Search the collection in two ways


Search for an individual specimen using a search engine that accesses the museums Past Perfect 5.0 Database or 

Find out about the different groups in the collection e.g. mammals, birds, crustaceans, fossils, etc.

The UWIZM collections contain a wide range of specimens from all over Trinidad & Tobago and the wider Caribbean and South American region. There are specimens from all the major animal groups and some geological and archaeological objects as well. 

The specimens came from several sources:

  • The Imperial College of Tropical Agriculture (ICTA) - the precursor to UWI St. Augustine
  • The University of the West Indies (UWI) - staff and students from the Department of Life Sciences
  • National Museum and Art Gallery of Trinidad & Tobago (NMTT) - natural history specimens not on display in the museum
  • Caribbean Epidemiology Centre (CAREC) - mixed specimens collected mainly in the 1950s-60s
  • Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI) - insect collection from the 1970s-90s
  • Members of the public donating specimens 
  • Foreign research scientists donating specimens they collect whilst working in Trinidad & Tobago

Over the years many collectors have contributed to the museum, some have bequeathed items in their wills and some were collected as part of Masters or Doctoral studies. Examples include:

  • Shell collection of Sybil Atteck
  • P. Thompson mollusc collection
  • Freshwater decapods from Wayne Rostant and Dawn Phillip
  • Marine decapods from Jan Stonley
  • Fossils from Robert Kennedy
  • Freshwater insect larvae and fossils from Mary Alkins-Koo
  • Social insects from Christopher K. Starr and Alan W. Hook
  • Freshwater fish from J. L. Price, J. Webster-King, J. Kenny and Dawn A.T. Phillip
  • Marine fish from Robin W. Bruce
  • Bats from F.M. Clarke
  • Octocorals from Doon Ramsaroop
  • Marine invertebrates from staff aboard the Research Vessels Oregon II and Discoverer
  • Texaco collection of marine molluscs
  • Sir Norman Lamont collection of Lepidoptera


Who works with the collections?

The collections are used in teaching as part of practical labs; by students, staff and the public trying to identify specimens; by researchers from around the world studying a particular group of animals and by art students looking for inspiration. 


Where are the collections stored?

The collections are split into three parts – The Zoology Room, The Land Arthropod Room (sometimes known as the Insect Room) and The Teaching Collection. Specimens are organized taxonomically according to the latest research.


The Zoology Room

This room contains approximately 10,000 specimens consisting of vertebrates and non-insect invertebrates. 

There are several rows of shelving containing the spirit collections and a variety of cupboards, metal cabinets and drawers housing the dried specimens. 


The Land Arthropod Room

This room contains all the insect specimens both dried and in spirit. It also houses the much smaller Arachnid and Myriapod collections.

There are approximately 60,000 specimens housed in a range of metal and wooden cabinets and open shelving with a selection of drawers and specimens out on display.


The Teaching Collection

This part of the collection is housed mainly in Labs 1 & 2 but parts are moved around depending on teaching requirements.

Many of these specimens are used for handling or dissection. They include representatives of all of the major animal groups.


Collecting Policy

To see the UWI Zoology Museum Collection Policy please click here

Last updated 16 September 2021
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