Coming Soon: Closer

We’re excited to be welcoming artists Julya Hajnoczky and Katrina Vera Wong to the museum for a joint exhibition which opens on Saturday 18th May!

Sometimes museum collections are all about the big picture – we house millions of specimens and conversations turn towards protecting ecosystems and entire habitats to preserve biodiversity.

It’s nice to be reminded of the beauty in the micro – and Closer promises take us inside a world that we often overlook.

Using a high-resolution scanner, Hajnoczky produces richly detailed large-scale still life photographs of natural specimens like moss, bones, feathers, and leaves, that she has gathered herself. This allows viewers an unusually close look at each organic object and provides the opportunity to slow down, mirroring the artist’s slow and meticulous study of ecosystems.

Using sections of pressed or dried plants, Wong makes flowers that bloom in dark places, and she calls them Frankenflora. After losing her father unexpectedly, she revisited a poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge that inspired a different perspective on her art practice. Particularly fascinated with the mutability of orchids, she continues to pursue the creation of a “strange and beautiful flower”, giving its variations binomial names.

Closer was named by you, our audience, in an online poll and we can’t wait to share it with you!

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

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. 

From Meadows Woodlands Far and Near | March 10 – September 4, 2016

A new feature exhibition at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum celebrates the 100th anniversary of the museum’s Herbarium with pieces of art that emulate pressed plants from the collection.

Spring Break 2016

March 12-27, 2016 | 12:30pm
Included with museum admission or membership

During Spring Break, join the Beaty Biodiversity Museum every day at 12:30 p.m. for a different hands-on activity, brought to you by volunteers, staff, curators, and special guests! Meet new friends while exploring different aspects of the biodiversity around us. From identifying incredible insects, to art, games, crafts, and hands-on activities, you’ll be a biodiversity pro in no time.

Check out the suite of daily activities we offer in addition to the Spring Break programs below.

Sunday, March 13: There is No Place Like Home | 12:30pm 

Boomer the mountain beaver had things just the way he liked them. His elaborate home had several exits and special rooms for napping, feeding, storing food, and even an indoor bathroom! Learn about endangered species during this interactive story-time with SCCP coordinator, Pamela Zevit.

Monday, March 14: no session, the museum is closed

Tuesday, March 15: Meadow Exploration | 12:30pm 

Curious about what is growing in our garden? Explore the wonderful plants that make a home on the roof of the Beaty Museum.

This activity takes place outside – dress accordingly!

Wednesday, March 16: Open Studio | 12:30pm 

Get inspired to draw from amazing museum specimens with the help of Derek Tan, our Digital Media Specialist and the illustrator behind many exhibits in the museum. Art supplies will be available; feel free to bring your sketchbook.

Thursday, March 17: Beaty InstaMeet | 12:30pm 

Are you an avid instagrammer? Or maybe just experimenting? Come with your smartphone and learn the basics of composition and colour with beautiful specimens from our Discovery Lab, then explore the museum and instagram away!

Please note that all participants under 18 must have parental permission to participate.

Friday, March 18: Social Insects | 12:30pm 

Imagine life in a social insect colony! Build your own termite buddy to take home and investigate the amazing behaviour of social insects such as ants, termites, social bees and social wasps using games and specimens. Bee there or bee square!

Saturday, March 19: Sea any Seaweed | 12:30pm 

Algae are a diverse and amazing group of organisms. They are extremely important to humans and the earth – probably more than you realize!

Sunday, March 20: Pressing Palaeontology | 12:30pm 

Learn all about fossils and how they are formed! Get up close with real fossils, and make your own “fossil” to take home.

Monday, March 21: no session, the museum is closed

Tuesday, March 22: Pond Poke | 12:30pm 

Join our Entomological Curator, Karen Needham, for a springtime pond poke! Peer beneath the water’s surface and discover the fascinating creatures living in the Beaty Museum’s water features.

This activity takes place outside – dress accordingly!

