The most recent addition to the University of Alabama Museums, the Department of Research and Collections was created in 2016. Directed by Dr. John C. Abbott, the department is responsible for overseeing the management and curation of the Alabama Museum of Natural History collections and developing interdisciplinary research programs across the University that focus on museum-based research.

Housed in Mary Harmon Bryant Hall, the department is made up of four full-time staff and works closely with numerous curators across six different university departments.