October is Mushroom Month!

Fall is here and that means the start of mushroom season! We have lots of events this month for all you fungi lovers:

Wild Mushrooms are Way Cool because . . .
Sunday, October 2 | 1:00 pm

  • Explore the science, scientists, and scenery of the wild mycorrhizal mushrooms at this Way Cool lecture.

Hunt for the FUN(gi) Facts
All month across campus | Ends at 5:00 pm on October 31

  • Capture the most FUN(gi) Facts and share them on Instagram with the tag #beatymushroomhunt. Whoever shares the most Facts will win a Four Mushroom Pizza from Pie R Squared!

Guided Mushroom Walk
Saturday, October 29 | 1:00 pm

  • Join the Beaty Biodiversity Museum’s Fungi Curator Mary Berbee to learn more about how to identify different mushroom types and where to look for them.

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Ecosystems in Play Opens September 17


Ecosystems in Play: Exploring Biodiversity Through Gaming

Vancouver, BC – Step inside the card game Phylo and learn how species are connected through the food chain and their environment. Events like habitat loss, oil spills, and climate change will be explored to see how they have damaging effects on an ecosystem, and what we can do to protect them.

Featuring works from seven artists, the exhibition continues the crowed-sourced history of Phylo and gives young visitors a chance to draw or colour their own playing cards. Think you know enough about ecosystems? Grab a friend and try your hand at Phylo by building your own web of life in the game.

Find more information on Ecosystems in Play.

The university community and the media are invited to attend the opening of Ecosystems in Play
Date: Saturday, September 17, 2016
Time: 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Location: Beaty Biodiversity Museum, 2212 Main Mall, Vancouver

About Phylo
What do you do when kids today know more about Pokémon characters than they do about real life creatures? For UBC geneticist and science educator, David Ng, the solution was to create a crowd-sourced game that was fun and familiar. With the aim of increasing children’s ecological literacy he created Phylo – a game that lets you collect, trade, and play with cards based on real-life organisms. In the game, players build an ecosystem by matching species cards by terrain, climate, and food chain. Progress can be halted with devastating results by playing event cards like habitat loss, or climate change that remove species and alter the delicate web of life.

About David Ng
David Ng is a geneticist, science educator, science literacy academic, part time writer, and faculty based at the Michael Smith Laboratories at the University of British Columbia.

About the Beaty Biodiversity Museum
Dubbed the “Best Collection of Weird Things in Drawers,” the Beaty Biodiversity Museum exhibits more than 2 million specimens divided among six collections: the Cowan Tetrapod Collection, The Herbarium, the Spencer Entomological Collection, the Fish Collection, the Marine Invertebrate Collection and the Fossil Collection. This natural history museum is home to Canada’s largest blue whale skeleton, which is suspended in the two-story glass atrium.

Download a PDF of this press release.

Amy Gibson
Marketing, Communications & Events Coordinator
Beaty Biodiversity Museum
604-352-9993 | Email

Niche Café Closure

The Beaty Biodiversity Museum and the Biodiversity Research Centre regret to announce that food service at the Niche Café is no longer available.

We realize that the Niche Café is important to the UBC community and museum visitors and we are working towards developing the Café into a welcoming environment, with more diverse offerings emphasizing biodiversity and sustainability. Until this time, the Niche Café space remains accessible to the public during museum hours.

If you have questions, please feel free to contact:

Catherine Ouellet-Martin
Beaty Biodiversity Museum Administrative Manager
Tel: 604-827-4807 | Email

Katie Beall
Biodiversity Research Centre Administrator
Tel: 604-822-0862 | Email


Congratulations to Derek Tan: 2016 President’s Service Award recipient

Derek Tan

Derek Tan, on a botany foray.

The Beaty Biodiversity Museum is proud to announce that our own Digital Media Specialist Derek Tan is one of this year’s recipients for the President’s Service Award.

Derek is one of three recipients of the Creativity & Innovation Service Award, which recognizes the personal achievements and contributions that UBC staff make to the community, and to the vision and goals of the University. The Creativity & Innovation Service Award’s specific criteria includes:

  • Making innovative contributions within their field of work
  • Contributing to a project or initiative that enabled a more effective environment in which to work or learn
  • Creating new, cost-effective, sustainable and/or innovative work methods that align with the mandate of the unit
  • Developing a new approach, technology, or implementation that helped solve an organizational goal or challenge
  • Demonstrating a high level of problem-solving skills
  • Introducing new and meaningful ways of approaching a project, process, or service

Derek constantly performs his duties with a high degree of dedication and commitment, supporting every area of the museum from our educational team, to our membership events, to museum outreach initiatives. His collaborative approach and commitment to education and outreach comes across in every project in which he is involved. Every time the museum embarks on a new project, Derek’s contributions to digital and print design are crucial to implementation.

