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History

The Zoology Museum of the UPRRP was started by Drs. Frank Rolle, Manuel Velez and Harold Heatwole in the early 1960s. Many of the existing specimens were cataloged by these three scientists. The collection was initially in a small laboratory in the Department of Biology, Julio Garcia Díaz Building, and grew through additional collecting by professors and graduate students. In 1976 Dr. Richard Thomas arrived as a herpetology professor and added many reptiles and amphibians to the Museum. In the 1990s, the Department of Biology successfully petitioned the University to house the Museum and Herbarium in the Facundo Bueso building where it exists today. We were then successful in obtaining NSF funding to remodel the space and install compactor systems for both the Museum and Herbarium. It took nearly a decade to complete the work and move the collections along with a few professors into the current space. While the herbarium expanded, upgraded, and began database operations largely financed two additional NSF grants, the zoological collections languished until arachnologist Dr. Ingi Agnarsson was hired by the Department in 2008. The major reorganization of the Museum commenced in 2011, largely from the enthusiastic participation of key graduate students and many undergraduates. With the departure of Agnarsson, Dr. James Ackerman took over the directorship of the Museum in 2012 and has continued the policies established by his predecessor with the launching of this website as one of our latest accomplishments.

In preparation for going digital, we are now in the Global Registry of Biodiversity Repositories (http://grbio.org/institutional-collection/uprrp-zoological-museum).