Wednesday, March 23: Museum Exhibits Takeover! | 12:30pm 

Have you ever wanted to add your own stories to exhibits and specimens on display in the museum? Today, you’ll get to write and display your own creations in the museum for everyone to enjoy.

Thursday, March 24: Floating on the Wind | 12:30pm 

How did that plant get there? Come learn about the different methods that plants employ to spread their seeds around Vancouver and around the world! Christopher Kopp, Biodiversity Research Centre Postdoctoral Research Fellow, will introduce you to the fascinating world of seeds.

This activity takes place outside – dress accordingly!

Friday, March 25: no session, the museum is closed

Saturday, March 26: Bat Box Building Workshop | 12:30pm 

Bats are great to have around, want to know why? Join us in this fun workshop! Learn about bats, build a bat house, and find out what you can do to help these amazing animals.

The workshop will be led by Felix Martinez, co-chair and wildlife biologist from South Coast Bat Action Team (SCBAT). He and the SCBAT studies the importance of bats to the environment, along with the threats they face.

Make new friends while participating in this bat box workshop, where we will build boxes as a large team. Some of these boxes will stay on campus, while others will go home with a few lucky workshop participants!

This activity is open to all ages, but we will use power tools – we require one adult directly supervising every 1-2 children who participate.

Plan to spend at least 90 minutes outside, rain or shine, so dress for the weather!

If you know you will be in attendance, please email us so we have a better idea of numbers. You may want to bring a charged, cordless drill labelled with your name to speed along the box assembly.

Want to report a bat sighting? Email SCBAT.

Sunday, March 27: Sneaky Snails and other Disguises | 12:30pm 

When is a sea snail like a secret agent? Find out with this interactive talk, including a creative craft to take home.

All activities are open to all ages and are included with membership or admission on a drop-in basis, unless otherwise noted. Children under the age of 13 must have adult supervision in the museum at all times. Please call us for more information at 604-827-4955; press 0 to connect to staff.

Are you offering a spring break camp? Check out our children’s program options for private, hands-on, biodiversity experiences suitable for your group

Meet under the whale at 12:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted. The Beaty Biodiversity Museum reserves the right to change or modify programming as needed. The Beaty Biodiversity Museum is closed on Mondays and statutory holidays.


Spring Break 2015

Walk of Wonder Arboretum

Saturday, February 20, 2016 | 10:15 a.m.

Take a stroll through UBC’s historic Arboretum – a living collection of trees for scientific study, with Shona Ellis, Associate Head of Biology at UBC. Learn how to identify the different types of local trees.

Shona Ellis was awarded the Killam teaching award, UBC’s highest teaching commendation, as well as an award from the Society of Canadian Women in Science and Technology for her efforts promoting women in STEM.

Included with museum admission or membership.

FestEVOLVE 2016

FestEVOLVE: Online Cake Contest
Monday, February 1, 2016 – Thursday, February 11, 2016 11:59 p.m.

Can’t make it to the cake contest? You can submit your entry online for a chance to win a membership! Make a cake at home, take a picture, and submit it or submit a drawing of your plans for a cake.



FestEVOLVE: Bake a Cake for Darwin
Friday, February 12, 2016 | 4:00 p.m. cake set up 4:30 p.m. judging

Bake and decorate a cake in an evolution or ecology theme to celebrate Charles Darwin’s birthday, and impress scientists from the past and present. Open to all competitors and spectators. Prizes and bragging rights will be awarded. Bring a plate and fork.



FestEVOLVE: Nerd Nite
Friday, February 12, 2016 | 6:30 p.m. doors & drinks 7:30 p.m. talks

To celebrate the birthday of the King of Nerds, Darwin, we are partnering with Nerd Nite and the Biodiversity Research Centre Grad Beers for a nerdy night of talks and beer.

$5 for museum members ($8 for non-members) online. Tickets requiredSpace permitting, tickets may be available at the door ($7 for museum members, $10 for non-members).

Bake a Cake for Darwin Contest