BeBIF 2004 : Biodiversity at the Ghent University Zoology Museum : potential and implementation.


The Ghent University Zoology Museum has since its foundation in 1817 continuously invested in the expansion and management of its collection using a minimal budget. The collection comprises both a survey of the biodiversity of the animal kingdom, ranging from protozoans to large mammals, and a very important collection for comparative anatomy of vertebrates. The mission statement of the museum has since been collecting, managing these two collections, and applying it for educational purposes, i.e. during lectures for academic students. The last decade, however, substantial efforts have been made to stimulate the access of the collection by the general public.The last eight years, efforts have been going on to digitally archive the collection, which comprises an estimate of far over 20,000 specimens. Till 2003, only a subset of this collection has been archived, due to limited staff and funding.  By then 8,610 specimens were archived digitally. This information has since been made accessible worldwide through the webpage of the museum (, but recently, the access has been much improved thanks to the coordination of the data by the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF – Additionally, a recent funding by the Belgian partner (BeBIF), allowed us to increase the archived collection with 5,901 records only in about one month time (1,193 insects, 2,996 coleopterans, 666 birds and bird anatomy specimens, 1,046 skulls and other anatomical specimens of mammals). This clearly demonstrates that an important biodiversity collection, such as the Ghent University Zoology Museum, substantially benefits and largely depends on external funding, in order to allow efficient archiving, and thus providing useful biodiversity data that can be accessed by taxonomists or other scientists.


Digital inventory


Species {Integration level}
Insecta {Taxonomical scope}
Mammalia {Taxonomical scope}
Aves {Taxonomical scope}


Name Role Start End
Verschelde, Dominick co-promotor 2004-07-01 2004-12-01


Name Role Start End
Zoology Museum member 2004-07-01 2004-12-01


Reference Role
Verschelde, D., W. Nicholas & M. Vincx, 2006. A review of the genera Croconema Cobb, 1920 and Pseudochromadora Daday, 1899 (Nematoda, Desmodoroidea), new species from the Coasts of Kenya and Australia. Hydrobiologia 571 : 17-40. author

created:2011-12-14 14:18:59 UTC, source:web

© 2012 by the Belgian Biodiversity Platform