About KU Mammalogy

Mammalogy conducts research, training, and graduate education on the world's mammals. This work is centered around our research collections of >180,000 specimens and associated data.

The current Curator of Mammals, Dr. Jocelyn P. Colella, was trained in holistic collecting at the Museum of Southwestern Biology at the University of New Mexico under Dr. Joseph Cook. In 2022, with support from the National Science Foundation, Colella updated storage capacities for the mammal dry collections and is now focused on improving and expanding the division’s cryogenic capacities.

Maximum field collecting took place from 1945 to the early 1970s.  Faunal surveys throughout Mexico and the western United States led to major publications on: northern Alaska (Bee and Hall, 1956), Chihuahua (Anderson, 1972), Coahuila (Baker, 1956), Sinaloa (Armstrong and Jones, 1971; Jones et al., 1972; Armstrong et al., 1972), Tamaulipas (Alvarez, 1963), Veracruz (Hall and Dalquest, 1963), Colorado (Armstrong, 1972), Iowa (Bowles, 1975), Kansas (Hall, 1955; Cockrum, 1952; Bee et al., 1981), Nebraska (Jones, 1964), Utah (Durrant, 1952), Washington (Dalquest, 1948), and Wyoming (Long, 1965), and numerous systematic revisions.  This work provided a foundation for Hall and Kelson (1959), and Hall (1981), The Mammals of North America.  The synopsis of mammalian families by Anderson and Jones (1967), and Mammal Species of the World (Honacki et al., 1982), were compiled and edited at the University of Kansas. From 1945–1973, ca. 115,000 specimens were added to the collection. 

Use of the collection has broadened significant in the last few decades, with extended research applications in morphology, taxonomy and systematics, ecology, conservation, parasites and pathogens, stable isotopes, immunology and emerging diseases, evolution, and genetics/genomics.

Learn more about the mammalogy division's history

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