The MuseumLab - Systematics and Evolution of Metazoa laboratory establishes the links between the physical and living worlds and contributes to understanding the dynamics of biodiversity over time. Harbored at the Museum of Natural History of the City of Geneva (MHNG) but also at the University, the research conducted at MuseumLab is essentially based on the MHNG collections, comprising nearly 15 million specimens.
By combining morphological and genetic approaches, the study of natural history collections makes it possible to describe new species and to validate propositions for systematic classification, as well as to determine the evolutionary history of species over time, in their geographical and ecological contexts. The usefulness of this fundamental research is more essential than ever at a time when the world is going through a major biodiversity crisis. Indeed, how can we identify and protect the thousands of animal species that are threatened with extinction if they have not been discovered, studied, classified and conserved beforehand?
As natural history collections are witnesses to the history of our planet, their study at the genomic level also makes it possible to identify the processes of expansion, decline or adaptation of populations, particularly in the context of the anthropocene.