RESEARCH FACILITIES: RESEARCH COLLECTIONS

NCBS maintains an air-conditioned, completely climate-controlled Collections Facility. This facility has recently been developed to help us maintain and curate our research collections. The long-term goal of this Collections Facility is to maintain a worldclass, modern research collection that includes geo-referenced data for all the specimens. The specimens are well-curated with important details that are of broad and long-term interest to scientists and conservation practitioners. All this information and all the specimens are catalogued in a centralized database. This will form a long-term reference for any biodiversity-related work in India.

Currently, most of the collection is dry-preserved, but we have infrastructure to hold wet specimens as well. Most of our collection has a DNA library associated with it, and we have a wet lab to sequence this material as and when needed for specific projects. The specimens are kept in well-labeled unit trays that can be easily rearranged according to taxonomy, geography or other research interests. The drawers are arranged taxonomically in cabinets, leaving sufficient room for long-term growth and curation of our research collections. The collections maintenance, curation protocols, and the curation and labeling schemes that we use closely follow those employed in leading research collections and museums in the world, and are especially fashioned on the Natural History Museum, London, and the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University. 

This facility is well-equipped with microscopes, photography set-up, work desks, weighing balances and other instruments and supplies required especially for taxonomic and ecological work of various kinds.

The facility currently holds a small collection of voucher specimens of various insect species that we have collected on our field trips. All our specimens are collected after obtaining adequate research and collecting permits from the various state forest departments. This collection is used for our taxonomic, phylogenetic, population genetic, and other evolutionary and ecological research. We envision this facility to serve a broader range of scientists doing a wide range of research projects from various fields. We hope that this will boost museum-based research in India in the future, which has seriously been lagging behind in our highly biodiverse country.

You are welcome to visit this facility for your research. Contact us in advance to schedule your visit. We will also be delighted to receive your contributions of specimens and help in terms of curation. Curation of museum collections is a process that requires tremendous expertise, dedication and consistency, and we depend on taxonomic experts as well serious enthusiasts to contribute towards this process. In the long term, we hope that this will generate a taxonomically updated, modern and freely accessible resource on Indian biodiversity.

Please read our note on collaborative research before contacting us especially for any international projects.