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Department of Biological Sciences

Biological Sciences 186 
University of Calgary
2500 University Dr NW
Calgary, AB T2N 1N4 Canada
+1 (403) 220-5261
+1 (403) 289-9311 (Fax)

Zoology Museum

The Zoology Museum has two components: the Vertebrate Section in rooms BI 046C, 036, and 044A; and the Invertebrate Section in rooms BI 460, 460A-D and 460F.  Both collections are used for a wide variety of teaching ranging from courses in vertebrate and invertebrate diversity through to courses in fine art and biomimicry.


The vertebrate section holdings include the following:

  • 2000 fish specimens
  • 600+ amphibian specimens
  • 500+ reptile specimens
  • 1000+ bird specimens
  • 2000 mammal specimens


The invertebrate section holdings’ earliest material dates to the late 1800’s and its greatest strengths are in material from the Calgary area, Kananaskis Valley, Waterton Lakes, Yoho, and Kootenay National Parks.  It also has smaller collections of material from West Africa and Central America.

The holdings include the following:

  • Approximately 1.25 million specimens in alcohol
  • ca. 160,000 pinned and enveloped  insect specimens
  • A smaller collection of dry and alcohol preserved molluscs (snails and clams)

A more detailed listing of the pinned insect collection is currently being developed and can be found HERE

Student Projects

There are numerous opportunities for senior undergraduate research projects and honours theses each year. Generally these projects develop from the interests of student volunteers being matched with departmental researchers in the students’ final year. 


Due to space constraints the vertebrate collection is currently accepting a limited number of volunteers. For information on opportunities in that collection contact the vertebrate collection manager, Warren Fitch

 The invertebrate collection is looking for up to 12 volunteers, our normal yearly number, to help with processing material from several recent  biosurveys/bioblitzes of the Kananaskis Valley and Beauvais Lake Provincial Park.  We have already discovered several species of insects that are entirely new to science and numerous experts around the world are keen to see material from this survey as we prepare the material. For information on opportunities in the invertebrate collection contact the invertebrate collection manager, John Swann For more information about the biosurveys/bioblitzes and our progress with the research please click the above link.