The San Diego State University Biodiversity Museum is both a repository of biological specimens and a center for teaching, research, and community outreach. The focal point of the museum is our biological collections, consisting of over 100,000 physical specimens of birds, fish, mammals, plants and algae, reptiles and amphibians, and terrestrial arthropods. These specimens are used both as exemplars in teaching and in myriad ways for research. Our museum connects researchers at SDSU with other regional institutions, including those to the north (UC Riverside), in San Diego (the San Diego Natural History Museum, University of California San Diego, and University of San Diego), and to the south in Mexico (e.g., UABC, CICESE).

Associated with 1000s of our physical specimens are frozen tissue collections for use in genomic studies. For such studies, the Biodiversity Museum Genomics Lab is a shared facility used by students and faculty for genetic studies to elucidate population genomic structure and phylogenomic relationships. The museum also houses imaging systems, microscopes, and computer resources. These resources are used by students and faculty in SDSU’s Department of Biology to conduct research projects. In addition to student research projects, we offer special topics credit in specimen curation and specimen databasing. 

The Biodiversity Museum is most closely associated with faculty members in the Evolutionary Biology Program at SDSU. This program is one of the strongest in California and adjacent Mexico, with a well-established M.S. program and a growing Ph.D. program. EB faculty members and graduate students possess particular research strengths in cutting edge studies of regional biodiversity, using the latest genomics, computational, and phenotypic tools, and

Many EB faculty members are actively involved in binational research with an emphasis on conservation. The binational San Diego/northern Baja region is an international biodiversity hotspot, but faces tremendous ecological pressures from human disturbance and development, particularly as climate change accelerates. Understanding response to these many stressors, and providing solutions for long-term conservation of biodiversity, represents a centerpiece of our research as evolutionary biologists.