Biodiversity is one of the greatest societal, political, and scientific concerns of this millennium. The challenge for biodiversity researchers is to document biodiversity, to understand how biological processes generate and maintain it, and to communicate those findings and their relevance to a broader community.
The University of Texas has been an important contributor to biodiversity research through its impressive research and teaching collections of plants and animals, its assortment of field sites for basic and applied ecological research, its internationally renowned faculty, and its outreach to the community in education about the natural world.
The Fish Collection holds more than 60,000 lots estimated to contain greater than 1 million specimens. More than 3/4 are from Texas freshwaters, representing 216 counties. You can browse state records (including those housed at other institutions) at our Fishes of Texas Project.
The Herpetology Collection includes 93,000 specimens of amphibians and reptiles. The emphasis is on Texas, but coverage is worldwide: Africa, Mexico, Central America, South America, and Southeast Asia. A searchable database is available at VertNet.
The Entomology Collection houses 250,000 specimens of dried pinned insects, their nests, and host plant voucher specimens. It is housed at the Lake Austin Center.
The Cave Arthropod collection is a unique resource of cave organisms, particularly from the many hundreds of caves in Texas and adjacent Mexico.
Also associated with this collection are 400,000 slide-mounted and alcohol-preserved specimens of terrestrial, freshwater, and marine organisms from many parts of the world, but with emphasis on the United States and Mexico. This collection is currently at the Pickle Research Campus, but will soon be established at the Lake Austin Center.
1,800 specimens of birds and more than 6,000 mammals, mostly from Texas and northern Mexico and collected in the 1930s-1960s, have been transferred to Texas Tech University. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
The Genetic Resources Collection is a world-class resource that supports molecular phylogenetic and evolution studies of UT researchers and collaborators, as well as the research community worldwide. It includes >40,000 samples housed in -80 ultracold freezers and liquid nitrogen storage tanks, which guarantee that the samples will be useful for decades.