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Esther Dondorp

Vertebrate collections - Reptiles & Amphibians


Email: esther.dondorp@naturalis.nl
Phone: +31 (0)71-7517338
Room number: Vondellaan E.02.007


Unfortunately, due to the construction of new public museum facilities/depots/labs/offices, the zoological, geological and paleontological collections of Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden will be closed to all visitors, including Synthesys Access applicants, as well as for all loan requests from May 2016 until December 2018. Please contact me by e-mail if you have any inquiries.


2008-2010 Master of Science in Animal Biology, Universiteit Leiden.

During my Biology study I did two internships: The first was with Prof. M. Richardson at the Leiden University. This subject was part of a larger study on the relationship between birds and dinosaurs where I focused on their common ancestor, the crocodile.

The last part of my master I worked at Naturalis Biodiversity Center, were I studied the foraminiferal fauna from an isolated brackish lake in Indonesia.  

In 2012 I started as a collection manager for the collection Reptiles and Amphibians.    


Collection interest

Our Reptile and Amphibian collection currently contains around 65.000 catalogued specimens out of a total of over 120.000 specimens. It includes material mainly from South-east Asia and the Amazonian region, as well as several valuable collections from other localities. 


Important parts of the Reptile and Amphibian collection:

Specimens from the collection of Prof. Th. W. van Lidth de Jeude. This collection, originally belonging to the Leiden University, was one of several cabinets (also the “Cabinet du Roi” from Lodewijk Napoleon and the private collection of C.J.Temminck) that were combined when the Museum was founded in 1820.
Japan - Specimens collected by Von Siebold (the oldest natural history collection from Japan, which was collected between 1824-1835) including the type specimen of the Japanese Giant Salamander and other types.
SE Asia - Many specimens collected by H.Kuhl and v. J.C.Hasselt, and other members of the Natural Science Commission for the Dutch East Indies between 1820-1850. F.Kopstein (collected between 1922-1939) and C.P.J. de Haas. 
South and Central America - A large collection of Reptiles and Amphibians from South and Central America collected by Spix, H.H. Dieperink, P. Wagenaar Hummelinck, and M.S. Hoogmoed.
Africa - Important collections collected by H.S.Pel and H.B. van Horstock.
The former ZMA collection - containing many types collected during the Siboga expedition and a large more recent collection of specimens from Madagascar collected by M.Vences.


reptiles, amphibians