The Natural History Museum partners with Amazon Web Services to transform and accelerate scientific research

  • The Natural History Museum and Amazon Web Services will create a ‘digital twin’ for UK biodiversity, creating a data platform to store, enrich and compare urban biodiversity and environmental data.
  • The data platform aims to give Museum scientists and researchers around the world unprecedented access to a wealth of UK biodiversity and environmental data to support the discovery of solutions to the planetary emergency.

The Museum of Natural History today announced a multi-year partnership with leading cloud service provider, Amazon Web Services (AWS), that will help transform the Museum’s scientific research and community science capabilities by bringing together a broad range of UK biodiversity and environmental data types. same place for the first time. This will help Museum scientists build on scientific understanding of the UK’s biodiversity and environment, encourage more integrated interdisciplinary research programs and advance the scientific recovery of nature in urban spaces. from the United Kingdom.

Organizations will develop a new data platform, the Data Ecosystem, which will be built using AWS technologies. By building the data ecosystem on the AWS cloud, the museum can capture, store, combine, and compare data in a secure, resilient, and scalable way.

The museum will make the data ecosystem available to the museum’s 350 scientists, who represent one of the largest groups in the world studying and enabling research on the natural world, as well as to researchers at the museum’s partner institutes across the United Kingdom. The data ecosystem will help researchers better understand the UK’s urban biodiversity, including its composition, its link to environmental conditions and its response to direct conservation action.

Scientists will be able to study types of biodiversity data alongside environmental data such as soil and atmospheric chemistry or noise pollution, quickly and accurately. This, combined with access to the Museum’s 27 years of historical wildlife data from their South Kensington Gardens, will allow an increasingly detailed picture of the functioning and health of biodiversity to be built and should open up opportunities for scale for research and positive action for nature. The intention, over time, is to capture all new data on the UK’s biodiversity and environment from the Natural History Museum’s projects and create a ‘digital twin’, a real-time virtual representation of UK biodiversity.

Dr John Tweddle, director of the Angela Marmont Center for UK Biodiversity at the Natural History Museum, says: “Working with AWS to grow the data ecosystem will revolutionize the scientific work we undertake at the Museum. Data will be an essential tool to unlock new solutions to the planetary ecological emergency; from monitoring UK wildlife to pursuing the scientific recovery of nature in our cities and towns.

Darren Hardman, Vice President and General Manager, UK and Ireland, Amazon Web Services, said, “We are proud to partner with the Natural History Museum to help them embrace new digital technologies and accelerate new scientific discoveries. . Access to a wide range of data is crucial for Museum scientists to better understand the UK’s urban biodiversity and help tackle the global emergency. The cloud is an important enabler for this. For the first time, scientists will have a way to securely store and process research data using the Data Ecosystem, which can easily scale as more data is collected over time. time. We look forward to working with the Museum to drive innovation across the organization over the coming years as the partnership grows.

Additionally, the Data Ecosystem will help accelerate the biodiversity tracking the museum is already doing, starting with its Urban Nature Project (UNP), which will transform the museum’s five-acre site into a biologically diverse green space at the heart from London. In addition to an on-site learning and activity center to host science activities, powered by AWS, the UNP Gardens will provide “living galleries” in which Museum scientists can develop and test new methods. to monitor, protect and enrich the urban nature that is so important. to human well-being.

Visual and environmental observations based on the DNA of plants and fauna, as well as environmental and acoustic monitoring data from a network of high spatial resolution sensors in the gardens of the Museum will be organized and combined within the data ecosystem. The wealth of data will allow museum scientists to build scientific evidence of the impacts that habitat creation, restoration and translocation are having on UK urban wildlife, from grasslands to pond habitats.

The data ecosystem is also designed to enable the Museum’s globally recognized community and citizen science program, providing a platform through which individuals, community groups and schools can join, contribute and lead world-class research. relating to their local wildlife and environment.

Lucy Robinson, Citizen Science Manager at the Natural History Museum, said, “It has never been more critical to accelerate the pace at which local observations fuel world-class research and to get back to real action for the planet. Backed by the data ecosystem, our community science program empowers people across the UK to study and protect the local environment they care about.

Lisa Chilton, Chief Executive of the National Biodiversity Network Trust, said: “The National Biodiversity Network Trust has partnered with the Natural History Museum for over 20 years on pioneering biodiversity data projects. We are excited about the development of the Museum’s innovative new data ecosystem, built on AWS, which will help answer critical questions about the health of the natural world and how we can stop the biodiversity crisis.

Development of the data ecosystem is ongoing and the gardens are expected to open to the public in 2023.


Notes for Editors

Natural History Media Contact: Such. : +44 (0)20 7942 5654/ (0)779 969 0151 Email: [email protected]

The urban nature project

The Natural History Museum Urban nature project is designed in response to the urgent need to monitor and record changes in the UK’s urban nature. Working in partnership with museums and wildlife organizations across the UK, the project will develop online, on-site and national monitoring and citizen science programs, as well as transform the museum’s five-acre gardens in South Kensington into a globally significant urban nature ‘epicenter’, helping to safeguard nature’s future. Amazon Web Services is the main sponsor of the Urban Nature project.

For more information on the Urban Nature project, visit

The Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum is both a world-renowned center for scientific research and the most visited indoor attraction in the UK last year. With a vision of a future in which people and the planet thrive, he is uniquely positioned to be a powerful champion for balancing the needs of humanity with those of the natural world.

It is the custodian of one of the world’s largest scientific collections comprising over 80 million specimens accessed by researchers around the world both in person and through over 30 billion digital data downloads to date. The Museum’s 350 scientists are finding solutions to the planetary emergency, from the loss of biodiversity to the sustainable extraction of natural resources.

The Museum uses its global reach and influence to fulfill its mission to create Earth Defenders – to inform, inspire and empower everyone to make a difference for nature. We welcome millions of visitors through our doors each year, our website received 17 million visits last year and our traveling exhibitions have been viewed by approximately 20 million people over the past 10 years.

Supporters and sponsors

A wide variety of trusts, foundations, corporations and individuals support the Urban Nature project, including AWS, National Lottery Heritage Fund, Evolution Education Trust, Cadogan Charity, Garfield Weston Foundation, Kusuma Trust, Wolfson Foundation, Charles Wilson and Rowena Olegario, Huo Family Foundation (UK), Johnson Matthey, Workman and the Trustees and Museum Board.

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