Center for Biodiversity and Ecosystems


  • Research and education around energy development includes analyses using GIS data to evaluate changes in community infrastructure related to Marcellus Shale development; and the impacts of historic coal mining on land and water quality.
  • Biomonitoring research draws on museum resources, including a field laboratory at Powdermill Nature Reserve. Current research includes a USDA-sponsored effort to prevent invasions by harmful insect species.
  • Research at Powdermill Nature Reserve includes studies of bird migration and flight calls, forensic entomology, and the study of chemical and physical properties of waterways in the Laurel Highlands.
  • Professional training in field biology is an integral component of all museum projects, and increases capacity of the next generation of researchers and educators.
  • Ecosystem management studies include the biology of invasive species; native bees as commercial pollinators; and mitigation of acid mine discharge using new materials.
  • DNA samples are collected by museum scientists for species identification and monitoring, using the museum’s active molecular laboratory. Staff also analyze DNA from the vast historical collections already on hand.
  • Workshops and symposia connect current research programs in geology and paleontology to programs studying living species.


  • American Museum of Natural History
  • Center for Pollinator Research
  • Cornell University
  • Indiana University of Pennsylvania
  • Ohio State University
  • Penn State University
  • Somerset Conservation District
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • University of Vermont
  • US Department of Agriculture
  • US Forest Service
  • York University
  • University of Pittsburgh Center for Learning in Out-of-School Environments