Specimen jars

AboutIchthyology conducts research, research training and graduate education on the world’s fishes-their global diversity, evolution, geography, genomics, morphology, conservation, ecology, and behavior. These studies are grounded in research collections of 680,000 specimens and their associated data.

Curator Leo Smith focuses on the higher-level relationships of spiny-rayed fishes, the interplay of diversification and character evolution, and the evolution of venom, bioluminescence, and biofluorescence.

Going fishing

Contacts and Mailing Address

Ichthyology is located on the seventh floor of Dyche Hall at the University of Kansas.

Mailing Address:

Division of Ichthyology
Dyche Hall
1345 Jayhawk Boulevard
Lawrence KS 66045-7505

General contact information: Curator: leosmith@ku.edu, Collection Manager: abentley@ku.edu

Dyche Hall

History

A “Cabinet of Natural History” at the University of Kansas was established by the Kansas Territorial legislature in 1864. However, it wasn't until 1898 that the first fishes (specimens collected in Douglas County) were brought to the State University Museum (now known as the KU Natural History Museum) for inclusion. In 1900, the Kansas State Legislature approved the construction of Dyche Hall, the building that currently houses the Division of Ichthyology and the ichthyological collection.
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fish

Former Faculty

Frank Cross literally wrote the book on Kansas fish.  He was a professor of systematics and ecology at the University of Kansas from 1951 until retiring in 1991. He was also curator of ichthyology for the Natural History Museum. His first textbook, The Handbook of Fishes in Kansas, was published in 1967. He later co-wrote a text called Fishes in Kansas with Joseph Collins in 1975 and revised it in 1995. 

Frank Cross passed away Thursday, July 19, 2001. He was born Sept. 17, 1925, in Kansas City, Mo., the son of Frank and Fearn (Hamilton) Cross. He served during World War II. He moved to Lawrence in 1951 where he was a professor of systematics and ecology at the University of Kansas from 1951 until retiring in 1991. He was also curator of ichthyology for the Natural History Museum.