Center for Biodiversity and Ecosystems

Strategic pillar: We are deepening collaboration among Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, universities, schools, and the community. By strengthening these partnerships, we are leveraging our scientific expertise and educational resources for the benefit of all.


  • Research and education around energy development includes analyses using GIS data to evaluate changes in community infrastructure related to Marcellus Shale development; the effects of wind turbines on migratory birds; 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