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National Centre for Biosystematics (NCB)

National Centre for Biosystematics (NCB) was established in 2002 to coordinate and strengthen basic research and research training in biological systematics at the Natural History Museum (NHM). NCB integrates research across the formerly separate disciplines of zoology, botany and mycology, as well as between field- and collection-based taxonomy, molecular systematics, evolutionary biology, and biogeography.

The NCB was initiated as a five-year Strategic University Programme (SUP), financed by the Research Council of Norway (RCN) and the Museum. The current funding is based on projects financed from various external sources and partly on the Museum. 50-60 people are active at the NCB each year: senior scientists, technicians, postdocs/researchers, guest researchers from several countries, PhD fellows, and Master students.

NCB chair and contact personPhilip David Harris



To be a nationally leading and internationally influential research and education centre in biosystematics in order to meet the society’s need for knowledge in taxonomy and biodiversity.

Main goals

  1. To conduct research of high international quality and impact by addressing fundamental scientific questions
  2. To maintain and further develop internationally leading expertise on certain taxa and biotas
  3. To take a nationally leading role in research training in biosystematics, including chairing a Norwegian-Swedish Research School in Biosystematics
  4. To take a nationally leading role in the description and molecular characterization of Norwegian biodiversity
  5. To be nationally influential in the policy and management of biodiversity conservation

Main research themes

Methodological Advances in Biosystematics:
new sequencing technology, bioinformatics for biosystematics, other methodological advances (coordinators Bachmann and Harris)

Integration of Molecular and Classical Taxonomy:
species delimitation, species identification tools, DNA barcoding and metabarcoding (coordinators Larsson and Lifjeld)

Phylogeny and Biogeography:
phylogenetics and phylogenomics, trait evolution and biogeographic processes (coordinators Bjorå and Gusarov)

Adaptation and Speciation:
hybridization and reproductive isolation, speciation, co-evolution and host switch (coordinators Bakke and Johnsen)

Research projects

See also:
DNA laboratories and DNA barcoding
Research training and research school


"Without taxonomy to give shape to the bricks, and systematics to tell us how to put them together, the house of biological science is a meaningless jumble."
Robert May, 1990.

Published Jun 9, 2010 02:37 PM - Last modified May 9, 2012 01:52 PM