Museum director Eric Taylor enthusiastically endorsed Derek’s nomination for this award: “I strongly believe that Derek’s design skills have been fundamental to the public’s understanding of biodiversity as a concept through the museum. Derek is one of the true leaders of the museum. His work is everywhere, and through Derek’s creativity, and dedication effectively, that work is the visual ‘personality’ of the Beaty Biodiversity Museum.”

The Beaty Biodiversity Museum and all of its staff heartily support the decision to award Derek with the Creativity & Innovation Service Award! Congratulations!

2016 Annual Report: A Year of Celebration and Impact

2016BeatyBiodiversityMuseumAnnualReport-1 The past year has been a particularly notable and exciting one at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum (BBM) and I am pleased to be back as the Director. The theme of this year’s annual report is “impact.” It is undeniable that the BBM has become a popular attraction at UBC and in Vancouver. We are closing in on 200,000 visitors and we average about 35,000 per year. It is equally undeniable that each collection and department of the BBM has been working very hard since we opened and over the past year, but what has been the impact of all this effort in terms of our mission of enhancing the understanding of biodiversity through collections-based research, teaching, and public outreach? Each collection provides insights to answer to this question and it is clear that the BBM is impactful in myriad ways.

I will highlight one—our expanded efforts in terms of undergraduate education. Over the past year, curators, faculty, and education and outreach staff provided services to over 6,500 UBC students largely from the Faculty of Science, but also from Arts, Commerce, Education, Forestry, Library Science, and specialized programs (English Language Institute). You can read more about these efforts in the Education report, but I highlight them here because they clearly indicate the impact the biodiversity collections can have on enhancing undergraduate and graduate education, they represent a successful new initiative, and they represent a productive partnership among curatorial staff, education staff, and course instructors.

2016BeatyBiodiversityMuseumAnnualReport-2I wish to thank all of our visitors who spent time at the BBM this year, our dedicated volunteers (over 100!), donors, and all of the staff of the BBM, from work-learn students, to full-time staff and faculty. Your commitment to, and passion for, biodiversity and the BBM are inspirational. Finally, on behalf of all at the BBM, I want to acknowledge the continuing wonderful support that we receive from Drs. Simon Peacock (Dean, Faculty of Science), Lacey Samuels (Head, Department of Botany), and Bob Shadwick (Head, Department of Zoology). Your continued commitment to the BBM is greatly appreciated and clearly impactful!

Download a PDF of the full report.

Bird Week 2016

May 7 – 14, 2016 (excluding May 9th) | 12:30 p.m.
Get hands-on and learn about birds with our daily activity. Meet under the whale.
Included with museum admission or membership.

Interested in birds? Come to our other bird related activities leading up to Bird Week:

Penguins are way cool because…
Ildiko Szabo
Sunday, May 1, 2016 | 1:00 p.m.
Included with museum admission or membership.

Table of Treasures – Penguins
Ildiko Szabo
Sunday, May 1, 2016 | 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Check out Vancouver Bird Week for more bird events happening all around town.

UBC 100: What’s Next

Saturday May 28th, 2016
10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

We are excited to be part of this university-wide celebration! Here is our schedule for the day:

Museum Tours
Meet under the whale
10:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 1:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m., and 3:00 p.m.

Puppet Shows
Allan Yap Biodiversity Theatre
11:45 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 2:45 p.m.

100 Years, 100 Treasures Opening Event
Meet under the whale
4:00 p.m.

Raising Big Blue
Allan Yap Biodiversity Theatre
10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 4:00 p.m.

Gin Facts & Fictions

Gin Facts and Fictions

Beaty Biodiversity Museum
Friday April 1, 2016

6:30pm Doors Open | 7:00pm Programming Starts 

Sold out. There will be a limited number of walk-in tickets available.

Join us for a game of Fact or Fiction this April Fools!

Discover the botanical elements of gin as you tour through the Herbarium Collection with Linda Jennings, the Assistant Curator of Vascular Plants. Mia Glanz from Odd Society Spirits will talk about how gin is distilled while you sip a Wallflower Gin martini and taste Oaken Wallflower Gin.

Check out our exhibition celebrating the Herbarium’s 100th anniversary From Meadows Woodlands Far and Near.

This is a 19+ event. Please bring 2 pieces of valid identification. 

This event is free for Beaty Biodiversity Museum Members and discounted for their guests. It is open to the public for less than the cost of admission to the museum. Spaces are limited and tickets are required to attend.