Ornithology Feature

Museum of Zoology

The Museum of Zoology is home to four collections:

  • Amphibian and Reptile Collection
  • Ichthyology (Fish) Collection
  • Mammalogy Collection
  • Ornithology (Birds) Collection

The Amphibian and Reptile Collection is an active teaching and research resource containing approximately 4,000 specimens. It holds the largest collection of preserved reptiles and amphibians from Alberta, as well as many exotic specimens from North America and around the world. The collection has been instrumental in monitoring various reptile and amphibian populations, and has helped University of Alberta researchers take action on the declining Northern Leopard Frogs and Canadian Toad populations.

The Ichthyology (Fish) Collection contains more than 200,000 specimens, representing 40 orders and more than 200 families. The collection contains a wide variety of primitive and advanced fish from around the world as well as a comprehensive collection from Alberta. The majority of specimens are preserved in alcohol, with a number of mounted skeletons and cleared and stained samples that allow skeletal structures to be visible. This resource is used extensively for research by graduate students and faculty, supporting the study of fish systematics and biodiversity.

With more than 10,000 specimens representing 16 orders and 76 families, the Mammalogy Collection's taxonomic and geographic scope spans the planet, with strong representation from Northwestern Canada. The collection consists primarily of skins and skulls, with additional skeletal and fluid-preserved specimens. There are many rare and historically important specimens. The collection is used for teaching and research.

The Ornithology Collection contains more than 7,000 bird specimens from around the world, with strong representation from Western Canada. The collection primarily consists of whole bird skins, numerous skeletons, striking mounted birds, and a collection of eggs, beaks, feet and wings. There are many rare and historically important specimens, representing species now endangered. The collection is used for teaching and research, and is valued for its potential in genetic analysis as many species in Alberta are at the northern or western limit of their range.

Location and Access

  • The collection can be accessed by students, faculty, researchers, and members of the public
  • To arrange access contact the curator of the collection you are interested in


Cindy Paszkowski, Curator
Amphibian and Reptile Collection
Ornithology (Birds) Collection
Z-718 Biological Sciences Centre
Phone: (780) 492-7544

Alison Murray, Curator
Ichthyology (Fish) Collection
Z1012 Biological Sciences
Phone: (780) 492-9244

Andrew Derocher, Curator
Mammalogy Collection
Z 1110 Biological Sciences Centre
Phone: (780) 492-5570


Related Links

Departmental Collection Web Site

Search the University of Alberta Natural Science Collections Portal