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Get up close with biology

Sometimes seeing what you are studying goes a long way toward understanding how it works or functions. That's why the Department of Biology has some seriously cool collections that you can experience. From mammals and birds to insects and invertebrates, we have something for everyone.

Amphibian + Reptile Collections

This extensive collection of more than 1,200 preserved specimens, representing 250 amphibian and reptile species primarily from North America, is a great teaching and learning tool. We also have some live specimens that are housed throughout Phillips Hall for Blugolds to study. 

Fish Collection

Thousands of different types of fish populate the world and we have a collection of more than 5,000 of them from over 100 fish families. This extensive collection gives you an opportunity to get a closer look at the distinct details of each.

The Herbarium

Wisconsin has a plethora of plant life! We've gathered over 10,000 plants from western and central Wisconsin for this collection. The dried and pressed plants offer biology students a closer look at the complexity of a single plant. Classes like Taxonomy of Vascular Plants, Field Botany and Dendrology take special advantage of the herbarium.

Insect + Invertebrate Collections

They creeped, they crawled and we collected them so you can learn! The insect collection boasts more than 350,000 insect specimens, which are mainly terrestrial and aquatic insects from all over the Upper Midwest region. In addition, the invertebrate collection contains many terrestrial and aquatic specimens that are common in West-Central Wisconsin.

Mammal + Bird Collection

Not only does Phillips Hall house the bird museum, it also features a mammal and bird collection (because you can never have too many birds!). This collection contains more than 900 specimens from over 300 species. As for the mammals, there are hundreds of study kinds and skulls that represent 65 species.

Saltwater Aquaria

Whether you need a study break or need to actually study the marine life inside, the saltwater aquaria has just what you are looking for. The tanks are filled with bright sea anemones, colorful fish, brittle stars and more saltwater life that will mesmerize you. This 125-gallon tropical collection can be found in the hallway on the third floor of Phillips Hall.

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