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Department of Zoology

Finback whale skeleton suspended in the Museum of Zoology

Discovering the diversity of animal life

The Museum houses a unique slice of the natural world in its collections, capturing diversity in animal life with more than two million specimens gathered over more than two centuries from all over the world.

The collections lie at the heart of everything we do.

We use them in our scientific research to tell the story of animal life, applying cutting edge techniques to understand the origins and complexities of life on earth. The collections show us how to detect species that are in peril and when to intervene to conserve them. They fill the Museum’s public galleries and thrill people of all ages and from all backgrounds. They enrich life in our local community by transporting people beyond their own lives and instilling a love of the natural world.

How you can help the work of the Museum

Give your time. Volunteers are vital to the full range of the Museum’s work, whether it’s providing a warm welcome to visitors, or getting hands-on with the specimens. Find out more on our Get Involved page

£100 will help pay for a primary school class to engage with the Museum.

£500 is the cost of conserving a specimen for future generations to study and admire.

£1000 will help us make a trail around the museum, to showcase new themes in our research and tell untold stories about the animal kingdom.

£5000 will help pay for one of our community programmes, such as our work with dementia patients, homeless people or those with special educational needs.

£10000 is the typical cost of putting on one of our summer exhibitions.

You can make a gift online using a credit or debit card. Alternatively, to make a gift offline or to discuss other sponsorship opportunities, please contact Lisa Sneath by telephone: +44 (0)1223 336650 or by email:

Give online