Welcome to the Department of Museum Research and Collections!

We oversee the management and curation of the University of Alabama Museums collections and develop interdisciplinary research programs focusing on museum-based research. Browse this site to learn more about who we are and what we do.

Along with the rest of the Nation, The University of Alabama Museums has watched as recent events including the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor have fractured our communities. Violence, disparity, and acts of hatred contradict the University’s core principles of fostering a culture of inclusivity, diversity, and respect for every member of our community. The UA Museums stand behind these values as we use this time to advocate for reflection, opportunities for change, and engagement with marginalized communities. We are committed to dismantling systemic racism and seek to be a strong symbol of hope, equality, and inclusivity, bringing people together to discover and enjoy the incredible natural and cultural resources of our region.


Millions of Cicadas Are Coming to the East Coast

Millions of cicadas are about to swarm the East Coast. Don’t panic! It’s totally normal. These cicadas, known as periodical cicadas, have been 6 feet underground for 17 years. From June to August, they will come above ground in waves in Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina.

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Murder Hornets

On May 6, 2020, Dr. John Abbott (Director of Museum Research & Collections) was a guest on WBRC’s Good Day Alabama to discuss  “Murder Hornets”.

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Collections News

New Holotype of Fossil Shark for Paleontology Collection

Squatina australis

On June 16, paleontologists published a scientific article describing a new fossil angel shark genus and species named Cretasquatina americana. Among those paleontologists is former University of Alabama curator of paleontology Dana Ehret. The team used two specimens from the paleontology collection of UA Museums’ Department of Museum Research and Collections.

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