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The University of Athens was founded in 1837, and some years later, in 1850, a University Museum was created in order to host the first botanical, zoological and mineral collections of the Greek research community. This Natural History Museum (then called Physiographic Museum) remained as such until 1868, when, because of the rapidly increasing size of the different collections, it was decided each type of collection to be allocated into different Museums. Accordingly, the botanical collections were hosted in the Botanical Museum with Th. Orphanides, Professor of Botany at this time, being its first director. He was succeeded by Prof. Th. Afentoulis (1882), Prof. S. Miliarakis (1893) and in 1918 by Prof. I. Politis, who were eagerly involved in several scientific projects related to the exploration of the Greek biota. I.Politis is acknowledged as the first who organized collection of algae, fungi and lichen specimens. Today, the Botanical Museum of Athens University comprises a wealth of specimens. The exact number is not known since no full listing has ever been made; it is estimated that the collections may reach or exceed 100,000 vouchers. As of primary importance, the botanical collections by T.von Heldreich (subset of his herbarium), Th. Orphanides (full herbarium) and V. Tuntas (subset of his herbarium) are considered, since they include several specimens that serve as ‘Typi’ for published  names of species, most of them endemic to Greece. Modern plant collections cover large parts of mainland and insular Greece and are carefully documented. They are registered in a database that permits to store, retrieve and analyze data in efficient ways. In order to contribute towards the raise of environmental awareness for the public and particularly the student community, the Botanical Museum also hosts an exhibition, which presents the spatial and temporal dynamics of natural and anthropogenic environment in the geographical area of Attica, particularly the Athens Metropolitan Area.


Director: Professor Margarita Arianoutsou - Farangitaki, School of Biology

tel.: 210-727 4352


Advisory Committee: Dr Theophanis Constantinidis, Dr D. Danielides, Dr Z. Gonou, School of Biology Scientific support: Dr I. Bazos,  Dr D. Kazanis, Y. Kokkoris, Dr  I. Louvrou, Dr I. Pyrri and Dr K. Radea,