The Research

For 200 years, scientists at the Academy of Natural Sciences have explored the remarkable diversity of our natural world and amassed one of the top natural history collections in the world. Today, our scientists focus on critical issues in biodiversity, evolution, and environmental science, from discovering new species of catfish in the Amazon to studying the effects of natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale. Our collections contain more than 18 million specimens and rate among the world’s most significant in terms of geographic, biological, and historical depth and breadth. From Thomas Jefferson’s fossil collection and John James Audubon’s birds to specimens from our most recent expeditions, this library of life on earth helps us to understand how our world changes over time.

» Visit RESEARCH at the Academy

  • Mongolian herder with some of her cows

    Giving a Face to Climate Change

    How has climate change affected Mongolia’s people?

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  • Robert M. Peck looking a specimen of a frog named after him

    Named in Honor of...

    Do you know how new species are named?

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  • wetlands, open water and waterfront development on Bargnegat Bay, New jersey

    Water Quality in New Jersey

    How is your favorite Philadelphia-based natural history museum helping to restore New Jersey's Barnegat Bay?

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  • photo of electrofishing in a stream


    Why should you care about the American eel?

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  • scientist collecting diatoms in a small stream

    Pennsylvania Diatoms

    What can a pristine stream tell us about water quality?

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  • illustration of Megapiranha by Ray Troll

    A Bite of Evolution

    If the piranha is not a threat, then what is?

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What's New in Research

Plan your visit, check out our new exhibits, and find out about upcoming activities.
Discover the past and explore the future of the natural sciences in our online exhibits.
Make a difference, browse our programs, and get involved with the natural world.