ZooMu Working Group
Overview of the ZooMu Working Group
Mission & Scope
Zoos and aquariums hold a wealth of biological resources in their live collections that is unique to these institutions and cannot be simulated with traditional natural history collections in museums. As modern zoos transition from exhibits to conservation organizations, zoos are starting to focus on ways to enhance their contribution to the advancement of biological sciences. In recent years, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) has placed increasing emphasis on the need for zoos to invest in scientific advancement through basic and applied research.
Given the similarities between zoos and museums as collection-based zoological institutions, there is an opportunity for the two types of institutions to work together more closely, both so that zoos can learn from the experience of this transition from museums, and so that museums can increase their collections by receiving biological samples from zoos (e.g. blood samples, genetic samples, digital images, and whole specimens). Despite the obvious value of zoo collections, they remain an untapped resource for the larger scientific community.
- Steven Whitfield, Miami Zoo
- Sinlan Poo, Memphis Zoo
- Alex Shepack
- Gregory Watkins-Colwell, Yale Peabody Museum