The Muséum studies the Earth and Living Things, from their origins to the present day. Its aim is to catalogue, order and understand nature in order to contribute to the sustainable development of our natural heritage. It therefore occupies a unique position in naturalistic research.


From the lab bench to the ends of the Earth
The Muséum’s researchers have the distinction of combining lab and field work. Heirs to a long tradition of scientific expeditions, they take part in a large number of missions in France and throughout the world, in order to catalogue and study the planet’s cultural and natural diversity.

More specifically, the Muséum’s scientists endeavour to:

  • complete the inventory and description of natural diversity, most of which is still to be done
  • understand this diversity
  • analyse the complex relationships between human activities – past, present and future – and this biological and geological diversity.

In a nutshell, to gain a better understanding of the planet’s history, its evolution and the impact of mankind on nature.

A multidisciplinary approach
In order to do so, the Muséum uses a wide range of disciplines, including geology, paleontology, taxonomy, ecology, biology, microbiology, physiology, genetics, chemistry, biophysics, prehistory, anthropology and ethnology.
It thereby covers every component of nature - minerals, plants, animals, fungi, micro-organisms and human populations. However, what mainly sets it apart is that it works on all size levels and time scales.

In every dimension
Research takes us from the infinitely large (the Universe) to the infinitely small (particles, cells and tissues, seeds and pollen, rock dust, etc.), including ecosystems, large mammals, and organisms of all sizes. At the same time, it explores another dimension: the depths of time, from the origins of life (paleontology, prehistory, etc.) to the modern era (ecology, modelling, etc.).
This synergy in fields of investigation provides an infinite number of subjects to study, ranging for example from the exploration of the solar system to the analysis of DNA strands or the evolution of species…


Key figures

Around 500 researchers and teacher-researchers
320 engineers and technical staff for research and training