The Museum of Vertebrate Zoology has been one of this country's premier institutions in the training of vertebrate biologists over the past century; it has also been a leader in intellectual achievement through individual publications ranging from scientific journal papers and specialized monographs to books and magazine articles of broad public interest.
The nearly 4,000 individual publications generated by the faculty, research staff, students, and post-doctoral associates over the past 96 years encompass virtually all aspects of vertebrate evolutionary and ecological biology, from Joseph Grinnell's seminal papers defining the "ecological niche" and the concept of competitive exclusion, to modern molecular phylogenetics and phylogeography. The faunal studies and taxon descriptions, focal efforts of the early Museum, continue to the present, expanded by the more recently developed fields of community and population ecology, behavioral ecology, population genetics, and developmental biology. The variety of research paradigms, of technical approaches, and of conceptual questions has had no boundary. Rather, the unifying theme of the Museum's programs has been its concentrated focus on terrestrial vertebrates, as members of the living, natural world.
Researchers at the MVZ take advantage of state-of-the-art facilities, including molecular labs, computing clusters, extensive frozen and ethanol tissue collections, a biodiveristy informatics lab and copious resources on the U. C. Berkeley campus. The bulk of the Museum's collections are from California and western North America, but researchers currently work worldwide with projects in Asia, the Middle East, Central and South America and Africa.
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