Beaty Biodiversity Museum

The Beaty Biodiversity Museum (BBM) is located on the University of British Columbia campus. The Museum works to inspire an understanding of biodiversity, its origins and importance to humans through collections-based research, education and outreach. In August 2016, the BBM welcomed its 200,000th visitor. The stunning building that houses the BBM won the 2011 Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia Award in Architecture. In the BBM’s two-story Djavad Mowafaghian glass atrium hangs the highlight of the collection – 26 m in length it is the largest blue whale on display in Canada. More than 95% of the collection is in state-of-the-art visible storage in publically-accessible space. A different collector started each of the 6 collections, some as early as the 1910s. 


Dubbed the “Best Collection of Weird Things in Drawers,” this natural history museum exhibits more than two million specimens divided among six collections:

  • Cowan Tetrapod Collection: encompasses over 40,000 specimens of mammals, birds, amphibians, and reptiles to represent every continent on Earth, with most coming from western Canada
  • The Herbarium:houses the largest collection of plants and fungi in western Canada, with more than 600,000 specimens
  • Spencer Entomological Collection: holds over 600,000 specimens that highlight the diversity of BC’s insects and other arthropods, as well as jumping spiders from around the world
  • Fish Collection: boasts over 850,000 specimens, with particularly spectacular and important holdings from Canada, the Aleutians, the Malay Archipelago, Mexico, the Galapagos, Panama, and the Amazon
  • Marine Invertebrate Collection: contains thousands of specimens representing the major lineages of animals, such as cnidarians, molluscs, annelids, crustaceans, echinoderms, and sponges
  • Fossil Collection: includes over 20,000 specimens that range from recent shells to 500-million-year old fossils of blue-green algae, as well as specimens from BC’s famous Burgess Shale

Exhibitions and events

We don't have anything to show you here.

Educational programs

We don't have anything to show you here.


We don't have anything to show you here.

Suggested Content