University of British Columbia

The Beaty Biodiversity Museum

The Beaty Biodiversity Museum is a natural history museum that inspires an understanding of
biodiversity, its origins, and importance to humans through research, education and outreach. It aims to promote a greater sense of collective responsibility for the biodiversity of British Columbia and the world.

This, our planet…

The researchers know that the study of the variety and distribution of life on earth will impact people’s understanding of this planet.

Photo Credit: Katie Nugent

Where are we going?

Museums like the Beaty and the studies related to biodiversity will help all of us know more where we have come from and where we are going.
~ Djavad Mowafaghian

Natural history exhibits

There are over 500 natural history exhibits which showcase myriad fossils, shells, insects, fungi, mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and plants from around British Columbia and the world.




Photo credit – Clinton Hussey

Unique stories

Over two million research specimens are housed in the Beaty which provide unique glimpses into the stories that these specimens tell.

The Blue Whale

Blue whales are the biggest animals that have ever lived on earth — longer than the longest known dinosaur and more massive. They inhabit every ocean on the planet, and travel from frigid polar waters, where they feed, to warm tropical waters, where they give birth to their calves.

A rare find…

Blue whales rarely strand on beaches, and very few skeletons have been recovered for research or display. Worldwide, only 21 are available to the public for viewing. This magnificent specimen illustrates the interconnectedness of all living things.

An opportunity…

Students of all ages touch and observe museum specimens while practicing their sketching and drawing skills.


From the main entrance, a long ramp descends under the ribcage of the giant whale while the walls feature photographs of the teeniest forms of life.

We are part of the natural world…

The Djavad Mowafaghian Foundation believes that museums and studies related to biodiversity help people understand more about our origin which in turn entices people to become more determined to protect and improve our environment.

Who Cares?

Biodiversity is important because the richer the diversity of life, the greater the opportunity for medical discoveries and responses to challenges such as climate change.
~ Hamid Eshghi