Explore Science At the Biodiversity Institute, we study the changing life and cultures of the planet — their composition, their evolutionary history, their geographic spread, their physical, genetic and behavioral characteristics, and their vital ecological systems.

Our archaeological investigations document and reveal the cultural history of Great Plains peoples. Worldwide survey and collecting expeditions discover and document our fantastic diversity of animals and plants, many of which are threatened or endangered. We invite you to explore our biodiversity science and museum exhibits.

The Panorama restoration project

Behind the Scenes: Panorama Evaluation

The Panorama conservation assessment is an ongoing effort to document the condition of the animals, plants and background of the Panorama.

Lewis Lindsay Dyche

From the Biodiversity Institute archive: Lewis Lindsay Dyche

Lewis Lindsay Dyche, Dyche Hall's namesake, was a Kansas naturalist who would become renowned as an explorer, lecturer, taxidermist and showman. He was responsible as much for the iconic Panorama exhibit as he was for some of the earliest conservation laws in Kansas.


You and Your Microbiome

Most microbes are single-celled organisms. They are so small that there are more of them on your hand than there are people on the entire planet. Microbes are in the air, on the ground and on the food we eat.

The Early Horse Herders of Botai

Investigations of the Copper Age Botai culture (3700–3100 BCE) of north-central Kazakhstan reveal an unusual economy focused primarily on horses. The large, permanent settlements have yielded enormous collections of horse remains.

Building the mammal skulls exhibit

Behind the Scenes: Mammal skulls

Months before the mammals skulls exhibit on the museum’s 6th floor could be assembled, a team of experts created individual mounts or rests for every skull. The mounts were carefully tested to make sure they could support everything from a mouse skull to that of an elephant.

Summer Camps

Summer Camps

Follow the trail in a high-tech scavenger hunt, get muddy while learning about wetland creatures, dig for fossils, launch a rocket, or solve a mystery at the museum in our one-day Summer Science Camps.

Collecting beetles

Multifaceted Chrysomelidae

From maternal care of eggs to recycling fecal material to unique relationships with host plants, the beetle family of Crysomelidae (leaf beetles) have provided a rich source of evolutionary research for scientists including Dr. Caroline Chaboo.

Collection Focus: Entomology

The Entomology collections at the KU Biodiversity Institute are estimated to contain over 4.8 million pinned and labeled specimens.


Stuck truck

Blog: Muddy Detour 

Our driver, Leroy, slammed on the brakes. The large Bedford truck behind us carrying our gear and most of our crew ran into a patch of think mud and was now sunk up to its axels and listing to one side.