The Ornithology group in the Biodiversity Institute at the University of Kansas conducts research and provides undergraduate and graduate education on the birds of the world. Research topics include the species limits and species diversity, evolution, geography, genetics and genomics, morphology, conservation, ecology, and behavior. This work is greatly enhanced by extensive research collections of world birds, numbering more than 107,000 specimens, many of which are recently collected as part of the group's global bird sampling program. The data associated with all Ornithology specimens are freely available via

KU Ornithology Global Expeditions

From the Biodiversity Institute Blogs

Watch for Snowy Owls in Kansas, Missouri this winter

Snowy owls - known to Harry Potter fans and birders alike - are making an appearance in Kansas and Missouri this fall and winter. The owls, which reside most of the year in Canadian tundra and arctic...

Posted in Fieldnotes
Pete Hosner NSF Proposal Recommended for Funding

Pete Hosner, EEB doctoral candidate and Ornithology student mentored by Rob Moyle, received notification that his NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant proposal has been recommended for funding...

Posted in Lab Notes

The collection may be browsed online via our DiGIR Portal and ORNIS.

Ornithology at a Glance

Established: 1873
Collection Strengths: 107,000 specimens
Research Strengths:
Extensive program of avian inventories worldwide, with recent sampling trips to Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Fiji, Sierra Leone, Vietnam, and Palau. Expertise in molecular phylogenetics and phylogeography, niche modeling and biogeography, and pathogen surveillance in birds.
Curator in Charge:
Robert Moyle 785.864.1870
A. Townsend Peterson 785.864.3926
Collection Manager(s):
Mark Robbins 785.864.3657