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Founded in 1908 by a gift to the University of California from Miss Annie Montague Alexander, the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology is a center for research on, conservation of, and education in terrestrial vertebrates. Our collections of amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals are among the largest in the United States and our University setting has made the Museum one of the premier centers for the education of undergraduate and graduate students in vertebrate biology. Under the successive leadership of eminent naturalists and evolutionary biologists, starting with Joseph Grinnell, the Museumís program has focused continually on evolutionary biology from the perspective of ecology, behavior, morphology, population biology, and genetics.

Because the Museum was founded with the philosophy that organisms should be studied in relationship to their natural environments, the specimen collections are supplemented by extensive field notes, maps, photographs, and correspondence which enhances their value to researchers. The Museumís collections thus grew as a direct, material manifestation of the activities of its students and staff, academic and nonacademic. Field activities of those associated with the Museum over the decades have extended to the far-flung corners of the globe, but have primarily centered in western North America, Mexico and Central America, western South America, central Asia, and east Africa. The collections reflect this geographic scale.

Click here for photo of MVZers taken in 2002.

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For questions, email: Rev. 17 May 2004, CC
University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, Copyright © 2004, The Regents of the University of California.