Collections

  • Putting Mushrooms on the Map

    Published06/29/2020 , By Eve Daniels

    After a few minutes chatting with Peter Kennedy, fungi collection curator at the Bell Museum, it’s easy to picture him starring in a survival show called “The Mushroom Hunter.” Given his in-depth expertise about fungi, he’s someone you would like to have along if you’re lost in the forest, trying…
  • Meet the Beetles

    Published06/09/2020

    Did you know we have a colony of dermestid beetles in the collections to prepare skeletons from carcasses?
  • City Stardust: Micrometeorites in Our Own Backyards

    Published

    Micrometeorites are some of the oldest matter that exists. Until recently, scientists searched for them only in remote places, such as the Antarctic, where pristine conditions ensured that these mineral specks really came from space. Experts assumed that it would be impossible to find micrometeorites in inhabited areas, where natural…
  • Lichen Minded

    Published , By Eve Daniels

    Next time you’re out in nature, take a moment to look for the lichens. You’ll see their unique colors and patterns on the rocks, trees, and stone structures everywhere from Northern Minnesota to the world’s deserts, tropics, and tundras. A symbiotic organism that’s part fungi, part algae or cyanobacteria, lichens…
  • International Day for Biological Diversity

    Published05/18/2020 , By Adam Hartman & Heather Cummins

    As we kick off the first day of the week leading up to the International Day for Biological Diversity on Friday, let’s take a look at what it is and why it matters. The short version is that it’s a day the United Nations declared for increasing understanding and awareness…
  • Adventures in Plant Evolution

    Published05/13/2020 , By Eve Daniels

    Ya Yang hiked to a glacier in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Lightning cracked in the distance. Yang and her collaborators found the plant they were looking for, pulled it from the icy water, roots and all.
  • Reeling in the Centuries

    Published05/11/2020 , By Eve Daniels

    There are around 1.4 million licensed anglers in Minnesota, and they are surrounded by some 4,500 good fishing lakes. Whether you’re one of those 1.4 million, or you simply have a fascination with fishes, you can take some local pride in the fishes collection at the Bell Museum.
  • Statewide Biodiversity Survey

    Published05/07/2020

    In 2019, Bell Museum curators embarked on the creation of a baseline biodiversity survey to document plant and animal species on six U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) recreation areas, with a particular focus on locating species of conservation concern.
  • Reading the Signs from Salamanders

    Published04/30/2020 , By Eve Daniels

    While the “Salamander Capital of the World” isn’t a top roadside attraction, it does tell us a lot more about the past and future of our species than dinosaur sculptures ever will (no offense to Dinny the Dino). Located in the southern Appalachian mountains, this region is a rainbow of…
  • Exploring Plants and Their Chemicals

    Published03/31/2020

    Ya Yang, our curator of plants, is leading a $1.4 million collaborative project with Sam Brockington at Cambridge University, Hiroshi Maeda at University of Wisconsin, and Stephen Smith at University of Michigan. Support for Yang’s team here at the University is $480,000. We sat down to get some details on…