Museum History

The Beaty Biodiversity Museum opened its doors in 2010 and UBC’s vast natural history collections were put on public display for the first time. The museum and its collections are the centrepiece of UBC’s Biodiversity Research Centre, which brings together the world-class researchers of the Biodiversity Research Centre and biological collections into one innovative complex dedicated to understanding and conserving the diversity of life on earth through research, education, and community programs.

For years, UBC alumnus Ross Beaty envisioned a museum of natural history in British Columbia, a community asset that would profile the amazing wonders of the natural world in one of the most species-rich places on earth. At the same time, the university envisioned a building that would facilitate interdisciplinary biodiversity research and education by UBC researchers and house the university’s vast collections that were stored at several sites across the Vancouver campus. Ross and his wife Trisha demonstrated inspirational foresight through an exceptional gift that enabled UBC to expand the scope of the Beaty Biodiversity Centre to establish the Beaty Biodiversity Museum — the first museum of its kind in Canada – dedicated to enhancing understanding and appreciation of biodiversity, and making the research conducted by the scientists of the Biodiversity Research Centre and its collections accessible to all.

Significant support provided by The Djavad Mowafaghian Foundation and Dr. Allan Yap greatly enhanced the museum’s capacity for public education and community outreach. Today, UBC’s research community, students, and thousands of visitors can enjoy and interact with the Beaty Biodiversity Museum’s unique exhibits and peerless collections each year.

“The Beaty Biodiversity Museum will enrich our local society, Canadian society, and global society by carrying out biodiversity research and displaying plants and animals from around the world. The museum will teach existing and future generations – our children – the wonders and fragility of many of the species with whom we share the Earth.” – Ross J. Beaty

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