Amphibian and reptile research in the herpetology collections of the Yale Peabody Museum’s Division of Vertebrate Zoology
currently includes many subfields of natural history. Presently,
curators and their students are conducting herpetological research in
the areas of squamate osteology and systematics, turtle systematics,
amphibian deformities and vernal pool ecology. Staff and affiliates
currently have studies and interests that address amphibian life
histories, New England amphibian and reptile geographic distributions
and phenotypic variation, island biogeography, snake systematics and
reproductive anatomy, and diversity of West Africa and Middle America.
The Division also has specimens collected in the 19th century that were generally not preserved with formalin, rendering them suitable today for research techniques such as DNA sequencing. Many of these specimens represent locality records that no longer exist, making them valuable for the study of systematic, phylogenetic, population and biogeographical patterns.
Additionally, field collecting in New England and elsewhere in the United States has improved the taxonomic diversity of the North American holdings.