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Logotyp för Naturhistoriska riksmuseet
Logotyp för Naturhistoriska riksmuseet

Thomas Mörs

Deputy Head of department


Biodiversity of beavers

Thomas is a senior curator at the Department of Palaeobiology and is responsible for the department's vertebrate collection and loan management.

His research is mainly about the evolution and phylogeny of Cenozoic (50 to 2.5 million years old) mammals, their classification (systematics), their spatial and geographic distribution (biostratigraphy, palaeobiogeography) and their palaeoecology.

I am interested in the evolution of beavers during the Miocene epoch, 23 to 5.3 million years ago.

The project focuses on the biodiversity and ecological adaptations within the Castoridae family from Europe, East Asia and North America. In contrast to living beavers, the fossil beavers were not exclusively semi-aquatic, they inhabited different ecosystems and environments and ranged in body size from that of a hamster to a black bear. This research is carried out in collaboration with colleagues in Germany, Japan, Sweden and the USA.

Another of Thomas' research interests is the biodiversity of 50 to 2.5 million year old vertebrate faunas from Germany. The project investigates mainly the systematics and paleoecology of freshwater fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals, focusing on the optimal climatic conditions in the middle of the Miocene epoch 15 million years ago when giant frogs and giant salamanders, alligators, chameleons, cobras, coral snakes, tropical birds, possums, primates and tropical rodents lived in central Europe. This research is conducted in collaboration with colleagues from Germany, Italy, Sweden and Switzerland.

At the Swedish Museum of Natural History, Thomas also takes care of guest researchers, and he lectures in palaeontology at Stockholm University.

Other professional roles

•Editorial board member of Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments, 2008 –
• Section editor for Paläontologische Zeitschrift , 2016 –
• Swedish national representative in Expert Group EU-PolarNet2, 2022 – 2024


Dipl.-Geol. University of Bonn, 1990
Dr. rer. nat. University of Bonn, 1994
Docent Uppsala University, 2002

Contact details

Thomas Mörs

Deputy Head of department


Thomas Mö

Thomas Mörs is involved in the following projects:

Forskare framför helikopter på bergstopp i Antarktis

The frozen garden of Eden: fossil vertebrates in Antarctica

Field work during an expedition to Antarctica 2018/19. Photo: Thomas Mörs Through research expeditions to Antarctica, we have collected thousands of