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Research Collections

In addition to our education programs and exhibits, the Bean Life Science Museum is home to several research collections for use by BYU faculty and the larger academic community. If you would like more info on a particular collection, you can contact one of the curators listed on each collection tab.
Insects and Arachnids
Reptiles and Amphibians
Vascular Plants


Specimens: 10,932

The museum's bird collection contains more than 10,000 specimens with representation from all orders and most bird families found in the world. Of particular value is a large collection of peregrine falcons collected from across the globe, several hundred hummingbirds from South American, and major representation of species found in western North America. The museum also houses an oological collection of more than 2,300 bird egg clutches.

Note: The Utah County Birders meet every 2nd Thursday of the month from 7-8:30 PM at the Bean Life Science Museum in the orientation theater behind the information desk.
Lytle Preserve Checklist
Utah County Checklist

Skip Skidmore

July 19, 2019 06:03 PM
Assistant Curator
Phone: (801) 422-4621
Room: 180 MLBM

Clayton White

Emeritus Curator


The museum's fish collection contains more than 150,000 specimens. The collection includes fishes from throughout the world with emphasis on western North American and South and Central America. It includes a large collection of native western trout and Central American live-bearing fish.The collection also contains extensive alcohol-preserved tissues, frozen tissues, and DNA archives from western North American fishes.

Jerry Johnson

June 18, 2019 10:10 AM
Curator of Fishes
Phone: 801-422-4502
Room: 4033 LSB

Skip Skidmore

July 19, 2019 06:03 PM
Assistant Curator
Phone: (801) 422-4621
Room: 180 MLBM

Dennis Shiozawa

Dennis Shiozawa.jpg
Emeritus Curator
Room: 1133 MLBM


display of bugs.jpg
The insect and arachnid collection is comprised mainly of pinned specimens, but there are also major alcohol and slide collections. The collection serves as a library of insects and arachnids for western North America. It is a valuable historical collection and serves as an important voucher depository. BYUC is registered as the official acronym for the collection by the Entomological Collections Netword (ECN), a national organization.

Geographic representation: Worldwide coverage; emphasis on western North America

Michael Whiting

June 18, 2019 10:11 AM
Phone: 801-422-5651
Room: 3101D

Riley Nelson

June 18, 2019 10:10 AM
Assistant Curator
Phone: (801) 422-1345
Room: 2119 LSB

Seth Bybee

May 13, 2020 11:29 AM
Assistant Curator
Phone: (801) 422-3152
Room: 4057 LSB

Shawn Clark

June 18, 2019 10:11 AM
Collections Manager
Room: 3101E
Phone: (801)-422-3815

Richard Baumann

Richard Baumann.jpg
Emeritus Curator
Phone: 801-422-5492
Room: 3103C

Research Affiliates

Mike Hastriter
Alan Myrup
Robert Mower


The lichen and bryophyte collection, one of the largest in North America, contains more than 105,000 specimens, including more than 100 type collections. Specimens are primarily from the western United States, but some worldwide collections are also represented. Many specimens have been obtained in connection with air-quality biomonitoring surveys in western U.S. wilderness areas and national parks. This collection also includes more than 1,500 archival elemental analysis samples.
BYU Lichen Tour

Steven Leavitt

June 18, 2019 10:11 AM
Curator of Lichens and Assistant Professor
Phone: (801) 422-4879
Room: 4143 LSB

Larry St. Clair

St. Clair.jpg
Emeritus Curator
Room: 1115C


rows of labeled rodents.png
Specimens: 41,300 (400 uncatalogued)
Frozen tissues: 11,200

Geographic representation: Emphasis in the Great Basin (especially Utah and Nevada) and Mexico. Accredited by the American Society of Mammalogists (1991)
The collection includes skins, skulls, skeleton, tissue slides, paraffin tissue blocks, and trophies. It also houses the collection that was formerly at Utah State University as well as a portion of the University of Illinois Museum of Natural History collection (specimens from Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Washington, Wyoming and Mexico).


Skip Skidmore

July 19, 2019 06:03 PM
Assistant Curator
Phone: (801) 422-4621
Room: 180 MLBM

Duke Rogers

Duke Rogers.jpeg
Emeritus Curator


mollusk shell.jpg
Specimens: 42,962
Major groups represented: Gastropods and Bivalves

Geographic representation: Mostly from the tropics and subtropics. Some temperate specimens as well as some freshwater specimens from Utah.

John Bell

Emeritus Curator


Specimens: ~ 39,500
Types: 36
Paratypes: 27
Diversity: Species: 1,689 Genera: 567 Families: 95

Geographic Coverage: Global, but with main strengths in the continental US (especially the Great Basin/Intermountain West, and a secondary strength in the Appalachian region); collections are extensive for much of Latin America (especially Mexico and Argentina); west and central Africa; southeast Asia & South Pacific Islands; Madagascar; and Australia.
Wilmer Tanner Publications


Alison Whiting

August 01, 2019 11:53 AM

Jack Sites

Emeritus Curator


man studying vascularPlants.jpg
Specimens: 600,000+
Type specimens: ~2,000
Major Groups include: ferns and fern allies, gymnosperms, and flowering plants
Geographic representation is world wide, with strong emphasis on the Great Basin & Intermountation West. The Herbarium is recognized as a major regional center for the study of Western American plants and is equally important as resource for student research and learning.

Current & recent research projects include threatened and endangered species, species delimitation, and phylogeography in western North America and Patagonia.

The herbarium database is incomplete, but actively growing. Access to specimen records and images is available via

Leigh Johnson

June 18, 2019 10:11 AM
Phone: (801) 422-1633
Room: 2103A

Robert Johnson

June 18, 2019 10:10 AM
Collections Manager
Phone: (801)-422-7094
Room: 3115A