Three broad areas of study related to species decline and the loss of biodiversity have become crisis disciplines and depend heavily on the baseline information in museum collections: species' response to habitat loss and fragmentation, biological invasions, and the consequences of global climate change. The ability to address these critical research areas through use of historical data in well-curated collections cannot be overstated. In addition, the advent of next generation sequencing now allows researchers to address these questions (as well as basic science questions in the fields of phylogenetics and ecology) by sequencing genomic material from museum specimens, greatly increasing the research value of museum collections and the need to maintain collections has recently taken on greater urgency.
Active Research Collections and Voucher Collections
The UAIC houses several collections of global significance. These include vouchers for the following projects: