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Natural Sciences department

Our Natural Sciences collections cover both life sciences and earth sciences.

Welcome to the Natural Sciences department. We research, maintain and monitor National Museums Scotland's Natural Sciences collections.

COVID-19 Update 

As government restrictions ease, we are taking steps to facilitate the return of a few outstanding loans. This will be on a case-by-case basis. In exceptional circumstances we may also be able to accommodate a small number of outgoing research loans.

If you have any collections-based queries we ask you to contact the relevant curator. If you require any further assistance please contact Dr Nick Fraser by email:

Our collections

Our collections are comprehensive in their coverage of the natural world, although Botany is only represented by fossil plants.

Our collections are global in terms of their content and most of the several million specimens held originate from efforts to better understand the Natural World.

Natural Sciences collections are divided into four sections: Earth Systems, Invertebrates, Palaeobiology and Vertebrate Biology.

Our collections and specimens are open to researchers for examination, and we'd be happy to help you conduct research. Please contact our staff to enquire.

Search our Natural Sciences collections

Looking for a particular object in our Natural Sciences collections?

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Keeper of Natural Sciences

Dr Nick Fraser
Keeper of Natural Sciences

Responsible for: The Natural Sciences department, its staff, collections and projects.

Research interests/expertise: Early Mesozoic terrestrial and marine ecosystems; phylogeny and systematics of Rhynchocephalia and Protorosauria; global faunal and floral change across the Triassic-Jurassic boundary.


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Natural Sciences Department

Natural Sciences on Twitter

Follow @NatSciNMS on Twitter for collection highlights & research.

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Museum reopening

Our museums are now open and tickets are available to book. We can't wait to welcome you back.

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