Jump to content Jump to navigation

Fast forward:

Karen van Dorp

Senior Collection Manager - Crustacea, Cnidaria, Chelicerata, Myriapoda, Porifera, Bryozoa, Brachiopoda


Email: Karen.vanDorp@naturalis.nl
Phone: +31 71 7519107
Room number: e02.00/34


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. I will be happy to answer them!


I studied Biology (Phylogenetic Systematics & Biogeography) and Brazil Studies at Leiden University and graduated in 2004. After my graduation I started working for the Naturalis media library. I went to Brazil for several years and came back to Naturalis to work on the assorting, restauration, deacidification and digitization of the archival collection of the Natural Science Commission for the Netherlands East Indies. After the project finished, I worked in the library, in the museum bookstore and in the Information Services department, before I started as a collection manager of Chelicerata & Myriapoda. Two years later I started managing the Crustacea collection, and in 2017 the Coelenterata and Porifera collections. In addition to my managing and maintenance activities in the above mentioned collections, I am a member of the Whale Strandings Team and responsible for collecting parasites and commensalists on beached whales (e.g. whale lice and barnacles).


Collection interest

The Crustacea, Coelenterata, Porifera, Chelicerata & Myriapoda collections (and the parasite collections derived from the University of Utrecht, which I am managing as well) are very extensive and there is a large variety in types of objects (ethanol, dry objects, glass slides). When you have any questions about the collections, please contact me by e-mail.


Shrimps, crabs and lobsters from Southeast Asia, the Northeast Atlantic and the Caribbean Sea are among the highlights of the Crustacea collection. Curators, including L.B. Holthuis (1941-2008), have been actively involved in these groups since the museum was founded in 1820. The Crustacea collection contains specimens from the Von Siebold collection (the oldest natural history collection from Japan, which was collected between 1824-1835 and described by C.J. Temminck & H. Schlegel in the Fauna Japonica) and specimens collected by the Natural Science Commission for the Dutch East Indies between 1820-1850 (whose efforts resulted in a vast collection and the important publication of the 'Verhandelingen', edited by C.J. Temminck). The former ZMA Crustacea collection, which is now housed at Naturalis, contains many types collected during the Siboga expedition and impressive collections of Amphipoda and Copepoda. During the last two decades, Crustacea research (and therefore collecting) at Naturalis focuses primarily on symbiontic shrimps.


The Acari collection is one of the largest and most important in the world, containing over 74.000 glass slides. Among them are the valuable Oudemans and Lukoschus specimens. Read more (in Dutch). The entire glass slide collection is digitized and available through the Naturalis Bioportal.

Recent additions to the Araneae collection by Naturalis researcher Dr. Jeremy Miller are dominated by specimens from the Netherlands and Vietnam. He investigates the taxonomy, phylogeny, and biodiversity of spiders. Over a 1000 adult symphytognathoid specimens were collected during a 10 year inventory. These belong to 36 species, all new to science.

Parasite collection Utrecht

In 2006, the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and the University Museum of the University of Utrecht transferred their parasite collection to Naturalis. The collection was restored and made accessible in a database. The collection consists of 7000 vials and 1100 microscopic slides. Fifteen type species form part of the collection. Read more.


coelenterata, bryozoa, cnidaria, myriapoda, porifera, crustacea, acari, arachnida, chelicerata, parasites