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2011 Institutional Membership: A Program for Institutions of Developing Nations

The Pakistan Museum of Natural History

 

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The Pakistan Museum of Natural History (PMNH) is a state institution established in 1976 by the Government of Pakistan, through the Pakistan Science Foundation. The Museum has three scientific divisions (Zoology, Botany and Earth Sciences) and a vigorous Public Services Division for liaison with the general public, and development of a teaching outreach program (http://www.pmnh.gov.pk/). The PNMH has a strong on-line teaching and research database, including a funded initiative to document the biodiversity of Pakistan. This has led to the annual Biodiversity Week with invited lectures and a student competition for best presentation. A member of ISO, the, museum maintains and preserves research collections in each of its main divisions.

The curators of the PMNH conduct ongoing research projects, many field-based.  There are two curators plus associated staff devoted to paleozoology. These scientists actively engage in the collaborative research with colleagues from other countries. The PMNH is a site for research by students, and the museum itself is seeking accreditation to grant masters and, ultimately, doctoral degrees.

The PMNH houses significant invertebrate (especially Paleozoic) and vertebrate collections. The vertebrates include Eocene transitional shoreline assemblages with both marine (whales) and terrestrial (especially rodents) components. The large Oligocene to Pliocene vertebrate collection is characterized by a rich sequence of Siwalik assemblages, which sample the terrestrial upland communities of the Indian Subcontinent. There is also a significant collection from the Sulaiman area of central Pakistan, which embraces near-shore lowland Oligocene to Late Miocene assemblages.

Photo courtesy of the Pakistan Museum of Natural History.