Welcome !


The Distributed European School of Taxonomy (DEST) has been established by prominent taxonomists and other international partners during the EU funded project European Distributed Institute of Taxonomy (EDIT, www.e-taxonomy.eu, 1 March 2006 – 1 March 2011). The major aim of DEST is to transfer knowledge between current and future generations of taxonomists by providing high quality education and prepare students for future taxonomic careers.

Take a sneak peek of one of our courses here!


Overall, DEST involves a network of around 100 training providers from 60 institutions. Within the framework of the EDIT project, DEST organised training sessions in 30 European institutions for 185 students from all over the world (116 of which EDIT-granted). Since March 2011, the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences remains responsible for the continued management of DEST, organization of courses and related logistical matters. During the academic year 2011-2012, DEST provided training to 100 students through 16 courses, while 130 students participated in 19 training courses during 2012-2013.

The first course of the 2014-2015 training programme has been announced!
The DEST training programmes are open to trainees from both inside and outside of Europe. 
DEST collaborates with the following institutions: Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi (Iasi, Romania), Ecoserve, ETI Leiden, Finnish Museum of Natural History - University of Helsinki, Fungal Biodiversity Centre, Ghent University, Hortus Botanicus Leiden, Kew Botanic Gardens, Leiden University, Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Ferrara, Museo di Storia Naturale - Università di Firenze, Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, Museum and Institute of Zoology - Polish Academy of Sciences, Museum für Naturkunde Berlin, Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle Paris, Nationaal Herbarium Nederland, Natural History Museum of Denmark, Naturalis Biodiversity Center, National Botanic Garden of Belgium, Natural History Museum London, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Royal Museum for Central Africa, Sven Lovén Centre for Marine Sciences Kristineberg, Transmitting Science, S.L., Barcelona, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, University of Bayreuth, University of Copenhagen, University of GdaƄsk, University of Ljubljana and Wageningen University
Dr Isabella Van de Velde
Dr Hendrik Gheerardyn
To request a user account and gain access to our virtual campus, email us at the above address.
The Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences secures the management of the
Distributed European School of Taxonomy.

The Museo di Storia Naturale of Firenze is greatly acknowledged for funding the participation of two trainees in the course Entomological research in protected areas in 2014.

Two grants of 500 EUR will be awarded. See course description for application procedure.

The Abruzzo Lazio and Molise National park and Pettersson Elektronik (Sweden) are greatly acknowledged for sponsoring the course ‘Acoustic identification of bats’, June 2014.



The World Association of Copepodologists is greatly acknowledged for sponsoring the participation of two trainees in our training programme on Copepoda of 2012.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences is greatly acknowledged for sponsoring the international graduate school course Basics of Taxonomy (16 - 27 April 2012) at the Sven Lovén Centre for Marine Sciences.

We are continuously seeking funding and greatly appreciate new sponsoring initiatives.
Please contact us in case you would like to sponsor DEST training programmes.