) and internet services. This facility, integrating 15 components is considered as a single equipment. It is supervised and coordinated by a steering committee with one person-in-charge. Within this frame the elected visiting scientist will have a high degree of autonomy in his research program. The Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle facility for Systematics, Taxonomy and Biodiversity research is a unique scientific tool due to the historical importance of its reference collections, their scientific and geographic comprehensiveness and the quality of scientific support given to its visitors.
Quantity of access being offered and number of users who may benefit: - 450 man-days per year - Maximum number of 100 users per year