Biological Sciences

Contact Information

Kerry Katovich
Department Chair & Associate Professor
Phone: 262-472-5132
Location: Upham Hall 309

Natural History Specimen Collections

The Department of Biological Sciences' Natural History Specimen Collection contains thousands of catalogued plant and animal specimens. These include both teaching and research specimens that are available for student and professional use. Although most of the specimens housed in the collection were taken in southern Wisconsin, the collection contains specimens from throughout the United States. 

The collection is divided among several areas of natural history:

  1. Plants: Herbarium specimens
  2. Vertebrates:
    1. Mammals
    2. Birds
    3. Reptiles and amphibians
    4. Fish
  3. Invertebrates
  4. Fossils and other biologically relevant rock specimens

Plants: The herbarium collection consists of approximately 6,000 mounted plant specimens. There is a significant student collection for plant taxonomic study. In addition, there are specialized collections of Wisconsin sedges and cattails due to the work of Dr. Galen Smith. The botanical specimens are curated by Dr. Nicholas Tippery (

Vertebrates: The UW-W Department of Biological Sciences is fortunate to have many taxidermy mounts, primarily birds, prepared in the mid -1800's by the famed naturalist Thure Kumlein (see here). The vertebrate collections have also been expanded by past faculty of the UW-W Department of Biological Sciences, most notably Willard Gross (freshwater fish), Jack Cummings (a sizeable collection of marine fish), mammals (George Seeburger). There is also a collection of several hundred herpetological specimens. The vertebrate collection is curated by Dr. Joshua Kapfer (

Invertebrates: The invertebrate collection consists of both mounted and jarred specimens (including a sizeable marine invertebrate collection). The invertebrate collections are curated by Dr. Nadine Kriska (

Fossils and other biologically significant rock specimens are curated by Dr. George Clokey (

Use of the collections:
Individuals and small groups may view displayed specimens when Upham Hall is open. For further information about access to the collections or taxa databases, please contact the appropriate curator.

Specimen Donations:
We accept donation of biological collections, specimens, and taxidermy mounts if they are accompanied with appropriate data (particularly the location and date of collection), and if the specimens were collected legally. We prefer to have collection permit numbers or hunter tags associated with the specimens, if possible. Further inquiries about possible donation of specimens should be directed towards the curators or collection manager (Teresa Golembiewski: Golembiewski,

The future of the collections:
Funds were donated by Dr. Jack Cummings and family to help support the collection. Although several taxonomic groups have been digitally catalogued, endeavors are currently underway to create digital databases of all remaining taxa groups. 

Decisions about the well-being of the collections are made by the Biology Department's Specimen Collections Committee. The current members include:

  • Dr. Bruce Eshelman
  • Mrs. Terre Golembiewski
  • Dr. Elisabeth Harrahy
  • Dr. Joshua Kapfer
  • Dr. Kerry Katovich
  • Dr. Nadine Kriska
  • Dr. Nicholas Tippery

Biology Collections Image 2


College of Letters & Sciences
Laurentide Hall 4100
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
800 W. Main Street
Whitewater, WI 53190-1790

Resources For

Faculty/Staff Contact

Office of the Dean
Rebecca Reichert
Phone: (262) 472-1621

Student Contact

Advising Office
Phone: (262) 472-1550

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