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Bioscience Collections

The mission of the Bioscience Collection is to provide access to the museum’s collections of plants, mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians, insects and molluscs that represent the natural history of New Mexico and southwestern North America (United States and Mexico), and to serve as a safe repository for in-house research specimens. These collections are used for education, research and exhibits. We also have an extensive photographic slide collection of New Mexico plants and birds.

As of 2020, the approximate number of catalogued specimens is 33,000. Please visit NMMNH&S’s Search the Collections page for more information and access to the data. Bioscience data was moved into Arctos in early 2020 and is hosted online for public access.


Individual Collections

The majority of biological specimens are voucher specimens resulting from research conducted by Museum staff. The bird collection consists of salvage specimens. Museum staff and volunteers have collected and developed the plant collection. The insect collection consists of donated collections from various Museum and non-Museum researchers. The non-insect invertebrate collection consists of several donated collections and Museum staff research collections, mostly of Mollusca. 

Tissue Loans

Frozen tissue from the mammal, bird and mollusc collections for genetic study are held at the Museum of Southwestern Biology at the University of New Mexico (MSB).  Tissue loans are available through MSB’s Division of Genomic Resources.



Contact Us

Bioscience tracks publications that make use of our collections through Google Scholar and Arctos. Please visit our NMMNHS Bioscience Google Scholar page for the list of publications. If you have published material using NMMNHS Bioscience specimens, please email the information to the collection manager below.

Researchers and Educators wishing to visit or inquire about the Bioscience Collections should contact Lindsey Frederick, Bioscience Collections Manager, at

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