The Mexican National Institute of Biology was founded in 1929 as a depository for the National Biological Collections that had accrued since the end of the 19th century. It's one of the biggest and most complex research units in the UNAM. 165 members of the academic staff are grouped in five academic units:
Most projects carried out at the Institute are aimed at increasing knowledge of biodiversity. Emphasis is on studies of the composition, distribution, origins, and potential uses of the flora, fauna and fungi of Mexico.
Since its origins, the Institute has maintained the responsibility of forming, enriching, guarding and studying the National Biological Collections. The collections, together with the Library, are fundamental elements of the Institute, and a valuable patrimony of the University and the country.