Earth Sciences

General information about the scientific collections of the NMBE and our research projects


Head of Department:
PD Dr. Beda Hofmann

Section Mineralogy-Petrography
PD Dr. Beda Hofmann
Dr. Thomas Burri (scientific assistant)

Raeto Raselli (assistant)

Section Paleontology
Dr. Ursula Menkveld-Gfeller (Curator)
Bernhard Hostettler (collection assistant, geoscientific preparator)
Gino Bernasconi
(geoscientific preparator)

PD Dr. Jörn Geister
(emeritus researcher)

Main fields of interest and specialization

The NMBE earth science collections are specialized in specific areas of mineralogy-petrography and paleontology. The main fields of interest for sampling and acquisition in the fields of mineralogy and paleontology are:


  • Swiss minerals (alpinotype minerals)
  • Ores from Switzerland (+ worldwide localities)
  • Meteorites and impactites
  • Minerals and rocks related to biogenic mineral formation
  • Diamond-related materials (kimberlites, mantle xenoliths)

Paleontology specialization:

  • regional: fossils from the Canton of Bern, Switzerland: Jura mountains, Alps and Molasse basin
  • stratigraphic: Burdigalian (Upper Marine Molasse) of Switzerland
  • stratigraphic: Alpine Paleogene (pre-flysch-Sediments)

Access to Earth Science collections and sample requests

Materials from the earth science collections may be requested for research and educational purposes. Sample requests should be submitted by letter or e-mail with a short description of the intended use.
For mineralogy-petrology contact Dr. Beda Hofmann
For paleontology contact Dr. Ursula Menkveld-Gfeller

Further Information (Links)
General Information, history of the Earth Sciences Department >
Popular publications >
Geoscientific preparation >
Mineralogy-petrography collections
Paleontology collections
Research publications